How to Make Biodiesel
In order to thin vegetable oil to be used in a diesel engine, it can be mixed with petroleum based diesel fuel in a ratio of as little as 10 parts vegetable oil to 1 part diesel fuel. Vegetable oil needs to be preheated before use, because this will also help make it thinner. For most diesel engines, at least a ratio of 2 parts vegetable to 8 parts diesel fuel is recommended.
Many people use additives such as turpentine to mix with vegetable oil to make their own biodiesel. There is almost nothing known about the effects of this on the engine. If it runs at all, it will not run well.
While professional grade biodiesel requires little or modifications to the engine to run, there are engine modifications required for burning straight vegetable oil. The spark plugs and fuel injectors must be replaced to run on biodiesel made from pure vegetable oil.
Before converting your engine or using biodiesel or biodiesel blends in your vehicle, make sure this will not void your manufacturer’s warranty. European manufacturers and manufacturers in the United States or other countries handle these warranties differently.
There is an inherent danger in making your own biodiesel fuel. If you attempt it, take any and all necessary or recommended precautions. Use new vegetable oil that has not been used for cooking. There are tests that can determine the quality of self made biodiesel.
Self made biodiesel is a combination of triglycerides and methanol. The process of combining these two to make biodiesel is called transesterification. For the alcohol content in biodiesel, you can use either methanol or ethanol. There is no homemade process for methanol, but ethanol is a grain alcohol. The use of ethanol is not recommended for homemade biodiesel.
Methanol used for biodiesel must be 99 percent pure. There are many recipes for biodiesel using an array of common household and easy to find products. The blends and heating process differ from recipe to recipe. When attempting to make homemade biodiesel fuel, it is very important to take safety precautions. The alcohols used in these processes are flammable and many can explode.
There are step by step processes for each method that are explained in detail by their developers. A keyword search in any search engine will produce thousands of results. Be sure to choose one that is safe and takes into account what is best for the diesel engine you will be using it in.