How is Biodiesel Made? Can Anyone Make it?

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You’d be surprised to know that making Biodiesel is incredibly easy. Yes, it’s very easy. And anyone can do it. You don’t need to be a science geek, or have a PhD in Chemistry to produce a gallon or barrel of ready-to-use biodiesel.

Making biodiesel is simple, but you need to FULLY understand the fundamentals. In this section, I’ll take you through some of the most important things you need to know about the biodiesel production process.

Here we go!

All the ingredients and tools you need…

If you’ve ever cooked any food in the kitchen, you’ll know that the ingredients you use are the most important elements of your cooking. It’s not only important that you use the right ingredients, you also have to use them in the right measurements.

Don’t worry, I have included a short tutorial for you in this section that will put you through the measurements. I’ll just go ahead to list the ingredients you need to make biodiesel, as follows:

Used Vegetable Oil – Of course, you know where to get this. Like I mentioned earlier, household kitchens, restaurants and hotels are great sources of waste vegetable oil. You can also use virgin (unused) vegetable oil, but this would be more expensive. That’s why I recommend used oil.
Methanol – Also known as ‘Methyl Alcohol’. This is the second most important ingredient in biodiesel production after the vegetable oil. You can get methanol from any chemical merchants around you. It’s a very versatile chemical that’s used in industries and laboratories. It’s also quite affordable.
Potassium Hydroxide or Sodium Hydroxide – These chemicals are widely used in soap making and are known in the market as ‘Lye’ and ‘Caustic Soda’ respectively. In biodiesel production, they act as catalysts during the reaction of the oil and methanol.
Tools – Some of the tools you need during the production process are mixing containers, a thermometer or temperature gauge, weighing scale, and of course, a pair of safety gloves.
The production process

You’ll be dealing with chemicals while making biodiesel so it’s very important that you follow the right process, in order to get the right results.


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