This is my tutorial for using my appleseed processor to make biodiesel. This tutorial will get you through the process of making biodiesel, but not the necessary washing process. I will do my next instructable on dry-washing biodiesel.
Biodiesel is a great way to go green, and cut your carbon footprint quite substantially, not to mention it's cheaper than diesel. Biodiesel will run in a diesel engine, I don't recommend trying it in a gas engine.
The process for making biodiesel uses an oil, a catalyst, and an alcohol. In this case: Waste vegi oil (WVO), NaOH (lye), and methanol.
Please read up on this before you start, and please understand the chemical dangers involved in this process.
Step 1: Safety
NaOH (or KOH, depending on your catalyst of choice) is extremely caustic and will cause extreme irritation if it comes into contact with your skin, eyes, or any other part of you. Methanol is a harmful alcohol. It will cause blindness or death if ingested; one way it's absorbed into your body is through your skin, so simply handling the stuff with bare hand is bad for you. Lastly, Methoxide, the substance produced when you mix your catalyst with the methanol, is an extremely toxic nerve agent. It can do some serious bodily damage.
I use a chemical resistant p100 respirator when I do this process, as well as eye protection. I use some heavy-duty chemical-proof gloves from Northern Tool. Long sleeves are recommended.