Forget about making Biodiesel

OK, I was all gung ho about making my own Biodiesel fuel at home. How hard could it be I figured. You add some methanol and some lye to vegetable oil and bingo.


Turns out making Biodiesel can be a complicated process. It’s not just a matter of heating the vegatable oil and mixing the correct quantities of the additives. After you’re done mixing the fuel and letting it settle for a period of time, then you have to seperate the biodiesel that rises to the top of the container with the glycerine that settles to the bottom. That in itself is a lot of work. But it gets worse. Then you have to test the biodiesel to check that the quality is good enough to put into your engine. If it passes the test ( and this is where I said forget about it) you have to then put it through a washing process. Basically, you add tap water, mix it up with a stirrer, let it sit, seperate the biodiesel at the top, and repeat the process enough times until the fuel is clear / translucent.

There is no way all that work is even remotely worth my time. Instead, I’ll just buy it. So far, I’ve found two places that sells pure B100 biodiesel in eastern Massachusetts. The first place is a gas station in Chelsea that sells various blends from the pump. And the second place is a home heating fuel company in Dedham that sells biodiesel for their customers to heat their homes. You can drive over there and pick up 5 gallon buckets of B100 for $19.95 plus tax. At about $4.00 a gallon, that’s not that much more than the current service station price of petrol-diesel at $3.45 a gallon.

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