I spent the evening after dinner adding plumbing between my various BioDiesel processing gear. I should have it finished tomorrow. The whole system is composed of:
- 2 Settling tanks where waste veggie oil (WVO) sits to separate out water and silt.
- 1 “Appleseed” processor where the chemical reaction takes place
- 1 Wash tank, where the BioDiesel sits post-processing, then gets washed
I’m also building a drying tank for post-wash removal of residual water. Previously I let it sit in a barrel, but now that I’m supplying fuel for 3 people/4 cars I need to accelerate the process a bit. (I share my output with my friend John, and now with another guy Mike, who both supply me with sources of WVO. WVO is tough to find as there is a large commercial BioDiesel producer near me who has locked up all the supply!)
Anyway, up until now I’ve moved oil from the settling tanks to the processor, and from the processor to the wash tank with a hose. I also move the finished BioDiesel from the wash tank to the final settling/filtering barrel with 5-gallon “cubie” bottles. Not exactly the most efficient, or the cleanest way of doing things! The hose was a PITA to use, and always dripped oil everywhere when I removed it from the fittings. It also leaked unless I got all the fittings perfect.
Now I’ll be able to move oil, and finished BioDiesel around using pipes and the Appleseed’s pump, by turning ball valves. It all looks pretty Rube Goldberg-ish, but it should actually simplify the work, and keep my work area a LOT cleaner.
The processor is lower than the WVO settling tanks, so gravity, plus the pump will help fill the processor. The final settling/filter barrel is higher however, and a fair distance away, so I will likely be adding a second pump to the system before it is complete.
I’ll take some pictures when I’m done.