Did you know that you can actually make bio diesel fuel with ingredients from your kitchen and a few chemicals? Vegetable oil is used to create this alternative to regular diesel to run diesel-fueled engines. This type of bio diesel fuel can also be mixed with the petroleum-based form of diesel. Bio diesel fuel made from fresh vegetable oil is a form of less-expensive, clean burning fuel that is renewable and good for the environment.
- 200 milliliters methyl alcohol (methanol) – you can use HEET fuel treatment
- 3.5 grams sodium hydroxide (lye) – used to clean drains like Red Devil
- 1 liter fresh vegetable oil – canola, corn oil or soybean
- Glass blender – never use a blender with a plastic pitcher; the blender should have a slow speed setting
- Digital scale – should be able to measure with accuracy 3.5 grams
- Beaker or glass jar that can hold 200 milliliters – you can use a liquid measuring cup filled with 200 milliliters of water, pour the water into the glass jar then use a marker to indicate on the outside of the jar where 200 milliliters is on the jar
- Measuring cup – for the vegetable oil
- 2 quart wide-mouth jars –plastic or glass will do
- Safety glasses
The steps in turning vegetable oil into bio diesel fuel are:
- Prepare your materials in a warm room. 70° F or warmer should do. If the temperature in the room is too low, you may not achieve the right chemical reaction necessary to create bio diesel fuel. The room should also be well-ventilated.
- Transfer the methanol into the glass blender. Set the blender on the lowest setting.
- Add the sodium hydroxide slowly. Allow the chemicals to mix well. At low speed, this should take about 2 minutes. This chemical reaction produces sodium methoxide.
- Pour in the vegetable oil in a slow, steady stream. Allow all the ingredients to mix together for at least 20 to 30 minutes at low speed.
- Transfer mixture in a jar. The mixture will begin to separate. The layer in the bottom is glycerin while the layer on the top is bio diesel.
- Leave the mixture in the jar for a few hours until the bio diesel separates fully from the glycerin.
- Pour out the bio diesel into another jar separating it from the glycerin. You can also use a pump or a turkey baster to separate the two liquids. Glycerin can be stored and used for other projects.
- Wear a mask, gloves and safety goggles when handling the chemicals. Methanol and sodium hydroxide are toxic materials. Make sure to read the warning labels for both products. Sodium hydroxide can cause chemical burns while methanol can easily be absorbed into your skin. Rinse your skin under running water immediately if it comes into contact with either chemical.
- Label the containers of sodium hydroxide and methanol properly. Keep them in a secure, locked cabinet away from children and animals.
Warning: This article is only meant for educational purposes. To start making your own bio diesel fuel from vegetable oil, you will need to do more research. Consult individuals who have been making and using this form of fuel for a long time.
Bio diesel from fresh vegetable can be used in its pure form on unmodified diesel engines. It can also be mixed with a petroleum based diesel. Offering a cleaner burn and renewability, this type of diesel fuel can be one solution to the world’s ever growing fuel crisis.