The fuel made from biomass (plants or plant-derived materials) is known as biofuel. As oil prices have constantly been increasing and there is need for energy security, people have started turning toward biofuel sources that are greener and cheaper. In fact, they have found ways to produce biofuel, especially biodiesel at home. Let’s see what some of these homely methods toward biofuel production are.
- Using appleseed processor through transesterification: Many people make biodiesel using waste vegetable oil (WVO), alcohol (methanol) and a catalyst (NaOH or KOH). There have to be several required precautions taken before trying on this method, because almost all the chemicals used in this process are highly toxic and can even lead to death. Thus, there are proper respirators, gloves and eye protection gear used before starting the production. The steps in this method include filtering your vegetable oil, titrating and prepping the oil, methoxide mixing and introducing to WVO, glycerin draining, and fuel dry-washing.
- Through algae press method: In this method, oils are extracted from algae cell walls in different ways. The simple algae press method extracts about 75% of the oil from pressed algae. It is just like olive pressing. Another is the hexane solvent method in which the oil is first press-squeezed and then the leftover algae are added to hexane. The mixture is then filtered and cleaned. Using this method, about 95% of the oil can be extracted.
- Supercritical fluids method: This technique includes the treatment of algae with carbon that can offer you 100% extraction of oil from the algae, unlike what you get through the above algae press techniques.
- Using biodiesel making kits: If you get a biofuel making kit, it makes you produce an average of 40-44 gallons of diesel per cycle. A larger tank with waste vegetable oil is placed first and then a smaller tank is mounted on it, holding methanol and sodium hydroxide mixture. The procedure will be about the same as in the appleseed processor technique, but you will have the kit at hand to do the same. So, your risks get minimized a bit though they still exist while handling various harmful chemicals.
- Using BioBot 20: A simple method to make biofuel at home is by using this British-made machine that is the BioBot 20 reactor. You get all the tools and equipment in this reactor to complete your task of making biodiesel.