Bio-diesel

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Seacowboys, Mar 14, 2009.


  1. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    I have a 4x4 diesel truck that is my primary vehicle. I also have a 35kw gen that is powered by a Volkswagen turbo diesel engine. I only have one 500 gallon storage tank at the domicile and not much disposable income to put more stored fuel in. I was looking into bio-diesel production and can probably supplement with some cooking oils but was wondering at the viability of extracting fuel from algae or other sources? We have a possibility of taking over a facility here that recovers and disposes of petroleum wastes from the oil patch; can this be a viable source of fuel production? Ideas lend themselves well to development, so thanks in advance.
     
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    I heard of some experimental work on petroleum eating bugs to be used for spill cleanup. It was a long time back, a year or so. Might have been MIT. I do not remember if there was a product component that would work as a fuel. That said, if there was an economical way to refine the wastes from the oil patch, my guess is there wouldn't be the waste.

    The use of algae (and seaweed) as a feed stock for bio fuels is very early in the research stage. Michigan Technological University has done some work on it IIRC. Looks promising and a hell of a lot cheaper than using corn. There is a way for direct conversion of the algae to nat gas, but it is highly inefficient and requires a separation step to remove the congeners, mostly CO2, IIRC.
     
  3. SLugomist

    SLugomist Monkey++

    The thing with Algae. It eats stuff which it then turns into Fatty acids ( a by product of algae life). Fatty acids are what is esterfied to make biodiesel. Fish themselves do not have omega 3 fatty acids. They get the Omega 3's from the algae that they eat.

    There are other algae that emit methane or nat gas. All you need is a tank the proper pH the proper nutrients and temperature and Bam they'll make it(fattyacids, or nat gas) for you as long as they are fed the right stuff. It is similiar to a fermentation but with different conditions and products.
    I've much first hand experience with using micro organisms to make synthetics naturally.

    You also need a way to collect and purify the component, a distillation, air trap, or extraction technique. Methods to pass the ISTM assays, usually a couple simple titrations, an HPLC would make it easier if going into production.

    The one algae facility that I saw was making natural gas in the desert. The particular algae like it hot. It was a huge field of little bags in the sun with hoses coming from them to collect the gas emmitted. Any algae technique is going to require a tank farm to make sizeable quantities. Then you'll need some conversion equipment to refine the fattyacids to bio diesel. I've also heard that there are certain micro/algae that will specifically make gasoline. All gas is, is an 8 chain hydrocarbon.

    The key is having total control on your parameters, this will allow optimum efficiency of the "bugs" second its volume ofbugs working.

    As for oil recovery from spills? That depends on what they collect it on. I've seen this foam that will absorb oil. If you can bring in the oil drenched material, you could extract it and possibly re use the foam and the oil.
     
  4. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Did a bit of checking with my sources. Algae is routinely fed to sewage digesters and contributes to methane production. There is no record of any research on direct digestion of either algae or seaweed, but there seems no reason why it wouldn't work. Seaweed would have some technical problems with handling, but there are ways to deal with that.

    Algae can be digested readily, with methane and CO2 as the major constituents. I have no idea what the recovery rate for fatty acids as a precursor to liquid fuel might be, but the methane constituent would be about 60% of the gas produced assuming normal digester environments, and at very low pressure (say 13 inches of water.) As produced, the heating value of the gas is around 600 BTU per cubic foot, IIRC.
     
  5. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    I'm, looking into distillation or some process to make a high grade of alcohol, (non-potable grades), for use in engines.....seems there was a 2 trash can, 55 gallon drum system that was developed some years back that did this somehow, based on wood alcohol via distillation, on a small scale, actually ran a generator!
    Bill
     
  6. SLugomist

    SLugomist Monkey++

    How much methanol can you make with 20lbs of wood?

    If I was to make a bunch a gas(like nitrogen) Can someone show me how to bottle it,pressurized?
     
  7. SLugomist

    SLugomist Monkey++

    Sea,
    How many horsepower is your Genny?
     
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