BioDiesel Class 101
Class # 1 - At What Cost?
This is a topic I think most people are very interested in and rightly so. Not
to put off answering this question but cost can be defined in many different
ways such as Time and Money however let us not forget the potential savings.
First our shameless self promotion... Buy our $12.95 PGB book it will save you a lot of time, frustration & money. At 215 pages, our book is a genuine good deal. It provides you with all the details & information you will need to build your very own simple, yet cheap and effective BioDiesel processor, Wash tank, & Drying tank plus you get all sorts of other information such as BioDiesel Recipe instructions, Troubleshooting, what not to use or do when making BioDiesel, Chemical safety data sheets, Sources of supplies, Chemicals needed, Internet sources for information & a whole lot more! Others would charge you $20 just for a flimsy set of processor plans & then more money for the washer & dryer tank designs but we give it all to you for a reasonable price which you will make back with a lot of change to spare after making your first 40 gallon batch of BioDiesel!
Our "All in One" processor design can be built for as little as $225. It can be built cheaper if you have a source of used pipe & plumbing fittings. The tank can be a new or used 55 gallon steel drum. Putting steel fittings on the tank can be done by the do it yourselfer or can be farmed out to a welding shop for about $50 to $100. Your local high school shop class teacher may wish to build it as a class project for you. Figuring new plumbing, the welding being farmed out & buying a used 55 gallon steel drum you can make your processor for around $225. Because this design can be built as an "All in One" processor it can function as a processor, wash tank & dryer which saves you even more money. If you desire you can invest in another steel tank & a few minor pipe fittings to make a cheap wash tank freeing up the processor for quicker through put while washing.
You will also need a couple of used 55 gallon steel drums to be used as WVO collection drums, figure around $20 total for them clean and used.
Collection equipment can consist of an old 1 gallon plastic antifreeze bottle with a 3" hole cut out near the top opposite the built in handle for transferring the WVO at the restraint into your transportation container. You can use a free (from the restaurant) 5 gallon plastic bucket to use as a WVO transfer bucket to pour neatly into a funnel & into your transportation containers (that is how we started collecting ourselves). Our book talks about building a fast electric WVO transfer pump and also about using a truck bed crane for moving 55 gallon steel drums full of oil without damaging your truck.
Chemicals are much cheaper to purchase in bulk so we suggest purchasing 55 gallon drums of Methanol & 50 LB sacks of Lye. These chemicals cost around $215 per drum of Methanol & $55 per sack of Sodium Hydroxide Lye (prices fluctuate with the market), figure 2x the cost for the lye if you wish to use Potassium Hydroxide Lye instead.
Below is a cost breakdown to make your
first 280 gallons of fuel in 40 gallon batches.
Time... every body wants to know how much time it takes to make BioDiesel. Actually though it does not take much of your real time to make BioDiesel because the processor machine does all the work. We are not sure what all the hubbub over time is all about because it is actually fun to make BioDiesel. Some people say spare time is worth money, to those people we ask... Did you ever ask yourself how much it cost you in spare time dollars to watch a ball game? Ball games are fun to watch yet BioDiesel is fun to make so why all the fuss over time?
For those that really want to know how much time it takes here are the numbers. Time is a tough one to answer & the reason for that is all the variables. Do we calculate in the machine time or just your actual time? Below we give you the actual times as best we can & list it as just the actual time you spend. Note: we are not calculating in the machine time because you don't need to be present or be required to do any labor for that. Actual Total combined personal time spent is about 3 hours spread over a couple of days per single 40 gallon batch as broken down below. Please understand that if you have the room you could process a double or triple batch in nearly the same amount of time.
The next class Oil Collection