Introduction: Make Your Own Biodiesel!

This video shows how easy it is using items available at nearly any supermarket, and details some facts about biodiesel fuel you may not have known!


Ingredients: 1 cup (250 ml) Heet brand Fuel Line Additive (Methanol), 1/2 Tsp (4 grams) Lye drain cleaner, 4 cups (1 litre) vegetable oil, protective eyewear, rubber gloves, dry glass jar with airtight lid, Dry 2 litre pop bottle, funnel.

Step 1: Mix the methanol and lye in the glass bottle. Swirl and/or stir/shake until all lye is dissolved.

Step 2: Heat Veggie oil to approximately 60 C or 140 F.

Step 3: Use funnel to add oil to 2 litre pop bottle. Add Methanol/lye (methoxide) mixture with funnel. Cap the bottle and shake vigorously for 20-40 seconds.

Step 4: Watch over the next 20 mins as Glycerin layer forms at bottom of pop bottle. The upper layer (lighter colored) will be cloudy. Over the next 1-2 days, the upper layer will become crystal clear. Congrats! You've just made Bio-Diesel!


shynex (author)2013-06-21

where the video ???

Pyrophoric (author)2011-11-03

Shaking vigorously for a few seconds won't produce much of a yield. You must let the solution stir for about an hour using a stir plate. The settling process also takes about an hour.

05Cummins (author)2011-07-25

Can any of you tell me what the shelf life of Bio diesel is?

captainpyro1 (author)2007-12-06

you might want to mention that different oils have different pH's and different pH's will gererate different amounts of fuel/glycerin, also if you do decide to use waste oil, WVO, then you need to titrate it, doing a 1 liter batch compined with about 2 mL's of phenolphthalein and adding successive drops of a 1 molar sulferic acid solution. this is just a general overview, but you might consider it. other than that very informative

babblin5 (author)captainpyro12007-12-06

Exactly. Another option is to simply use 1 TSP lye, which works with about 99% of used oil, although you have to do some washing of the end product to get rid of any excess NaOH. You can also titrate using a bit of the oil thinned with isopropyl alchohol, and then a known percentage of NaOH suspended in water and use the Phenol for pH change, then calculate from that. But this video was primarily used as an introductory piece. =)

05Cummins (author)babblin52011-07-23

What is the shelf life of the BD once it has been washed?

ani4meg (author)2010-06-07

can anybody suggest and send me the project on my email- project on information and communication technology school level project and green energy

hill (author)2010-05-10

 so, i read all of the comments but i still need to know if this method of making biodiesel requires me to wash the biodiesel ?? of can the "upper layer" be used right away without being washed after it turns "crystal clear" ??


Mr. Rig It (author)2008-05-16

It is my understanding that Mr. Diesel did not create the diesel engine to run on biodiesel but to run on coal dust. Coal dust was a nuisance at the coal mines and no one had a use for the dust itself so there were piles and piles of it. So Mr. Diesel came up with his engine to use this untapped resource. However, I am not saying you are wrong I am just saying this is what I have learned. have you heard this also?

Matt D655 (author)Mr. Rig It2008-10-12

NO he created it originally to run on peanut oil so that is basically biofuel

Bryan Smith (author)Matt D6552009-09-03

Yep...Peanut oil is correct!

babblin5 (author)Mr. Rig It2008-05-19

In 1892 Rudy built the Carnot Heat Engine, which is the engine that burned coal dust. In 1897 he built his first prototype Diesel engine (which almost exploded as he was demonstrating it, which just goes to show that our Instructable disasters go a LONG way back ;) Ross

Mr. Rig It (author)babblin52008-05-19

ahh.. good info, that does sound familiar now. Thanks for the info and yes our disaters do go a long way back.

lilykoart (author)2009-04-06

great video! i wonder why biofuel isn't used more??? any future instructions on how to titrate the fuel out and actually use it? can i put this fuel in my 2004 toyota highlander? thanks for sharing and looking forward for more of your instructables!

wenpherd (author)2009-03-07

can you use make veggie oil out of corn and wud it work?

fafa boy (author)2009-02-20

nice (author)2009-02-07

I know this sounds stupid, but could you use methelated spirits?

supremedragonx (author)2009-01-24

i think video won't show player

ajparag (author)2008-12-27

thank u for posting such a wonderful project.... I want to know what is the concentration of methanol... example:10%...20%...50%... i m going to purchase it from lab and they need to know the concentration

anoniemouse (author)2008-10-17

I plan to do some lower temp metal melting. I saw a used-oil fired blast furnace. It appears that new motor oil will not fire up, B U T, Used, filtered motor oil works great. So you need to use used oil only, even for biofuels. Anybody have an explanation why this so?

Matt D655 (author)2008-10-12

i know at least 30 different facts of diesel and gasoline for an example if you throw a match on a puddle of Kero or Diesel it wont work and put it out...if you throw a different match on gas...DAMN it will work

Matt D655 (author)2008-07-17

Fact alcohol is bad for diesel engines dont use alcohol in there.

babblin5 (author)Matt D6552008-07-17

Ummm... you do understand that you actually aren't putting ANY alcohol in your engine, right? It merely serves as a catalyst for creating biodiesel, and is the standard chemical used in home to commercial BD production...

Matt D655 (author)babblin52008-10-12

ya i guess ur right

nature223 (author)2008-10-12

you also need the correct fuel mapping and the correct hoses....or it'll run ok,then freak out..and blow lines

ia2ca1984 (author)2008-03-25

This is wonderful, but indulge a novice if you would. I don't have a diesel vehicle so where else could I use it?

budgenator (author)ia2ca19842008-09-14

I've heard that it work very well for getting grease stains out of clothing. I've also heard that you can add some biodiesel to normal gasoline and anticipate doing some experiments with one of my small 2 cycle engines first.

babblin5 (author)ia2ca19842008-07-17

Hmmm... I'm not sure that it really has any other uses besides that. I may be wrong.

msw100 (author)babblin52008-09-07

It will work in an oil fired boiler

Spencerr (author)2008-08-14

could this be used for a 2 stroke engine?

RAD_ED (author)2007-12-07

You for got to mention that Biodiesel can eat threw normal rubber hoses other wise great instructable.

babblin5 (author)RAD_ED2007-12-07

You are correct, which is why I mentioned that they run on newer diesel engines without modification. After 1993 (I think it was the year) sulphur was discontinued as an additive in petro-diesel for lubrication due to acid rain problems. Cars manufactured after that year were made with different fuel lines because the new additive degraded rubber fuel lines as well. Thank you for the comment! =)

jimmysanders (author)babblin52008-07-16

So after 1993 is a good year to get?

babblin5 (author)jimmysanders2008-07-17

Generally anything AFTER 1993. Remember, cars come out the year before their actual "date". Also, BD clubs are springing up all over the place, city-wise, especially as gas prices continue to go up...

daedalus15 (author)2008-04-07

biodiesel IS easy to make but not quite this easy.There are a few more steps and the lye can't be just off the shelf drain cleaner it has to be at least 85% pure(drain cleaner is about 50%) if you want to make good BD. A realy good place for more info

babblin5 (author)daedalus152008-07-17

Red Devil drain cleaner is 100% lye (sodium hydroxide).

babblin5 (author)babblin52008-07-17

It's also fat-free and has Omega 3's in it, plus that yogurt culture that regulates your digestive system... ;)

Alathald (author)2007-12-05

Love the concept but you really need to break your video up into individual steps, esp for the folks still using dial up...

tippmannphreak (author)Alathald2007-12-05

i think that applies to no one anymore. lol.

Alathald (author)tippmannphreak2007-12-05

Unfortunately, it applies to me and a lot of people I know...Just a repressed genius living in the backwoods of Ohio, you know how it goes ;-) Oh well, I'll hopefully make it to somewhere more...civilized next fall, I'm off to college after all. Besides, it's always nice to have something to print out so you don't have to watch the video over and over.

z2daj (author)Alathald2008-05-19

that also applied to me last year. i live in CT and i'm 15 and it took me three years to convince my parents to switch to high-speed internet (charter...) and they have thanked me for it over and over. high-speed internet only came available in my town two or three months before we got it so, maybe one day you'll be in the reach of high-speed internet

hippojoe (author)Alathald2007-12-09

Really? you live near Belpre or Parkersburg.

Alathald (author)hippojoe2007-12-10

Not really, I live just far enough south of Hillsboro to only have access to dial-up...bah-humbug

hippojoe (author)Alathald2007-12-11

ahhhhhh man that really sucks. »: c

looking4ideas (author)hippojoe2007-12-25

My dad has a sat connection 256k but works like a charm when I'm at my summer house of at the top of a mountain =) Get one its like 1+ grand but it is worth it.

hippojoe (author)looking4ideas2007-12-31

cool but I don't have that kind of money.

looking4ideas (author)hippojoe2008-01-08

LOL that seams to be the problem with every one. save up $$

clyphox (author)tippmannphreak2008-01-12

ohh yes it does!! most of this world is not 1st world ;)

babblin5 (author)Alathald2007-12-05

You got it! I'll toss up a full blown Instructable =)

lebowski (author)babblin52007-12-05

An Instructable would be great! But well done videos like this are perfectly acceptable to post. Thanks for sharing it. I've been wanting some Biodiesel info for a while now.

About This Instructable



Bio: I've had many different jobs in my life, but I've discovered my passion: Mental Health Counseling. However, that doesn't keep me from ... More »
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