Saturday, January 10, 2009

Clipping Biodiesel Recipes

I love recipes, especially unusual cooking projects. That's why I've saved these reverences on homebrewed biodiesel, even though I don't own any engines that could burn it. It's just fun to think about. In fact, there's a biodiesel "brewer" in Pocahontas County who already has called dibs on all the used cooking oil produced by area restaurants.

Cool Fuel: Brew It Yourself: Teen's Basement Biodiesel Lab Not So Unusual By Lori Aratani, Washington Post, July 1, 2008

Gabe Schwartzman, a tall, lanky high school senior from Montgomery County, can fill up the tank of his 1980 Volvo sedan for less than $20.

...Over the last several months, Gabe has been hunkered down in the basement of his parents' Garrett Park home, converting used fryer oil from a restaurant up the street into fuel for his car.

Brewing biodiesel, once a quaint hobby for green-minded citizens and budding chemists, is becoming more mainstream. The spike in gas prices is making fryer oil, the messy aftermath of super spuds and mozzarella sticks, a hot commodity. It has even spawned a crime wave. Law enforcement officials have reported a surge in fryer oil thefts. Officials suspect the culprits are finding a ready market for the waste oil.

A resource with detailed references:EPA's Biodiesel Page

Biodiesel is a renewable fuel produced from agricultural resources such as vegetable oils. In the United States, most biodiesel is made from soybean oil; however canola oil, sunflower oil, recycled cooking oils, and animal fats are also used.

To make biodiesel, the base oil is put through a process called "esterificiation." This refining method uses an industrial alcohol (ethanol or methanol) and a catalyst (substance that enables a chemical reaction) to convert the oil into a fatty-acid methyl-ester fuel (biodiesel).

Get started cooking biodiesel with these recipes: Utah Biodiesel Supply's "Biodiesel Production Basics."

Welcome to the wonderful world of making Biodiesel. It's a fun and rewarding hobby where you can make your own fuel to run in diesel engines for a fraction of what regular diesel costs....Biodiesel is most commonly made by chemically altering an organic oil through the use of a catalyst and an alcohol. The chemical reaction that occurs through this process breaks down the oil molecules and replaces the glycerin portion of the molecule with an alcohol molecule. The glycerin falls to the bottom and is drained off resulting in Biodiesel.

The Biodiesel is then typically washed, to remove any extra impurities and is then used as a fuel in a diesel engine without making any modifications to the engine.

Biodiesel is known chemically as a 'fatty acid methyl ester'. Which is just a fancy way of saying it's a product made from Methanol and an organic oil with fatty acid chains in it. It is easily made and has many benefits, including environmentally friendlier tailpipe emissions and improved engine performance.

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