Biodiesel Basics 
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Biodiesel Facts
Biodiesel is a clean burning diesel fuel replacement made from natural, renewable sources, such as new and used vegetable oils and animal fats. It will run in any diesel engine with no modifications and can be mixed with regular diesel fuel in any ratio. Biodiesel is non toxic and biodegradable. It can be made by nearly anyone in a simple process using equipment available from this web site.

ASTM Standard D6751

The American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) In December of 2001 approved the full standard for biodiesel, with the designation of D6751. The approval of this biodiesel standard, and the technical reviews necessary to secure its approval, has provided both the engine community and customers with the information needed to assure trouble free operation with biodiesel.

Vehicle Compatibility

Biodiesel will run in nearly any vehicle and almost all types of equipment that run regular diesel fuel.

Vehicles newer than 10 years old require no modifications to run biodiesel. Some older vehicles will need to have rubber fuel lines replaced with synthetic lines such as Viton®.

Due to its solvent properties, biodiesel will clean out fuel systems. On some older vehicles, the result is that the fuel filter will need to be changed more often than normal when first using biodiesel.

Engine Performance

Biodiesel has demonstrated very similar power ratings to petroleum diesel, and similar fuel efficiency. Biodiesel contains less energy (BTU's) than standard diesel fuel, but this is made up by the fact that the fuel burns more completely. It will also keep fuel lines, injectors and other engine components clean to maintain improved combustion and efficiency. Biodiesel has much better lubricity properties and a higher cetane value than regular diesel. The result is increased engine life and less maintenance. Testing has shown that engines are much cleaner and show less wear when biodiesel or biodiesel blends are used.

Warranty Issues

Use of biodiesel does not void a vehicles warranty; this is prohibited by the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. Manufacturers recommendations for certain percentage blends of biodiesel are just that, recommendations.

Diesel engine companies warranty the product they make. They warranty their engines for “materials and workmanship.” If there is a problem with an engine part or with engine operation due to an error in manufacturing or assembly within the warranty period, the problem should be covered by the engine company. Typically, an engine company will define what fuel the engine was designed for and will recommend the use of that fuel to their customers in their owner's manuals. Engine companies do not warranty fuel - whether that fuel is biodiesel or petrodiesel fuel.

If there are engine problems caused by a fuel, these problems are not related to the materials or workmanship of the engine, but are the responsibility of the fuel supplier and not the engine manufacturer. Concerned biodiesel users should consult their warranty statement.

 Cold Weather Issues

Like petroleum diesel fuel, biodiesel clouds when the weather gets cold. At even colder temperatures the biodiesel gels and won't flow or pour. It is possible to use biodiesel in very cold weather, as has been proven at ski areas and national parks throughout the country.

One option to lower the cloud point of biodiesel is to start with a vegetable oil that hardens at cooler temperatures such as canola oil or soy oil. Luckily these are the two most commonly used cooking oils in the United States and are readily available. It is possible to run 100% biodiesel made from canola oil with no additives to temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

If it is necessary to run the fuel in colder temperatures, another option is to mix the biodiesel with #1 or #2 diesel fuel. If a still lower gel point temperature is required, then fuel additives can be added to the fuel. Using these methods it is possible to run biodiesel mixes at temperatures below zero degrees Fahrenheit.

When using biodiesel in very cold temperatures it is recommended to test the gel point of the fuel by placing a sample of fuel with a thermometer either outside in cold temperatures or in a freezer in order to determine the actual gel point of the fuel.

Environmental Benefits

 Biodiesel is one of the cleanest burning and most environmentally friendly fuels in the world. It has a negative net carbon output, as the plants required to produce the fuel absorb more carbon than the fuel emits when burned. Carbon dioxide is understood to be the leading contributor of global warming.

Biodiesel burns much more completely than regular diesel fuel. This reduces exhaust smoke (particulates) emissions by up to 75% so the usual black cloud associated with a diesel engine can be eliminated.

In 2000, biodiesel became the only alternative fuel in the United States to have successfully completed the EPA-required Tier I and Tier II health effects testing under the Clean Air Act. These independent tests conclusively demonstrated significant reduction of virtually all regulated emissions.

Biodiesel produces 100% less sulfur dioxide than petroleum based diesel, and sulfur dioxide is the major component of acid rain.

Biodiesel degrades about 4 times faster than petroleum diesel after spillage, with most of a spill broken down after just 28 days.

Safety & Handling

In general biodiesel is very safe to handle. It is the only fuel to have been deemed nontoxic at any level. It is less irritating to skin than soap and water, is less toxic than table salt and biodegrades more quickly than sugar.

Biodiesel is classified as a combustible material and is not considered flammable, making is much less of a fire hazard than petroleum fuels. Biodiesel has no HAZMAT rating and can even be mailed using standard shipping methods.

Usage Summary

By far the biggest use of biodiesel is in the transportation industry. From passenger cars and trucks to 18 wheelers, biodiesel is used to power all types of vehicles. The diesel engine has a reputation for being much longer lasting and dependable than gasoline engines. Diesels are also far more efficient than gasoline engines and usually get far better mileage than an equivalent gas powered vehicle. For example a VW Jetta TDI will get up to 50 miles per gallon, while still producing plenty of power. Hence the wide usage of diesel engines in the industrial transportation field. Modern diesel engines are extremely reliable and can be cleaner burning than a brand new hybrid when running biodiesel.

Transportation is far from the only use of biodiesel. On an individual level, it can be used to run many oil furnaces to heat houses and buildings. It can run generators to provide electricity and will even power some air conditioners and hot water heaters. Indeed it is possible to go completely off the grid running biodiesel.

On an industrial level biodiesel has even more uses. The majority of heavy equipment used in industry are powered by diesel engines. Most large ships are powered by diesel as are tractors, mining equipment, bulldozers and far many other types of equipment that are too numerous to list here. Biodiesel has many uses in industry and is especially attractive where environmental issues or air quality is important.

 Diesel Vehicles Available in the USA
Passenger Cars

 VW New Beetle TDI

1.9L TDI-PD 100HP 100hp @ 4000rpm 177lb-ft @ 1800-2400rpm MSRP: $17,630 - $20,835

 VW Jetta TDI

1.9L TDI-PD 100HP 100hp @ 4000rpm 177lb-ft @ 1800-2400rpm MSRP: $18,670 - $21,555

 VW Passat TDI

2.0L TDI 134HP 134hp @ 4000rpm 247lb-ft @ 1900rpm MSRP: $23,065 - $24,660

 VW Golf TDI

1.9L TDI-PD 100HP 100hp @ 4000rpm 177lb-ft @ 1800-2400rpm MSRP: $17,200 - $20,395

 Mercedes E320 CDI

3.2L 24-valve Inline 6 engine 201 hp @ 4,200 rpm 369 lb-ft @ 1,800 - 2,600 rpm 0-60 mph in 6.6 seconds MSRP: $49,795

 VW Jetta Wagon TDI

1.9L TDI-PD 100HP 100hp @ 4000rpm 177lb-ft @ 1800-2400rpm MSRP: $19,670 - $22,555

 VW Passat Wagon TDI

2.0L TDI 134HP 134hp @ 4000rpm 247lb-ft @ 1900rpm MSRP: $24,060 - $25,660


 Jeep Liberty 2.8L Turbo Diesel

Fuel Injection: Direct 23,000 PSI Power (SAE net): 160 hp @ 3800 rpm Emission Controls: EGR, catalytic converters Estimated EPA Fuel Economy mpg (City/Hwy): Automatic 21/2

 VW Toureg V10 TDI

5.0L V10 TDI 310HP 310hp @ 3750rpm 553lb-ft @ 2000rpm MSRP: $57,800


 Dodge Trucks

Full line of Cummins diesel trucks. Available in several different models.

 Ford Trucks

Available in the E-Series and F-Series models.

 Chevy Trucks

Silverado, GMC Sierra

Used Vehicles

VW TDIs: Jetta, Beetle, Golf, mid-90s Passat, Pickup, Vanagon

Mercedes diesels: (Sedans and wagons) '81 to '85: 300D, SD and SDL Earlier: 300D and 240D The 300s were 5-cylinder, later models with turbo, the 240s all 4-cylinder non-turbo. Later: '87 300TD wagon, 6-cylinder '87 300SD sedan, 6-cylinder 190D, non-turbo 4-cylinder - '90's - 300D sedans and 300TD wagons went back to a 5-cylinder turbo, 300SD still had the 6-cylinder, 350 Unimog truck

BMW diesels: 524TD or 528TD, 1984-1985, 6-cylinder. Rare. The same engine was used in the mid-'80s Lincoln Continental Town Car, also rare.

Peugeot diesels: 505, 504 sedans and wagons

Nissan diesels: Nissan Camry Nissan Sentra Nissan pickup (4x4 turbo diesel)

Volvo diesel car

Audi 5000 diesel 1979-83

Isuzu Imark car 1.8 liter Isuzu PUP pickup truck 2.2 liter non-turbo and turbo

Toyota Pickup Toyota Camry

Mazda Pickup truck 1984, B2200

Mitsubishi Mighty Max Pickup truck

General Motors Oldsmobile diesel engines made by General Motors from 1978-1985. The V8 5.7 liter was fitted to Oldsmobile sedans, Cadillacs and Chevrolets, and some pick-ups. The V6 4.3 liter was available in smaller front-wheel-drive vehicles, e.g.. Cutlass Calais. Chevrolet car (3.5L) Chevrolet trucks (6.2L-6.5L, Duramax diesel) Chevrolet LUV (Isuzu pickup) Chevrolet Chevette (1.8 liter Isuzu diesel engine)

Ford Powerstroke diesel, from 1997 - direct-injection, electronic controls, in pickups, vans, the Expedition, and the Excursion Pre-1997: Ford/Navistar 7.3L V8, preceded by the Ford/Navistar 6.9L V8, both indirect injection Ford Topaz (Mazda diesel)

Dodge trucks Cummings diesel

Chevrolet Suburban 6.2 and 6.5 GM diesel International Scout (Nissan diesel motor)

Isuzu Trooper 2.2 liter non-turbo and turbo

Toyota Land Cruisers imported from Canada.

Chrysler Jeep -diesels brought in from Canada, Pre-74

Land Rovers, 4 cyl. 2.5 non-turbo diesel

Home Heating

Biodiesel is an excellent choice as a home heating fuel. It can be used in just about any furnace, stove or heater that normally uses #2 heating oil. Common sense practice needs to be used in fuel storage and in correctly insulating pipes in cold temperatures. In some cases it might be necessary to use a biodiesel blend, in others it is possible to heat homes using 100% biodiesel.

The use of biodiesel to heat homes and buildings is common practice in Europe, but it is a fairly new concept in the United States. Studies of blends of biodiesel and heating oil have been completed by a variety of groups and organizations with very positive results

Electricity Generation

Biodiesel makes a lot of sense for generating electricity. Diesel generators will run fine on biodiesel and it is an inexpensive, clean and renewable way of creating electricity. Far superior to the typical coal burning electricity generating plants currently being used in the United States. Can easily be done on a small or large scale, power your cabin or your community using biodiesel.

Business and Industry

There is tremendous potential for biodiesel use in business and industry. The range of possible applications are far too numerous to list on this site, but just about any business that uses diesel fuel can benefit by switching to biodiesel. They can also feel good about helping the environment and reducing our dependency on foreign oil, all while saving money and supporting local farmers. It's a win win situation for all involved.


 Biodiesel can me made by nearly anyone in a simple process that is often compared to brewing beer. For this reason it is possible for nearly anyone to take control of their own energy independence by making their own fuel.

It is made through a chemical reaction known as transesterification, which involves replacing the glycerol component of an oil with an alcohol in the presence of a catalyst.

There are three primary ingredients needed:

 The primary component for making biodiesel is an oil or fat. For home-brewers this is commonly waste vegetable oil, which is usually available for free from local restaurants.

Farmers in the United States often use virgin vegetable oil - grown from canola or soybeans. Farmers have the ability to grow both their own feedstock for oil conversion and ethanol to brew biodiesel to run tractors, trucks and other equipment. Many farmers have achieved energy independence through the use of biodiesel.

Larger scale producers may use recycled cooking oil, virgin oil, as well as animal fats, algae, fish oils, trap grease and many other types of oils or fats. Indeed one of the beauties of making biodiesel is the wide variety of choices in the ingredients that may be used.

 The second ingredient is a type of alcohol. When using recycled vegetable oil, the most common choice is Methanol or racing fuel, which is readily available for purchase throughout the country - see "Buying Methanol". For doing test batches "Heet" brand gas antifreeze contains nearly 100% methanol.

When using virgin vegetable oil, it is often possible to use ethanol instead, however the ethanol cannot contain water and the vegetable oil needs to be de-watered and de-gummed when you make biodiesel from ethanol.

 The final ingredient is a catalyst. One option for a catalyst is Sodium Hydroxide (NAOH), which is available at local grocery and hardware stores as a drain cleaner. The most common brand is Red Devil Lye 

Another option is Potassium Hydroxide (KOH). One advantage to using KOH as a catalyst, is that the glycerin by-product from the chemical reaction will be far less toxic than when using sodium hydroxide. Many people find it is possible to compost their glycerin by-product when using KOH as a catalyst or to turn the glycerin into a fertilizer.

 Oil Collection
While it is possible to make biodiesel out of many different types of oil, by far the most popular type of oil used by small scale producers is "used cooking oil". Restaurants normally have to pay grease collection companies to have their used cooking oil hauled away. For this reason, it is normally fairly easy to make arrangements with restaurants to let you take their used oil for free.

The best method is to arrange with the restaurants to pour their cooking oil back into the containers it arrived in. Normally five gallon carboys, surrounded by cardboard as shown in the photo. This way the oil is not exposed to water, dirt and other contaminants as it can be in an outdoors grease dumpster or barrel. Also, once the oil is placed in the grease collection barrel or dumpster, it often times becomes the property of the grease collection company.

If a restaurant does not want to put the oil back into the original containers, they will often allow you to supply your own barrel. Then you can simply pump the oil out of that barrel into another container, or switch an empty barrel for the full one.

Oil Quality

The cleaner and newer the cooking oil, the easier it is to make quality biodiesel. Generally the lighter the color and the clearer the oil, the better. Be careful of oil that is very dark or oil that looks like it has a lot of extra particulate immersed in the oil. Watch out for oil that smells bad. The oil should smell like cooking oil and not have a spoiled, bacteria type of smell. If you are unsure if the oil is good, the best bet is to take a half gallon sample. Run a titration on the oil and make a small test batch. Then if you get good fuel, you can be more confident in collecting larger amounts of oil and making full size batches of fuel with it.

When making biodiesel out of used oil or grease, it is important to determine the free fatty acid content. This is because the amount of catalyst used in the biodiesel reaction is determined by the amount of free fatty acids present in the oil or grease. The way to determine this is through a process known as titration.

The procedure is straightforward:

1. Dissolve 1 gram of catalyst (either Lye or Potassium Hydroxide) in one liter of distilled water.

2. Measure out 10ml of isopropyl alcohol (90% or better) into a small container.

3. Mix in 1ml of the oil to be tested with the alcohol. Make sure it mixes thoroughly.

4. Mix in 2-3 drops of pH indicator solution (phenolphthalein or phenol red).

5. Start adding water/catalyst solution to mixture while stirring. Measure how much solution is required to bring the solution to a stable violet or pink color (approximately pH 8.5). Keep track of how many milliliters were used.

That's it!

If the oil required less than 3ml of solution, it is probably very good oil. If it required 3-6 ml it is most likely adequate oil for making biodiesel. Anything over 6ml is not very good oil, but it may still be possible to use this oil to make high quality fuel.

Regardless of your titration results, it is highly recommended to make a 1 liter test batch of fuel before proceeding to the full size batches.

 Test Batches

It's always a good idea to make small test batches of biodiesel before making a full batch. It's especially important to make test batches when dealing with any new sources of oil, questionable oil, or if you're not absolutely sure of your titration results. This way, any problems are limited to a quart or a liter as opposed to 20 or 40 gallons.

Luckily it's quite easy to make a 1 liter test batch of biodiesel. Start by heating up 1 liter of oil to 120F. In a separate leak proof container, mix together 220 ml of methanol with the amount of potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide determined by your titration.

If using Potassium Hydroxide: New Oil - 7 grams, Used Oil - 7 grams + 1 gram for every milliliter of catalyst/water solution needed in titration. For example if your titration used 3.5 ml, then you would use 7 + 3.5 = 10.5 grams of potassium hydroxide.

If using Sodium Hydroxide: New Oil - 5 grams, Used Oil - 5 grams + 1 gram for every milliliter of catalyst used in titration. For example if your titration took 4 ml, then you would use 5 + 4 = 9 grams of sodium hydroxide.

You can use the calculator below to determine how much catalyst to use.

Mix methoxide until all catalyst is dissolved, then carefully pour into oil. Make sure container is completely leak-proof, then mix together for 10-15 minutes.

Allow to settle for 1 - 8 hours.

Success: Clear separation between the biodiesel and the glycerol, two distinct layers. At least 10% glycerol by volume.


1. Less than 10% glycerol - Most likely did not use enough catalyst. Try again adding more catalyst.

2. Significant layer of soap between biodiesel and glycerol - Indicates too much catalyst was used. Try again with less catalyst.

3. Glop - Could indicate bad oil or incorrect titration. Redo test batch, if you get glop again, consider not using that oil source.

Caution: Methanol, Methoxide (Methanol mixed with catalyst), Lye and Potassium Hydroxide are all dangerous chemicals. Read MSDS sheets before using. Work in well ventilated area and always wear protective clothing, goggles, gloves and mask when dealing with these chemicals.

Full Size Batches

 The biodiesel diesel machine processing systems are capable of making batches of biodiesel from 1 to 42 gallons at a time. The system is designed to be as automated and simple as possible. Almost anyone can learn to make their own biodiesel with a biodiesel machine refiners.

Note: This is meant as an overview, please read your biodiesl refining machine manual carefully and be sure you understand the whole procedure before attempting to make your own fuel.

 1. Filter 40 gallons of oil to about 200 microns, then pour or pump into oil preheating unit.
 2. Heat oil to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
 3. Draw oil into the processing unit and recirculate to get good oil mixture for titration sample.
 4. Perform titration to determine amount of catalyst needed
  5. Use the calculator in your manual to determine the amount of catalyst to use.
 6. If this is a new oil source or you have any doubts about the oil or your titration results, make a 1 liter test batch of fuel.
  7. Measure catalyst and pour into premix tank.
 8. Pump 8.8 gallons of methanol into premix tank.
 9. Mix oil with methoxide (methanol/catalyst mix) for 1 hour.
 10. After 1 -2 hours drain glycerol off bottom of processor. Let sit for 8 hours and drain balance of glycerol off.

Water washing biodiesel is very important to to remove contaminants, which could otherwise damage engines or fuel injector pumps. Washing removes soap, excess methanol, particulates and any other water soluble particulates in our fuel.

The biodiesel refining machnes both come with a built in water misting system. 

1. Hook a water hose onto the input side of the FuelMeister processing system, and turn on for 1 to 2 hours. This will mist about 5 to 10 gallons of water through the fuel. The water is heavier than the fuel, so it will pass through the fuel, removing contaminants as it flows to the bottom of the tank.

Note: Warm water will work better than cold water and soft water works better than hard water. If you are having mist washing problems, consider adding a heater or a water softener to your wash water.

2. Let sit for 1 hour or more to allow the surface contact with the water to remove contaminants from the fuel.

3. Drain water from bottom of tank.

4. Repeat at least two more times until drain water is coming out fairly clean.

5. Once the bulk of the soap has been removed along with the methanol and particulates. Finish getting the last of the soap out of your fuel with a bubble washer.

6. Heat tank to about 90°F, add about 5 gallons of water, turn on bubble washer and allow tank to bubble wash for 2 - 8 hours.

7. Drain soapy water and repeat until water being drained out is as clean as the water being added to the tank.

8. Once the fuel has been washed, there will still be a very small amount of water suspended in the biodiesel. The fuel will not be clear because of this water. The last step is to either open the cover of the FuelMeister or pump the fuel into an open top container. Then let the fuel be exposed to air for a few days until all the water evaporates from the biodiesel. The fuel will take on a clear appearance and you should be able to look through a small container of the fuel and read newsprint on the other side

Quality Control

One of the most important aspects of brewing biodiesel is making sure you have quality fuel before running it in your diesel engine. Bad quality fuel can damage key engine components and cause breakdowns. Luckily it's fairly easy to make sure you are making good quality biodiesel.

The most important part of quality control, is making sure your reaction went properly in the first place. Try to start with the best quality oil you can find, do careful and accurate titrations and monitor your reaction. Make sure you get 2 distinct layers, one of glycerin and one of biodiesel. Make sure you drained at least 10% glycerin off the bottom of your fuel. Wash your fuel thoroughly until the water coming out looks like the water going in and you can see no soap in the fuel. Let your finished fuel be exposed to air for several days until suspended water particles evaporate and your fuel is clear. Once you are sure all of these steps were followed, it is time to test your fuel for quality.

Test #1 - Clarity
Take an approximately 500ml sample of your fuel in a clear container. You should be able to read newsprint through it. If you cannot see through the fuel it's an indication there may still be water, glycerin, monoglycerides or diglycerides in your fuel. You don't want any of these in your finished fuel.

Test #2 Miscibility
Using your 500ml sample, mix in about 1 cup of water. Shake until water mixes with the fuel. Let sit for a few minutes. The fuel should separate from the water and there should be no layer of soap between the two layers. If soap is created, it's an indication further washing is needed. If the fuel does not separate easily, it's an indication of poor quality fuel.

Test #3 Odor
Smell the fuel, it should have a faint odor of vegetable oil with no alcohol type smell.

Other Tests
If your reaction went according to plan, and the biodiesel passed the three tests shown above, you can be confident you have good fuel. However it is possible to run other tests to be sure. You can test the pH of the fuel exactly the way you titrated your original oil. Good biodiesel should have a pH of around 7. You can test the specific gravity of the fuel with a hydrometer, or you can even send the fuel out to a lab and have it tested to see if it meets ASTM D6751 specifications. Generally these tests cost approximately $100 one such lab is Caleb Brett

Emulsion Issues

Emulsions occur when water becomes mixed with the fuel during a water wash and will not separate. The result looks like a coffee milkshake. Biodiesel emulsions occur most commonly when fuel with a lot of soap in it is washed to vigorously. This is one of the reasons we recommend mist washing followed by bubble washing. You are less likely to get an emulsion with a light mist than with bubble washing.

The best policy is to avoid emulsions by carefully washing your fuel and always doing accurate titration's to avoid excess soap in you fuel. However if you do get an emulsion there are ways to deal with it.

Emulsion Breaking
If you have a fairly minor emulsion, the best policy is to let the biodiesel sit for a few minutes or several hours to see if the emulsion breaks on it's own.

For emulsions that will not break, you can break them with glycerin. For that reason it is a good idea to save some glycerin you have drained off previous biodiesel batches, in case of a serious emulsion. Here is the procedure:

Add 10% by volume glycerin into the emulsified biodiesel and mix. Let sit for a reasonable length of time. See if emulsion starts to break. If not add 10% more and mix. Repeat until emulsion breaks. When it does, glycerin will separate from biodiesel just like in a normal reaction. Drain off glycerin and wash as normal.

Ingredients & Supplies

Potassium Hydroxide
Sodium Hydroxide

Methanol is a very common chemical and quite easy to come by. It comes in 3 grades - industrial grade, racing grade and chemical grade. The chemical grade and racing grade contain less water, which makes them preferable for producing biodiesel, but the industrial grade will work. From a price and quality perspective, racing grade methanol is the preferred grade to use. It is racing fuel and as such can be found at race tracks and high performance automotive stores. If you cannot find race grade methanol, look for "Oil Companies" in the yellow pages and you will usually be able to find places that carry industrial grade methanol quite easily in most locations. Here are some methanol distributors:

United States
Sunoco Race Fuels (many locations) Web:
Turbo Blue Racing Gasolines (many locations) Web:
VP Racing Fuels, Inc. (many locations) Web:

ERC Racing Fuels - 610 E. Llewelling Blvd, San Lorenzo, CA 94580

F and L Co., Inc. Long Beach, CA Web:

Hill Petroleum - Denver, CO
Dial Oil - Pagosa Springs, CO

Competition Fuels, Inc. Indianapolis, IN
Torco Racing Fuels N. Decatur, MI Web:
Koch Performance Racing Fuels Golden Valley, MN Web:
Carr Oil Racing Fuels Tupelo, MS Web:
Bazell Race Fuels - Logan, OH Web:
Kemco Oil 1374 E. Main Lehi, UT 84043-9705 (801) 768-4408
Hi-Valley Chemical 1134 W 850 N Centerville, UT (801) 295-9591
World Wide Racing Fuels New Canton, VA Web:

If you are using virgin oil or oil that has been careful de-watered it is possible to use ethanol. Be sure to use a grade of ethanol that contains little to no water.


There are two by-products associated with making biodiesel, glycerol and soap.

Glycerol - The glycerol by-product will contain the catalyst and about half the excess methanol from the reaction There are several options for dealing with this glycerol by-product. When using Potassium Hydroxide (KOH) as a catalyst, it is possible to use the glycerol to make fertilizer or to simply compost it.

When using Lye, which is Sodium Hydroxide (NAOH), it is possible to evaporate or boil off the methanol (be careful of the methanol fumes) and to quite easily turn the glycerol into soap.

Water - The water drained off the bottom of the biodiesel will contain soap and methanol. You can add acid to this water until the pH is neutral, then dispose of it down the sewer or in your yard.

Most people do not go to this much trouble, because small amounts of methanol and soap in the sewer are not generally thought to be a major problem and they simply dispose of the water as you would other soapy water.


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Copyright © Silesia Group Inc 1994