Over a year ago, I built an automated bio-diesel processor based on Graham Lammings GL Eco-System design.
Here is a picture of the machine:
I wanted to automate something, and I have been driving vehicles on vegetable oil, so to have fun, I designed and built the processor. To date, I have run it 43 times, and have consumed about 644 gallons of Biodiesel.
On day one, I knew we had an issue to solve, which is how to get rid of the glycerin byproduct. I left that up to Mike, a friend who was working with me on certain aspects of the project while I focused on the conversion of oil to biodiesel.
The machine as designed can do a lot of different processes, so is generally far more useful than the professional systems that one can purchase.
Here is a look at the web based interface I built to run it:
The control of all the relays (16) is performed via a denkovi controll board (top right of the system image).
We never did manage to solve the issue of getting rid of the glycerin, and to add to that, my particular oil is very heavily laden with fat, meaning that the making of biodiesel does make far more glycerin that that which is reported on the various message boards.
I also ran the machine about ten times to distill the methanol out of the glycerin. It did quite well at this. A part of the normal processing of the biodiesel for this system is to extract the methanol from the finished biodiesel.
Here is a picture of the controller:
Since I have not solved the glycerin issue, I am going to retool the software (for fun), complete the task of publishing that to the community, and then will likely sell the machine.
I'll add a few more blogs to go through all the processes that the machine can handle in the future, but this is all for now.
The open source Denkovi Control Board php interface software is now on Git Hub and is free to use.