Biodiesel Basics

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Biodiesel Basics

Aaron Moyer asked that I start a thread on making biodiesel. Since it is a central part of my planning and positioning for peak everything, it's a subject I could go on about forever. I think I'll refrain from that as best I can.

First, I need to address the value of BD as presented by the crash course. Clearly, the way Chris presents the EROI of BD makes it less than perfect as a replacement for oil globally. That does not however preclude it's value on the small scale. I would be happy to expand on this if questions arise, but for now suffice to say that a small farmer who plants 5 - 20 acres of some oil bearing plant like canola, sunflower, safflower, oil palm, etc. can convert the resulting plant matter into 100 gallons of BD per acre per year (or more). If doing the work yourself to supply your own needs, I know of no other way the average joe like myself can produce anywhere near that amount of liquid fuel capable of powering transportation, agriculture, electrical generation and all its byproducts in such a simple and time tested way.

Here's the basics:

Vegetable oil can be processed into Methyl Esters (biodiesel) through a process of esterification. Big words if you are not a chemist, but the process is unbelievably simple. The goal is to separate the vegetable oil into 2 layers, the top one being biodiesel and the bottom phase being glycerin. This is done by following these simplified steps, assuming virgin vegetable oil (you can also make BD out of used fryer oil!)

1.)   Heat the oil to about 140 degrees F.

2.)   Prepare a methoxide mix of Methanol and Lye, typically Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) or Potassium Hydroxide (KOH)

                 Methoxide is the catalyst that causes the esterification, or reaction that separates out the 2 parts

3.)   Slowly add the methoxide to the heated oil while stirring, pumping, or otherwise agitating

4.)   Continue agitation for about 1 hour

5.)   Stop agitation and allow to settle at least 12 hours

6.)   Separate the top layer (phase) of BD from the bottom phase of glycerin. A cone bottom tank is helpful here.

7.)   Wash the remaining BD using water or a dry wash to remove remaining impurities, leftover catalyst, etc.

8.)   Dry the newly washed BD using heat, air, circulation, or a combination of these.

9.)   Put the BD in your tank and burn it like Petro diesel.

 So, there are the basic steps for making BD. I have been running it in my 2007 Duramax Chevy, my tractors, and other assorted diesel engines for some time now. This, of course, is overly simplistic and there are many issues that need to be fully understood before diving in, not the least of which is the safety aspects of working with caustic chemicals, the proper disposal of waste streams generated so as not to impact the environment, and an understanding of the legal implications like DOT taxes and producing fuel in your subdivision, but I can assure you these are all easily surmounted.

As I promised, I will not drone on endlessly, however I would be happy to answer questions if there are any.

Cheers!

Roger

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Re: Biodiesel Basics

Roger,

First and foremost, thank you!
I've got a couple questions:

1. What do you use to heat the oil in? How large of a container?

2. How do you get vegetable oil from the oil bearing plant?

3. What kind of fuel economy do you get? (heheh)

Thanks a million - very good to hear from someone who's actually done this!

Aaron

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Re: Biodiesel Basics

The most basic BD processor is called the "appleseed" and is based on an electric 40 gallon hot water tank. You can make a basic processor for under $50 + the price of the water tank. I personally use a cone bottom tank that allows you to see the phase separation and makes it very simple to drain off the glycerin leaving only BD. These tanks come in sizes from 5 gallons all the way up to over 500 gallons. Commercial plants to batches even larger than that.

 Oil is extracted via a physical press. Some examples:

http://www.oilpress.com/

http://www.ayimpex.com/Oil-Press.htm

http://www.alvanblanch.co.uk/vegetablioil.htm

The last link has some good pics in it, including the cone bottom tanks I mentioned.

The oil press can be diesel fueled either by using the power take off on your diesel tractor, a diesel generator powering an electric motor, or by a separate diesel engine.

Fuel economy: there is roughly 90% as much energy in a gallon of BD as in petro diesel. That means the MPG goes down by 10%, however emissions are almost gone. It is (give or take) carbon neutral due to the farming aspect where the plants remove CO2 prior to putting it back in, and the cost per gallon ain't bad, roughly $.70 per gallon currently.

My pleasure.

Rog

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Re: Biodiesel Basics

  If I were to go into Costco and buy a gallon of canola oil, although expensive, could I follow these instructions, or should I just start from whole stock?  I realize this is a goofy question.

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Re: Biodiesel Basics

I think I can actually make my own methenol, however!

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Re: Biodiesel Basics

Sorry, methoxide.  Damn, I do need to get those chemistry books out of the attic!

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Re: Biodiesel Basics

Yes you can do this at home on the bench. It is how most people start.

 You will need:

Some type of Veggi oil, Canola is good but they all work.

Some methanol, you can get this at wal-mart or an auto parts store as "HEET" gasoline treatment, make sure you get the yellow bottle because the red one is Isopropyl.

Some lye, which in small quantities is easly found as red devil lye, used as a drain cleaner. If you do find another brand, make sure it is 100% NaOH or KOH and there there isn't a bunch of other helper chemicals in there.

On the bench, we typically do 1 liter batches, so a clear 2 liter soda bottle makes a good vessel to work with. Here's the steps:

1.)   Heat 1 liter oil to 130 - 140 degrees F. Put it in the reaction vessel.

2.)   Mix the Methanol and Lye. ALWAYS SLOWLY ADD THE LYE TO THE METHANOL WHILE STIRRING GENTLY. ALWAYS WEAR COMPLETE HAND, ARMS, BODY, AND FACIAL PROTECTION. NEVER BREATHE METHANOL VAPORS. NEVER ALLOW METHANOL, LYE, OR THE MIXTURE TO COME IN CONTACT WITH YOUR SKIN.

3.)   Add the Methanol / Lye mixture to the heated oil.

4.)   Seal and shake vigoursly for at least 2 minutes.

5.)   Let stand for 12 hours.

6.)   You should see 2 distinct phases in the result, the top one will be unwashed biodiesel, the bottom will be the waste product glycerine.

In order to use this, you would need to separate out the biodiesel, wash it with water or a drywash resin, and dry the fuel. These steps are easy, and will add another day to the total processing time, but very little of it is hands on.

Receipe:

Oil:   1 liter

Methanol:   .28 liter   (always 28% of volume of oil)

Lye red devil is NaOH, not KOH, so use:  3.5 grams

 

Hope you have fun!

Roger

 

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Re: Biodiesel Basics

Thanks for the info.

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Re: Biodiesel Basics

Thats great info Roger thanks!

A couple of questions if I may;

1 Can you elaborate on washing the BD with water, how can you do that without losing BD?

2 Please expand on exactly what Lye is, is that a tradename or the name of a chemical? for us in europe it may be called something else

3 What, if anything, can you do with the glycerin? Is that waste or does it have other uses?

4 can this BD only be used in diesel engines? how about petrol engines or 2 stroke engines?

Thanks again Smile

barrt

 

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Re: Biodiesel Basics

Bart, great questions.

Water washing BD means putting a light spray of water that "runs through" the BD because water is heavier than BD. As the water falls, it collects all the water soluble contaminants that remain in the BD.

This step is often repeated 3 - 5 times until the water that collects in the bottom is clear. If you do this with a cone bottom tank, it is very simple to add a few gallons of water to your batch of BD, let it settle off, then simply drain the bottom phase which is the was water off until you get to the BD. Then stop draining, and repeat. I personally use a misting head from a lawn sprinkler system (Toro, Rain Bird, others make this device) plumbed to a garden hose to add the water.

Once the final wash is complete and drained, you now have clean BD with water in it. Instead of the clear liquid you would expect to put in your tank, it is milky and often the color of caramel. This is the suspended water. This is easily dried by running the tank heater, pump, and a fan to aid in maximizing the surface area of the BD and exposure to air to evaporate it off. Within a short time the BD will become light yellow and completely clear so you can see through it. I also pass my dried BD through as water block filter as it's last step before going into the tank. I have a WIF (water in fuel) sensor in the filter of my Duramax Diesel, and it has never once given me a lick of trouble in tens of thousands of miles. The alternative is a chemical based drywash that uses beads to filter the BD after the initial separation and never adding water. I have this system, but seldom use it because the water based wash gives me feedback about my process by way of wash water contamination and I find it just as easy, and actually saves money.

Lye is often called caustic soda, caustic potash, and other various names, but chemically it is NaOH (Sodium Hydroxide) or KOH (Potassium Hydroxide). Currently, these chemicals are fairly inexpensive in the US and contribute only a small amount to the cost of production.

Glycerin can be used to make soap, can be used as compost, can be burned in a woodburning stove, or if you are lucky can be sold to a local soapmaker  or other industrial user of the stuff. Mine ends up in the stove as an input for heating for this and other reactions, like distillation.

 I hope this helps. On the small scale, once you get used to the whole process, BD can power the entire farm as nearly a complete replacement for petroleum. It certainly goes a long way towards helping you live off grid, if that is important to you.

Cheers,

Roger

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Re: Biodiesel Basics

If you live in a tropical country it is even simpler.

Take a coconut, scrape out the meat, lay it in the sun to dry then press it to take out the oil

Put oil in tank from an old diesel car and drive. Mileage about 15% better than with diesel.

In a western country this same oil is called 'virgin cold pressed coconut oil' together with a pricetag that matches the long name. In tropical countries they just call it coconut oil.

Unfortunately under 25 degrees celcius it is not fluid anymore. For colder climates mixing it with 5-10% diesel will keep it flowing.

 

 

 

 

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Re: Biodiesel Basics

There are many here in the US, including the colder states who run straight vegetable oil. This is typically accomplished using a modification to the vehicle that allows for a 2 tank system, 1 for diesel and one for straight veggi oil. As you have mentioned, the problem has to do with viscosity at lower temps. With the modification, you start and stop the engine with diesel and use the engine heat to pre-heat the veggi oil.

In the summer at most latitudes, this is unnecessary. At temps below the get point for the type of oil being used (each oil is slightly different) it becomes critical to pre-heat the oil

I personally find it more cost effective to run BD since I have several engines that would require modification, and the climate is cold enough here to require the modifications. Also, making BD allows you to barter with it as few others have the modification on their machines either. For example, you may be able to convince a local farmer to combine your Canola field for you if you don't have a combine if you give him 200% of the diesel he uses to harvest your crop...

Rog

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Re: Biodiesel Basics

Please forgive me.

Methanol is made on the commercial scale here in the U.S. by using natural gas is it not? How does growing oil feedstock, then having to use an alcohol derived from a stock that we are trying to get away from become anywhere near sustainable?

I don't know how NaOH or KOH is produced here in the U.S. but, I am sure this is also industrially produced.

So, explain again to me how one can grow oilseed, press it, filter it, degum it, transesterify it by using industrial chemicals (methanol and KOH or NaOH) water wash (where does the water come from) - dry it, filter it and then finally use it to power equipment (cars, trucks, tractors) be considered "sustainable" during the "collapse" ???

 

I am NOT picking a fight, or trolling here. I have been involved in wvo/svo/bio-d use for 3 years. 

If, we all need to "buy a patch of heaven" where we can sustain our families for a possible extended peroid of time, I have come to the conclusion that bio-d production from pressed oilseed crop may be folly. Why? Where are we going to get the methanol and lye from??

 

I submit to you, that while running svo does have some increased costs at the outset and where some diesel engines (like your duramax) don't do as well on svo/wvo as bio-d, the ultimate conversion of our diesel engines and running lister gensets on svo may prove more sustainable.

FWIW - C.

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Re: Biodiesel Basics

rncarl, 

No need to ask forgiveness, it's a valid point!

Yes, today Methanol is obtained via a commercial process which converts natural gas. Perhaps you would concede that since Methanol is one of the most simple alcohols, there are many paths to get there, not just the one that uses fossil fuels? Additionally, it is not the only alcohol that can be used in transesterification. Ethanol is another that can be used if sufficiently dry, and can be made with a simple still and any plant life that contains sugar. Everyone hears about corn, but it is far from the only source. While I plan to do it during the day, moonshine is likely in my future for the Ethanol.

NaOH is yet another item that can be produced at the farm level. It can be made using a very basic setup that converts hardwood ash and water to lye-water, which then becomes lye. It may not be 100% pure, but titration with the base you will be using for transesterification eliminates those headaches. I have lots of hardwood ash as I heat with wood primarily at the farm, and if I run out of stored lye, I can make more as they did 200 years ago to make soap.

I have bought a patch of heaven because I have the means and desire to do so. BD or SVO is only a portion of my energy strategy, which also includes wind and solar, and I have been studying steam for the last few months as well. If I had a running stream, I'd use Hydro too.

There are a number of current posts about the significant other not being fully onboard. My method to get my wife onboard was to commit to a soft landing, meaning we still have a wash machine, hot water, air conditioning, etc. While these items may not last forever, it gives my family time to adjust. I have a significant stockpile of diesel as well as methanol and KOH, and consider them nearly as important in my planning as food.

You make a very valid point about SVO, and I do plan to run it in my tractors and generator during the really hot months to minimize the amount I need to convert. The press I run using the PTO of my tractor. Filtration is obvious. If you use Canola as the feedstock, hat water is all that is needed for degumming, and I can burn wood and glycerin for that. It is not a closed system, but it has it's merits.

Finally, I would say that methanol and lye will be available for some time into the future, as we may be at peak everything, but not (yet) at gone everything. Since I have converted assets to gold instead of cash, I am convinced I will have access to the things I need in the future after the initial SHTF. I just have to be prepared for the beginning. If I am wrong about this, BD gies me time to power down at a rate that my family can adapt to. This is my belief, and I understand it may not coincide with yours.

I appreciate your post, as I too started this thinking it didn't make any sense long term. I have since changed my mind as while it is not perfect, it is the best I have come up with for a liquid fuel that I can produce now that I know works and depends very little on outside input other than sunshine and rain.

Rog

 

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Re: Biodiesel Basics

The fascination with keeping cars running is simply unfathomable...

I couldn't be bothered doing any of this crap, I have much bigger fish to fry, like EATING.

I don't need a car.  Neither should you, and neither will you, once TSHTF....

Just sounds like more slavery....  and slavery to a machine?  Get a life. 

Mike 

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Re: Biodiesel Basics

Heck, you guys prepare really for a totall and absolute failure of everything. Like becoming a Robinson Crusoe. 

Some questions:

- what climate you live in, Roger? I presume the "fuel capacity" of a field of oil crops depends on length of vegetation period and that depends on climate - I wonder if mine is warm enough - plus that impacts the selection of the crop to grow. The key here is to get enough of the stuff to get you through the winter, especially with heating but also transportation.

- how much this whole process depends on machinery and energy? This whole pressing, stirring, washing etc. consumes energy too.

- re. "patch of heaven" - assuming everything breaks down etc. are you confident your self-sufficient little heaven won't be invaded by either people with nothing to loose or an oppresive government? Did you take any steps to increase security? (It is off-topic re. biodiesel, but what point in producing it if someone will tak it away from you)

(btw: Damnthematrix - you don't need any individual form of transport? Or are you fine with horse carts?)

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Re: Biodiesel Basics

<http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/02/02-10>

Published on Monday, February 2, 2009 by The Progressive
<http://www.progressive.org/mag/mpdubro020309.html>

The Myth of the Efficient Car

by Alec Dubro

Let's get something straight about green industry: in its basic form it means we all have to buy new stuff ... lots of it. As an industrial policy that will create jobs and increase spending, it's pretty sound. As an environmental policy, it's largely a fraud.

Nowhere is it more disingenuous than the pursuit of the fuel-efficient car. In their effort to stave off collapse of their industry, auto executives have continually cited their efforts are building the high-efficiency cars of the future. The problem is, there are no cars of the future, and the looming catastrophe of global pollution, including climate change, will never be solved by building more cars - efficient or otherwise.

We'd desperately like to believe that there is a way to preserve our car-centered civilization, while simultaneously placating the gods of atmospheric warming. Even the president-elect believes it, and Obama made fuel-efficient cars a central part of his energy policy. He promised a $7,000 tax credit to hybrid car buyers, aiming for a million plug-in hybrids, getting 150 mpg, by 2015. He wants to put an additional million completely plug-in vehicles by the same year. And he's willing
to federal funds up for research, or at least he was before we lost all our money.

Even on its face, this seems like a tepid response to climate change. At the moment there are upward of 250,000,000 registered vehicles in the United States - more than there are licensed drivers. Converting one percent or so of them to greater fuel efficiency is not likely to do very much in the time needed to act. Nevertheless, the hope is that
introduction of a new generation of electric and semi-electric will eventually lead to a replacement of our entire fleet of gas-guzzlers. Maybe. But the bigger problem is that increasing fuel efficiency has never led to an overall reduction in pollutants. In fact, efficiency has always led to more production and consumption.

But there's an even more profound problem with building more efficient cars. In 1865, English economist William Stanley Jevons discovered an efficiency paradox: the more efficient you make machines, the more energy they use. Why? Because the more efficient they are, the better they are, the cheaper they are and more people buy them, and the more
they'll use them. Now, that's good for manufacturers and maybe good for consumers, but if the problem is energy consumption or pollution, it's not good.

The so-called Jevons Paradox was resurrected in the 1980s by a variety of environmentalists and is occasionally referred to as the Khazoom-Brookes postulate or the more explicative rebound effect. It's been neatly summarized as, "those energy efficiency improvements that, on the broadest considerations, are economically justified at the microlevel lead to higher levels of energy consumption at the macro level." Or, in short, you make money on each transaction and lose it in
volume.

The rebound effect is not an immutable scientific law, but it's a widely observed phenomenon and has held true in the most energy-intensive consumer activities. The most commonly cited example is in lighting. As the Encyclopedia of Earth puts it, "For instance, if a 18W compact fluorescent bulb replaces a 75W incandescent bulb, the energy saving should be 76%. However, it seldom is. Consumers, realizing that the lighting now costs less per hour to run, are often less concerned with
switching it off; in fact, they may intentionally leave it on all night." I know I have at times.

The same effect has occurred with cars. Automobiles have become more efficient over the years. Led by the Japanese, carmakers have increased the fuel to weight ration, decreased damaging vibration and vastly increased reliability. In the 1950s, a car that lived to drive 100,000 miles was a rarity; today they routinely last 150,000. The result? Increasing fuel consumption. And not just because more people in the developing world are buying cars, either. People everywhere are buying more of the better, cheaper more efficient cars and - here's the problem - driving them more. And that was even so when gas peaked there at $8 a gallon in Europe.

The real problem is, though, cars don't move people, cars move cars. The average car or light truck is two tons or so: 4000-plus pounds to move 200 pounds of people. OK, everybody out of the SUVs and F-150s and into a nice, green Prius. However, the curb weight of an unladen Prius is 2765 pounds, which means a ton and a half around to get you and a bag of
groceries home. Not good.

Environmentalists like Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute and green business advocate Paul Hawken have generated a lot of press with a proposed 100 mpg lightweight, plastic composite called the hypercar. But all the drawings of the hypercar very much resemble...a car. Tires, windows, bodywork, engine and drive train. Even if everything is paper-thin - something the public won't easily warm to - you're still driving five times body weight around.

Even if we were able to produce a 100 mpg, zero pollution vehicle, we'd still need to maintain the infrastructure of roads, bridges, and energy distribution. That means steel, concrete, asphalt and plastics. Just concrete production alone generates as much as 10 percent of all greenhouse gas. In 2007, the U.S. produced 95 million tons of cement by burning fossil fuels and, according to the EPA, is the third largest source of greenhouse gas pollution in the U.S. (Scientific America, August 7, 2008) The production of asphalt - a petroleum product - also creates carbon. As does the production of motor oil, tires, and on and on.

And there's another intractable problem: the very thing that makes tires so useful - comfort, stability, adhesion - also produces immense rolling friction. In order for us to makes cars that are maneuverable and relatively safe, they have to grip the road, which takes buckets of energy to overcome. One reason trains are able to transport people using far less energy per passenger mile is that there are fewer wheels per person and steel wheels have much less rolling friction.

Without divine intervention - which seems to be the basis for most energy reduction schemes - there is simply no way to maintain both the atmosphere and personal transportation. Even if the population were frozen at its present level, even if economic growth stopped the sheer number of people wanting - and under the present regime, need - personal
transportation makes any plan to reduce car pollution by increasing efficiency is futile. The personal automobile must be abandoned, and quickly.

It would be better to do this in a measured and humane way, easing both automobile workers and users into a post-car world. It needs a societal consensus, requiring major shifts of goals and expectations, and few of us will take these steps on our own. But this change will eventually happen to us whether we like it or not, perhaps in time to stave off
climatic disaster.

There are already attempts at designing a post-car future. City planners have been pushing the "20-minute neighborhood," where home, work, shopping and recreation are all within a 20 minute walk. Places like Portland, Oregon, are encouraging this kind of development with planning codes and tax breaks. These more compact, walkable neighborhoods would
seem to point us in the right direction, but so far they're extremely limited. Most people prefer car culture. And that includes Europe, and certainly Asia, as well. Unless the various governments enact explicit and enforceable sprawl restrictions, growth will trump any specific increases in efficiencies.

The one step we ought to take right now is to withdraw our support - financial, political and emotional - from the pursuit of an energy-efficient car. We'd have better luck creating a perpetual motion machine.

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Re: Biodiesel Basics

I own a carbon fiber racing bike.  While you guys are making bio fuels, I can cycle sixty miles!  Besides, now I have everything I need within ten miles max, and 95% within two.

Mike 

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Re: Biodiesel Basics

Mike,

You presume far too much about others when you know absolutely nothing about them. What you don't know about me and my motives could fill a library.

I would think a learned fella like you would learn some temperance. Suppose you keep the attacks to yourself. They are not welcome. On the other hand, I am always willing to debate and see your side. Who knows, you might even convince all of us that your one, true, superior way is the only way all humans should live!

I'm gonna go see if I can drive my diesel powered vehicle to the mall to buy a life.

Rog

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Re: Biodiesel Basics
Nime wrote:

Heck, you guys prepare really for a totall and absolute failure of everything. Like becoming a Robinson Crusoe. 

Some questions:

- what climate you live in, Roger? I presume the "fuel capacity" of a field of oil crops depends on length of vegetation period and that depends on climate - I wonder if mine is warm enough - plus that impacts the selection of the crop to grow. The key here is to get enough of the stuff to get you through the winter, especially with heating but also transportation.

- how much this whole process depends on machinery and energy? This whole pressing, stirring, washing etc. consumes energy too.

- re. "patch of heaven" - assuming everything breaks down etc. are you confident your self-sufficient little heaven won't be invaded by either people with nothing to loose or an oppresive government? Did you take any steps to increase security? (It is off-topic re. biodiesel, but what point in producing it if someone will tak it away from you)

(btw: Damnthematrix - you don't need any individual form of transport? Or are you fine with horse carts?)

I am in the Midwest USA. Long summers with a great growing season. Approx 120 gallons per acre of oil per year on an average growing year. 1 acre powers the tractors, the rest goes to electricity and the truck if I need it, which I think will be far less once TSHTF.

You can make the process completely without machinery, but I don't think there is much of a point to that.

Security is always something to consider. Every situation is different. Mine is very good at minimizing the need, but I also have the skills and tools should the need arise. Let's just say if you come to pay a visit, call ahead.

Unfortunately, I know I will need some form of transport for family and medical reasons. Horse and buggy just doesn't get it done for me, but maybe Mike is different.

Rog 

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Re: Biodiesel Basics

Mike, The purpose of this thread is to discuss how to make your own Diesel fuel. Not to argue whether or not an internal combusion engine is an efficient means of transportation or performing work. It is a well known fact that a bicycle is the most efficient means of transportation while an internal combustion engine can ideally at best extract 30% of the fuel's energy to produce mechanical energy. This cannot be argued.

Some people have requirements for diesel fuel that cannot be fulfilled using a bicycle or wheelbarrow.

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Re: Biodiesel Basics

I'm just saying making bio-diesel is a waste of time and effort.

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Re: Biodiesel Basics

Imagine this:  the Big Three go under (only a matter of time); you own a GM/Ford/Chrysler diesel SUV; where will you get parts?  How useful will fuel be for a vehicle that is immoblised because, I dunno, can't get a replacement injector, or the transmission shits itself, or....

I fail to see why making bio-diesel should even be mentioned on THIS site which is about economics and the repercussions thereof.  There must be THOUSANDS of sites where you can find out about this stuff without polluting this one. 

Mike 

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Re: Biodiesel Basics

Mike,

It is a waste of time... to you. On the other hand, a carbon fiber bike is a waste of time to me.

I genuinely feel you are an interesting guy and have a unique and unconventional perspective on things. Some times I also see you as pretty far off the mark of reality. You have said some pretty outlandish stuff here.

If you want to challenge me based on fact, premise, or perhaps a better idea, I will always entertain your input and give you the respect you deserve as a member of this community, and one who has been here longer than me at that. Your diatribe about the continued use of cars and chasing efficiency held nothing of value to this discussion, so it has been summarily dismissed because it lacks relevance to what is being discussed. This is not about the efficiency of cars, never has been.

This is about the ability for a small scale farmer to make biodiesel, and like it or not it works and allows for the production of electricity on days without wind or solar energy. It has the side benefit of allowing a single man to feed a large family through the use of tractors that would otherwise not be available. It assits in building homes for the related "refugees" that may be forced to leave the subdivisions and eventually become part of the permaculture. It also allows for the occasional but necessary (in my case) 3 hour commute to a neighboring city for family and medical reasons. None of these can be performed with your bike. For digging a basement, or cutting down and manipulating trees into the sawmill, or planting and harvesting an acre of potatoes, what gear do you put your bike in? How 'bout when you go pick up the hay bales at the neighbors for feeding the livestock? Do those go on the handlebars, or do you have a bikerack on the back. Or maybe you carry that back a pitchfork at a time while trying to build multiple houses and manage a farm? Tell me how the carbon fiber bike holds up on miles of dirt roads after the county maintenance stops and the roads become a long string of potholes where a road used to be? We can go on and on, but surely your dad schooled you in the merits of using the correct tool for the job, no?

Perhaps you could open your mind to the fact that not everyone lives in the same situation as you. You don't have all the answers for all the people. You sure come off strong like you know everything and the rest of us are just ignorant, at some point you may want to learn to take a deep breath before you start typing.

I doubt anything I could say will have any impact on you whatsoever, but hopefully someone else reading this might not so quickly dismiss an option that may have a real impact for them.

I'll let you have the last word here as a retort to this, and then I'll let it go since we are going no where with this. On the other hand, I look forward to sparring with you in the future over something we both know a little bit about so it is a fair fight.

Rog

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Ready
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 30 2008
Posts: 917
Re: Biodiesel Basics
Damnthematrix wrote:

Imagine this:  the Big Three go under (only a matter of time); you own a GM/Ford/Chrysler diesel SUV; where will you get parts?  How useful will fuel be for a vehicle that is immoblised because, I dunno, can't get a replacement injector, or the transmission shits itself, or....

I fail to see why making bio-diesel should even be mentioned on THIS site which is about economics and the repercussions thereof.  There must be THOUSANDS of sites where you can find out about this stuff without polluting this one. 

Mike 

 

Once again, you're right. you're right. I'm clearly out of my mind to think energy has anything to do with ChristMartenson.com.

So sorry to drag the site down.

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
Re: Biodiesel Basics
R_Eddy wrote:

Mike,

It is a waste of time... to you. On the other hand, a carbon fiber bike is a waste of time to me.

I genuinely feel you are an interesting guy and have a unique and unconventional perspective on things. Some times I also see you as pretty far off the mark of reality. You have said some pretty outlandish stuff here.

Well Rog.....  we're entering outlandish times... 

R_Eddy wrote:

If you want to challenge me based on fact, premise, or perhaps a better idea, I will always entertain your input and give you the respect you deserve as a member of this community, and one who has been here longer than me at that. Your diatribe about the continued use of cars and chasing efficiency held nothing of value to this discussion, so it has been summarily dismissed because it lacks relevance to what is being discussed. This is not about the efficiency of cars, never has been.

This is about the ability for a small scale farmer to make biodiesel, and like it or not it works and allows for the production of electricity on days without wind or solar energy. It has the side benefit of allowing a single man to feed a large family through the use of tractors that would otherwise not be available.

In a sustainable world, we don't need tractors, and men shouldn't have large families.  Humans farmed without tractors for 99.99% of the history of farming.  Compare this: tractors use unsustainable fuel, which belch out pollution.  Oxen eat free energy which they magically transform into fertiliser.  And you wonder why I don't think we need bio-diesel? 

Tractors are only used in Totalitarian Farming for one reason:  MAKE MONEY! 

R_Eddy wrote:

It assits in building homes for the related "refugees" that may be forced to leave the subdivisions and eventually become part of the permaculture. It also allows for the occasional but necessary (in my case) 3 hour commute to a neighboring city for family and medical reasons.

Ah well you see, THAT's what needs to change.  Lateral thinking: you're in the wrong place.  Time to move. 

R_Eddy wrote:

None of these can be performed with your bike. For digging a basement, or cutting down and manipulating trees into the sawmill, or planting and harvesting an acre of potatoes, what gear do you put your bike in?

We don't plant acres of potatoes, but we grow them in hay and do zero digging.  Leaves me time for lots of cycling...  And why would youdig a basement when you could bild a house on poles and have room underneath?

R_Eddy wrote:

How 'bout when you go pick up the hay bales at the neighbors for feeding the livestock? Do those go on the handlebars, or do you have a bikerack on the back.

We grow our own hay.....  that's what PERMACULTURISTS do, or should do.  It's funny you should say this, because I wrote an article in our latest Permanews (Newsletter) about exactly this.....  we need to relocalise everything, especially growing hay and fertiliser..... 

R_Eddy wrote:

Or maybe you carry that back a pitchfork at a time while trying to build multiple houses and manage a farm? Tell me how the carbon fiber bike holds up on miles of dirt roads after the county maintenance stops and the roads become a long string of potholes where a road used to be? We can go on and on, but surely your dad schooled you in the merits of using the correct tool for the job, no?

I hate to tell you this Rog.....  my pitch fork is my favourite tool! 

R_Eddy wrote:

Perhaps you could open your mind to the fact that not everyone lives in the same situation as you. You don't have all the answers for all the people. You sure come off strong like you know everything and the rest of us are just ignorant, at some point you may want to learn to take a deep breath before you start typing.

Roger, I'm on a mission to make people THINK there are alyernatives to the current nonsense.  If you don't like it, it's not my problem.  The fact remains that growing biomass to make fuel is a waste of farmalnd that could be used to feed people and the animals we need for protein, and the hay, and the legumes for green manure and fodder. 

R_Eddy wrote:

I doubt anything I could say will have any impact on you whatsoever, but hopefully someone else reading this might not so quickly dismiss an option that may have a real impact for them.

No it won't.  The difference betweenyou and me is that I am READY for no oil, and you're not.I don'treally care who has the last word, it's really not important, what IS important is that people reading this discover there just might be better uses of time and resources than making fuel....  which BTW just might take up ALL your time.

Mike 

A. M.'s picture
A. M.
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 22 2008
Posts: 2368
Re: Biodiesel Basics

Edited. Useless comment.

Mike - you're discourteous and embarassing yourself.

Your opinion is not the only one.

bearing01's picture
bearing01
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 8 2008
Posts: 153
Re: Biodiesel Basics
Damnthematrix wrote:

Imagine this:  the Big Three go under (only a matter of time); you own a GM/Ford/Chrysler diesel SUV; where will you get parts?  How useful will fuel be for a vehicle that is immoblised because, I dunno, can't get a replacement injector, or the transmission shits itself, or....

The big 3 don't make all the parts themselves.  The car companies just buy the parts and assemble the cars using one of several suppliers that build the parts to meet GM/Ford specifications.  These are separate companies that make the parts to OEM specifications.   Also, there are many aftermarket producers and suppliers for these parts that are superior to the OEM products.  Here in the USA you can pick up a Jegs or other car parts catalogues and basically build your own vintage Camero from the ground up with all after market parts.  Many people actually do this to create show-cars.  As long as there are millions of cars on the roads and a demand to keep these cars maintained there will be companies producing these parts to make a profit.  

The sky will not fall.  The era of the automobile will not end.  When petroleum runs out there will be a new technology developed to replace it.

gyrogearloose's picture
gyrogearloose
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 8 2008
Posts: 537
Re: Biodiesel Basics
Damnthematrix wrote:

No it won't.  The difference betweenyou and me is that I am READY for no oil, and you're not.

Mike 

Hi Mike

I do not recall if you have mentiond what you use currently for cooking,and what you plan to use when there is no oil

Cheers Hamish

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Nime
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 29 2009
Posts: 88
Re: Biodiesel Basics

(edited out not to fuel the useless debate not about fuel)

Nime's picture
Nime
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 29 2009
Posts: 88
Re: Biodiesel Basics
R_Eddy wrote:

I am in the Midwest USA. Long summers with a great growing season. Approx 120 gallons per acre of oil per year on an average growing year. 1 acre powers the tractors, the rest goes to electricity and the truck if I need it, which I think will be far less once TSHTF.

What latitude?   

 

R_Eddy wrote:

You can make the process completely without machinery, but I don't think there is much of a point to that.

My question was rather whether the energy balance is positive, that is the energy value of the BD you get is more than energy put into cultivation and machinery to process the plants. If yes, then this a very good way to harvest solar energy for transportation for example.  

R_Eddy wrote:

Security is always something to consider. Every situation is different. Mine is very good at minimizing the need, but I also have the skills and tools should the need arise. Let's just say if you come to pay a visit, call ahead.

I will. :D

(as mentioned in the other thread I don't have most of the options you do in this department, so this is a major concern, but this is off topic here) 

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