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Ian's vacuum biodiesel processor

80-litre per batch closed-

loop processor
Process based on Aleks Kac's 2-
stage acid-base process

From left to right :

Oil drum = Feedstock
Holding Tank (FHT)
20-litre drum = Filter Unit
with vacuum pump below.
Mixing pumps, condenser
behind, liquid trap below
45 kilogram propane
bottle = Reactor
Oil drum = biodiesel
bubble wash and dry
holding tank, switch gear

20-litre drum =
Methoxide Mixer

"I've used the system once a month since last June and had no problems. But the drums
are beginning to rust heavily, especially on the methoxide side of things.

"I had my Land Rover emissions test done last year, on standard diesel and the 100%

"Very interesting.

"The average reading for standard was 1.22 (whatever scale they use). Biodiesel was

"The bloke doing the check couldn't believe it. They usually sell an expensive additive
for people with smoky diesels or if they're just over the MOT emission limit."

April 2002
Full schematic of the processor -- Bigger image.

How it works
Click on the images one by one for graphic presentation of the processor at

1. 2. 3.

4. 5. 6.

7. 8. 9.
10. 11. 12.

Above: Methoxide Mixer showing air tool for

mixing, cap for adding caustic or manually
feeding methanol. Top gate valve for sucking in
methanol from source via transparent sighting
Right: Bottom of Methoxide Mixer showing valve
to control feed to reactor and sighting tube,
which is also used as methanol pickup pipe.

Detail of stirrer
Detail of bearing and coupler
Left: The pump
Right: The water

I use three of these for bubble

washing. They are pneumatic
exhaust silencers. They don't rot,
they're cheap and they work very

"Top Hat" inspection hatch and Sulphuric Acid

funnel (if using Aleks's Foolproof method)

Inside the FHT showing pickup

filter and a bit of the immersion