Thursday, October 22, 2009


Many thanks to Larry Christiana for all the work in running electrical into the biodiesel plant. We harvested 2-inch conduit and fittings from the demo areas and put them back up in the ceiling to run electricity to the old tank farm. Adam and Nick were a huge help in assisting Larry with pulling those big 3-phase wires over 240 feet across the building.

Additionally, Adam found a transformer and 2 panels we could reuse in the biodiesel area to get things running and save money on the project. We are getting very good at recycling infrastructure here at STARworks! Here is a pic of the transformer in the biodiesel area...

... and this one is the big 3-phase panel feeding into the transformer.

We have a host of tanks in the plant now as well, with only one left to be put in next week. At this point, the tanks installed are as follows, wastewater, reactor, methoxide, feedstocks, dry/wash, ion exchange column, fuel verification and finished fuel. The plumbing and electrical wiring to the pump motors and tanks remains to be done, but we are getting so close to making biodiesel -- exciting!!! Here are some pictures of our tanks.

In this pic, you can see the finished fuel, fuel verification tanks and ion exchange column.

In the foreground of the picture below is the dry/wash tank and the tanks from the earlier picture from a different angle. Also, in the bottom righthand corner is the final of the four veggie oil feedstock tanks. This is the oil's final destination before being filtered and sent into the reactor tank for conversion.

This next picture shows the reactor and methoxide mixing tanks.

The final picture is several of the veggie oil feedstock settling tanks when Piedmont Biofuels was unloading and setting them in place. Joe, David and myself are in the pic from left to right.

The good guys at Wet Dog Glass are building the glycol heat exchanger tank and control sytems for its pump motors and the auxiliary electrical heating element. I should have a good picture of that installed next week.

I've also sanded the nasty old safety yellow paint from the handrails in the entrance to the biodiesel area and started painting them. I didn't realize how bad it was to use a wire brush in removing the paint until I tried a wire wheel and sanding wheel on an angle grinder. What a beautiful thing, these tools! Anne, our friendly neighborhood gardener rescued me and the rails from my horrible paint skills! I should have a picture of that soon, too. Anne just came in and said the first coat is finished and drying as I type this. Woohoo!!