Biodiesel is the best way to start learning how to HomeBrew without spending much.
These instructions are for a one liter batch with virgin oil using an edited (Americanized) version,
Pepper Method." Links to the various MSDS and items are included to help the beginner.
directions DO NOT Work for Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO). It
works well with new, store bought, Vegetable Oil. If you want to use
WVO, check out Tilly's "Dr.
A few words on SAFETY:
You will be working with
DANGEROUS/POISONOUS chemicals. Common sense MUST be used. You
are responsible for your actions and the safety of yourself and
everyone/everything around you!
Causes eye and skin irritation. May be absorbed through intact skin. This
substance has caused adverse reproductive and fetal effects in animals.
Danger! Flammable liquid and vapor.
Harmful if inhaled. May be FATAL or cause BLINDNESS if
swallowed. May cause central nervous system depression. May cause
digestive tract irritation with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. MSDS
POISON! DANGER! CORROSIVE. MAY BE FATAL IF
IF INHALED. CAUSES BURNS TO ANY AREA OF CONTACT. REACTS WITH WATER, ACIDS
AND OTHER MATERIALS. MSDS
Recommended Safety Gear:
The minimum is
gloves, apron, eye
protection and dust mask. However many safety experts also add lab coat,
and full face shield.
Do NOT inhale any vapors. Cartridge respirators do not work against
Always have running water available to wash off any splashes.
Now that I have managed to scare you, just realize that Methanol is the
fuel used in most Model airplanes. In the USA methanol is available in
small quantities as HEET brand fuel line antifreeze (Yellow bottle)
Lye is an every-day drain cleaner. Both are freely available in most large shopping
1 liter oil- new
NaOH (lye/ caustic soda), at least 4g. Used as a drain cleaner and can
often be found next to the Drano.
Methanol at least 250ml. HEET® Gas- Line Antifreeze in the yellow bottle
is methanol and readly available in most auto supply stores in the USA.
1- 2 liter (1.9 in US) Dr Pepper Bottle in sound condition with top and
1-measuring cup to measure out 250ml methanol
1-scales to measure 4g NaOH
1 teaspoon measure metric or imperial.
1- container to mix the methanol and NaOH in which makes
methoxide.- must seal tightly, test the lid by putting a carbonated
beverage in it close the lid and shake. NO liquids can come out when the
jar is inverted.
MAKING THE METHOXIDE:
is a POISON! MSDS
DO NOT BREATH VAPORS. WASH OFF ANY
DO NOT MIX THE METHOXIDE IN A PLASTIC SOFT DRINK BOTTLE AS THE NaOH
ATTACKS THE PLASTIC AND YOU WILL QUICKLY BE SHAKING A BOTTLE FULL OF HOLES
WITH METHOXIDE GOING EVERYWHERE.
In a well ventilated area, measure 250 mL of room temperature methanol
into a one pint mason jar.
Measure out 4g of NaOH
(lye) (about half a Teaspoon) and add to the methanol in the jar replacing
the lid tightly to prevent any leaks.
Shake/swirl until all the lye is dissolved.
mix the temperature will increase substantially. This is normal and
may take 10 minutes or more.
MAKING THE BIODIESEL With NEW OIL
Heat 1 Liter of unused Oil 60 °C/140 °F
(these directions do not work for waste oil)
Using a funnel, pour
the liter of oil into a DRY 2 liter Dr Pepper bottle (in a pinch any other
brand of bottle will do).
In a well ventilated area, pour the mixture of methanol/NaOH (methoxide) on top of the oil using the same funnel.
Screw the top down TIGHT onto the bottle.
Shake vigorously for about ten seconds/ 40 good shakes.
NO appreciable pressure is generated during this mixing.
Now place the bottle on a table and observe the oil change color from a
"Chocolate milk to a rich, darker brown." Then, as if by magic,
within 10 minutes the by-product (commonly referred to as glycerine on this
forum) starts to settle out and form an increasing layer on the bottom of
Within an hour, most of the glycerine will be settled out. This is
referred to as separation. Be sure to notice that you can see a very
definate, slowly sinking line towards the top of the Biodiesel as the
glycerine slowly settles.
You should now have a bottle containing lighter colored biodiesel on top
of a layer of darker glycerine. The biodiesel will be very cloudy, and it
will take a day or two more for it to clear.
Typically the glycerine layer is about the same or a bit more than the
amount of methanol used.
If it does not work out come onto the forum and see if anyone can figure
out what went wrong.
And that is all there is to it. Only a little magic is involved.
CARTRIDGE RESPIRATORS DO NOT WORK WITH METHANOL
A few cautions: DON'T mix the methanol and NaOH (lye) in a plastic bottle
as NaOH attacks some types of plastic. Once mixed it is quite acceptable
to mix your biodiesel in a Dr Pepper plastic bottle.
NOT allow any WATER into any steps of this procedure.
Do NOT store unused methoxide in plastic bottles. Some plastic will
degrade over time when in contact with methoxide.
Methanol boils at about 65°C/148°F. DO NOT mix when the oil is above 60°C/140°F.
YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR ACTIONS AND YOUR SAFETY AND THE SAFETY OF
EVERYONE AROUND YOU.
these are dangerous chemicals and care is necessary, especially if there
are children in your home.
after producing in excess of 53,459 liters of biodiesel in any calendar
year using this process, please make royalty check out to Tilly From
Paradise and send it to me through your favorite Numbered Swiss bank
has been proven through GC tests that although one 10 second shake
produces very useable Biodiesel it is in fact not of ASTM standard. It
appears that to produce this high quality fuel requires four- 5 second
shakes over the space of an hour.
To learn more about making biodiesel visit the Make-Biodiesel Tutorial