Welcome to Making Stuff
Learn how to make a 1 Liter test batch
We will not be held
responsible for any damage caused by your use of these educational instructions.
For your safety, insure you
have adequate ventilation (preferably outdoors), are wearing a protective face
gloves because you will be working with CAUSTIC chemicals
can cause blindness & severe chemical burns. Running water should be readily
available in case of spills or personal contamination. The mixing of Methanol &
Lye gets hot and creates a toxic gas which you should not breathee which is why
we recommend you do this outdoors. This experiment should
only be performed by an Adult or under Adult supervision! All items used will
be contaminated (poisoned) afterwards so don't use your good kitchen ware.
Do not use any aluminum utensils!
1 Plastic 2 liter soda bottle with a tight fitting cap
use a clean dry clear plastic soda bottle
1 good Quart Mason Jar with a New Lid.
1 Plastic Funnel
1 Liter ( about 1 Qt) of New Vegetable Oil Canola, Olive, Corn, Peanut,
250 ml (about 1/2 pint or 8 1/2 US Oz ) of Methanol Alcohol The yellow bottle of
automotive store ISO-HEET (not the red bottle!
3 to 5 grams ( about 1 tsp) of Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
Insure all items are at normal room temperature.
Put around 1 Liter of Vegetable oil into the 2 Liter bottle.
Put 250 ml of ISO-HEET brand Methanol (yellow bottle) into the Mason jar.
Weigh out 3 to 5 grams (about a teaspoon full) of Sodium Hydroxide (Lye), Red
Devil Brand works great.
Must be kept DRY, it absorbs moisture out of the air
& don't let it
contact any aluminum.
Carefully put the Lye into the
Methanol contained in the Mason Jar & cap it tightly right away.
Begin gently sloshing around the Methanol/Lye mixture in the
Mason Jar & continue while watching to insure it all dissolves.
Watch for leaks and don't get any on your skin
because it can cause permanent nerve damage so wear rubber gloves and be
The lye must be fully dissolved before
Once lye is dissolved, let it settle a bit & look again to
insure it is dissolved, if not continue carefully sloshing.
the quality of your lye, it may contain insoluble contaminates which may
Now using the funnel, gently pour the Methanol/Lye mixture
into the 2 Liter soda bottle with your oil & cap it tightly.
Remember, don't get any on your skin
because permanent nerve damage can result so wear rubber gloves and be
Vigorously shake the 2 litter bottle to mix the contents
(about 40 good hard shakes should do it).
Be careful of leaks.
Put down the 2 liter bottle & let the contents settle for
about 1 hour.
You should see a layer of Glycerin form at the bottom of the
2 liter bottle & a thick layer of oily liquid on top. The top layer is
Raw BioDiesel. Slowly inverting the bottle will allow you to drain out the
glycerol easier. Congratulations, you have made a batch of biodiesel fuel.
This fuel is still raw & should be washed & polished before use though if it
is to meet the ASTM D-6751
specification talked about in our FAQ section. Raw BioDiesel contains
alcohol, soap & perhaps some left over Lye so it should be washed to remove
these contaminates before burning in a diesel engine.
about making ASTM grade biodiesel fuel by washing & drying, complete the two
lesson plans below.
How to Wash a 1 Liter test batch
1 ea clear
bottle with squirt cap such as (Dawn or Joy dish soap)
1 ea plastic funnel
1 ea previously made test batch of BioDiesel
Use of a sink with running water.
Using a funnel,
pour the BioDiesel out of the 2 liter bottle & into the empty clean & dry
dish soap bottle.
is the idea here, be careful not to disturb the glycerin layer because you
don't want it in your BioDiesel.
Dispose of the Glycerin or save to make soap out of later.
Very gently trickle some cold water down the
inside of the
bottle into the BioDiesel.
You want about a 2 to 1 ratio of BioDiesel to
Cap the bottle &
very slowly invert the bottle a few times.
The water should start turning milky looking, this is soap being captured by
With the bottle upside down, open the squirt cap & gently
squirt out the milky looking wash water down the drain.
Repeat step 3 - 5 until the water looks clean.
Fill as per step 3
then gently shake the bottle once. If the
BioDiesel & water separate quickly this is a good sign, if not repeat step
Once the water & BioDiesel separate quickly with a quick
shake you can shake it a few more times. If the water looks only very
slightly milky & the BioDiesel separates out quickly, you are finished
Perform step 5
again then Dry your BioDiesel per the instructions below.
How to Dry a 1 Liter test batch
1 ea Disposable & Microwaveable plastic
container without lid.
Large enough to contain 1.5 to 2x the
volume of BioDiesel
you desire to dry.
1 ea microwave oven or you can use
a stove top set to low heat and a steel metal pan.
1 ea metal stir stick
1 ea thermometer such as a candy thermometer
1 ea clean mason jar with a good lid & sealing
NOTE: Do not put anything made of metal into your microwave
After your finished washing the
BioDiesel, let it settle
overnight so any tiny droplets of residual water can settle out.
If your in a hurry you can dry
it now without letting it sit overnight.
your BioDiesel into the microwaveable
container or metal pan if doing this on a stove top.
If your bottle
contains any wash water do not allow any water to get into the drying
Use medium heat & gently warm up your BioDiesel
(about 30 seconds if microwaving).
Stir your BioDiesel
constantly unless your microwaving it.
the surface tension allowing water vapor to escape safely as well as
equalizing the temperature.
Test the temperature periodically to
insure it never goes much beyond 240F (water boils at 212F).
constantly repeat step 3 - 4
Once the temperature is greater than
the boiling point of water you can be
fairly sure your BioDiesel is dry.
Notice that it
now looks clearer than it did
Allow the HOT BioDiesel to
cool down before moving it or you may burn yourself.
Stirring it once in a while will
allow it to cool off quicker.
Once cool, place the BioDiesel in the clean mason jar & seal
it up tight.
Place the Jar in your refrigerator allow to cool down a
If it still looks clear & has not precipitated out any
water, the BioDiesel is dry & can be used in a diesel engine.
You have made your first batch of
real BioDiesel !
Get a FREE download of our Pretty Good BioDiesel Book
Make Hand Soap
If you want to make BioDiesel, take our FREE on-line BioDiesel 101 Class
wish to view a plastic biodiesel processor meltdown
click here to see why we suggest your
processor should always be made of steel like our is!
the new ULSD
Chevron says S15 ULSD may be bad news for
your diesel engine HERE
Read Chevron's statement about
expected ULSD caused fuel system damage
You should use a BioDiesel blend to prevent potential S15 ULSD
caused fuel system seal damage