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8/15/05

Hi folks,
This page is way Old School.
There have been huge advancements in safety & technique since I wrote this.
I suggest a visit to girl marks page for more up to date information
This page is more of a Blast from the Past than a How To manual.

That old Datsun is history, the motor sitting in the garage awaiting a rebuild, the body crushed & probably turned into washing machines already.
The open drum processor has been converted into a bubble wash tank for washing bioD made in a much safer & efficient Appleseed Processor.



earlier archived page below

KVV Biodiesel
Alternative Fuels Pages

I am using waste fryer oil (WVO) to make bio-diesel (methyl esters), and am using that to run my Datsun diesel pickup!!
The process is called transesterification. It is a simple operation, you mix some organic oils with methanol and lye. Proper proportions must, of coarse, be followed.
I am using Old Fryer Oil, also known as WVO or waste vegetable oil.

The Truck

This beat-up old Datsun pickup was purchased for this project.

It is a 1982 with a Nissan Diesel for a power plant.

It was cheap, but I will need to re-ring the motor real soon.

No beauty queen, for sure, but
beat up old Datsun, in as found condition
with a brushed out coat of paint,
it doesn't look near as bad!
beat up old Datsun, with a brushed on coat of paint

Making the Biodiesel

This is my first batch of bio diesel, mixed up on 8/09/98
Starting with Waste Vegetable Oil, sometimes known as icky, yucky, smelly gunk, and turning it into clear, amber, methyl ester fuel.
Yellow Gold !
I drove to town using the bio-diesel on the afternoon of 8/11/98 !
As of 8/12/98 I have put almost 250 miles on the truck using only biodiesel from that last batch, only a couple gallons left, guess I have to get some more grease!
The only downside so far is that the smell makes everybody hungry!
I used a screen funnel and a piece of cloth to filter out the big chunks The filter, 2nd time around
filtering out the chunks
The mixer
the main reactor barrel
I found 3 olive oil barrels to use for my bio-diesel refinery

Using an old motor from an ice cream maker, I built a mixer
As yet I am not sure it spins fast enough, but it did work!

The mixer
the main reactor barrel-update
8/26/98
Decided that the ice cream mixer just didn't cut it.
Added a 1/2 horse motor out of one of my old gas pumps!
Now that is what you call Vigorous!!
For this batch I used: 50.2 kg of WVO
7.5 kg of methanol
340 grams of lye

I should have used more lye, but that was all I had

Even so, it worked just fine, the fuel is a beautiful clear amber color, the truck runs good, smells like a Bar-B-Q !

Mixing the goods
mixing the raw ingredients
As any experienced chemist can tell, I probably broke more rules then I followed!
I did wear protective gear, but I didn't heat the mixture, (of coarse the day I made it was a hot one, temp was 109)
Every body says to mix vigorously, my mixer is not what you would call vigorous, but I mixed for 4 hours to hopefully make up for that.
Titrating out the oil said that I should have used almost twice as much lye, but not wanting to run all the way to town for some more, I just went with it. As it turns, out the fuel is not to acidic, and the conversion rate was OK.
I'm sure that after a few more batches, I will look back at this first run and shake me head in dis-belief!!!.

Or maybe it just proves that this is so simple a thing to do that anyone can!!!


Check out
Bob Langes
Electric Motorcycle !


Links to other interesting diesel stuff
Bio & otherwise !

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The following information is from Dancing Rabbit Biodiesel Site

-Methanol is toxic. It can be absorbed by the skin and cause nerve deterioration with prolonged usage. If splashed in eyes it can cause blindness and could be fatal if swallowed. Take necessary precautions when using methanol! A good respirator and decent rubber gloves are recommended.

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-Lye is also very toxic and burns the skin upon touch. It is also extremely damaging if ingested. It is possible, however to set up a safe means of being able to mix fuel. An outdoor area is preferable or a space with plenty of ventilation. Access to electricity and water are both necessary. Have lots of newspapers and detergent on hand.

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-Always mix a small batch first in an old blender to test your ratios. If successful the amounts can be multiplied directly.

NEVER EVER USE ANY OF THE UTENSILS, POTS NOR BLENDER FOR LIQUID NOR FOOD CONSUMPTION AGAIN!!! For a better description of the transesterification process, visit The Veggie Van Site
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Production of Biodiesel for Diesel fuel use

You will need:
  • Used or fresh vegetable oil (strained with a coffee filter or cloth)
  • Red Devil Lye
  • Methanol (dry gas methanol-- we found it at automotive racing stores)
  • Isopropyl Alcohol (for tests-- use 99% IPA)
  • eyedropper- or other type of 1 milliliter dropper
  • PH paper-- available at drug stores-- to test for acidity
  • an old blender
  • plastic or glass measuring cups or beakers, with metric measures-- and/or a gram scale
  • plastic, glass or stainless stirrers and spoons,
  • plastic buckets
  • rubber gloves, safety glasses, plastic apron

Titration Process to determine how much Lye to use

Free fatty acids will increase with the amount of time vegetable oil has been heated-- oil which has been used for cooking will require more of the reactive agents-- lye and methanol-- than fresh oil. The presence of too many free fatty acids will retard or stop the reaction which produces biodiesel, so it is necessary to detect the exact amount of LYE (Sodium Hydroxide-- or NaOH) needed to neutralize the acids. Adding too much or too little NaOH will just make excessive amounts of bi-product (soap).

  1. Dissolve 1 gram NaOH (Sodium Hydroxide- Red Devil Lye) in 1000 ml. of water. This is your NaOH solution.
  2. Dissolve 1ml. of Wasted Vegetable Oil (WVO) in 10 ml. Isopropyl Alcohol(IPA). This is your WVO solution.
  3. With an eyedropper, drop the diluted NaOH into WVO mixture a milliliter at a time. Count the drops. After each ml drop check the ph level of the WVO solution with standard ph paper-- you will see an eventual rise in the ph level. Continue to add the NaOH solution into the WVO solution, a drop at a time, until it reaches a ph of 8-9.

To determine your proportions, figure:

The number of drops of NaOH needed for the WVO solution to reach a ph of 8-9 1 ml. plus 3.5 g. NaOH to catalyze the oil

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An example formula used with one particular batch of WVO-wasted vegetable oil.


1 ml of oil was titrated with a 1g NaOH/1000 ml H2O solution.



It required 6.0 ml to raise the ph level to 8 = .006g



 so           6.0g/1000ml to neutralize the free fatty acids 

 plus         3.5 g NaOH as catalyst 

          =   9.5 g per 1000ml oil or 9.5g/915g oil=103% by wt.