Make Your Own Biodiesel!




Introduction: Make Your Own Biodiesel!

About: 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 still being a technogeek!

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!



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    77 Discussions

    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.

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

    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

    2 replies

    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. =)

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

     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" ??


    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?

    4 replies

    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

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

    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!

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

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

    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

    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?