Monday, March 29, 2010

We have biodiesel!

I've been remiss on my blogging the last couple months. We have made a couple batches of biodiesel now which passed testing... so the fuel is ready to burn! I'm going to step back and talk about what's happened since my last post at the end of January.

Eddie Bernard, Wet Dog Glass owner, donated an air compressor to use in the plant. We need compressed air on the venturi pump to pull a vacuum on the reactor tank to recovery any methanol not reacted. Additionally, a sparging ring is near the bottom of the wash tank to facilitate both washing and drying processes. Nick from the glass studio, Adam and Steve-O were a huge help in running the air line from the compressor's new home in the batch glass room down to biodiesel. It is great to have such knowledgeable and helpful people around to get things done well!

With the air lines run and the veggie oil I had collected, we were finally able to get rolling. David Thornton and some of his interns from Piedmont Biofuels came down to train me on the equipment and procedures. Over the last couple weeks, we went through the process of reaction and cleaning and refining of the biodiesel. We now have over 400 gallons of biodiesel! Here's a shot of the sight glass at the bottom of the wash tank showing some gorgeous golden biodiesel.

We are starting a biodiesel coop, and fuel will be available in the near future. Contact me for more information about becoming a coop member or providing used fryer oil. If you happen to know any restaurants interested in having their oil collected for making biodiesel, send them over to STARworks Biofuels!