Remove All those Impurities through Biodiesel Washing
Biodiesel washing is done to achieve the finest quality of your biodiesel. The process is made to remove all the impurities to your product which includes soaps, food particles and methanol. However, some residue still remains despite of the process. There may be over the counter products available to dry wash your biodiesel, it is still better to clean your untreated fuel into a biodiesel washing machine. Water contained in the biodiesel can promote biological growth as the oil degrades.
Washed biodiesel can power some lighting and heating equipment or diesel engines. It could also eliminate unreacted methanol which could be purified and cultivated for future use. If methanol is suspended in the fuel, it would more likely cause a spark or explosion and eat away the parts of your engine. Unwashed biodiesel still contains sodium hydroxide and some alcohol which are chemical basis. This may cause harm to your engine. As for the soap component, it will decrease the lubricity of your fuel.
The biodiesel washing process can be completed through three techniques, mist washing, agitation washing and bubble washing. All of these are done by mixing the fuel with water. Since water is weighty than biodiesel, it soaks up the excess soap, alcohol and sodium hydroxide suspended in it. To produce the best quality for your biodiesel, it is recommended to wash it several times. The first wash will leave the water in a milky state and as the process goes, the water will become clearer. If your biodiesel has too much sodium hydroxide, it will form soap when combined with water which is very time-consuming.
All of the three techniques of biodiesel washing are used in large batches. In mist washing, a fine, gentle vapor of water is sprayed to float on the surface of the biodiesel. As the mist drops through the fuel, it will hoist the impurities ion its way down. Repeat the process until you have a number of gallons of milky water at the bottom of the container and until clean water is exhausted. A misting nozzle from can be purchased at a nearby pet store.
Agitation washing calls for stirring, settling and draining biodiesel washing water off the fuel. This is done in a biodiesel wash tank with equal parts of unwashed biodiesel and water. After draining, biodiesel is left to parch in the sun for a few days.
In bubble washing, you can go to an aquarium supply to purchase a hose, air stone and air pump. The air stone is placed into the layer of water under the fuel in a container. Add approximately 1/3 parts of water. Remember to do this lightly before starting the air pump. When the bubbles rise, they are coated with water which then lifts the impurities up and back down throughout the fuel. This is done for several hours until clear water is drained.
After every washing technique, biodiesel drying is the next step. This is done by placing the covered biodiesel under a sunlit position for a couple of days. It can also be heated up to approximately 120°F for a few fours. Your finished product is now a safe fuel which can be used in any engine.