Filmed in conjunction with Zak Dowell at Appalachian State University.
The above is a time lapse of the construction of an “Appleseed”. An “Appleseed” is a cult word for a backyard biodiesel processor. This particular system is capable of processing fifty gallon batches of biodiesel. Waste Vegetable Oil collected from restaurants is placed in the settling tank.
After settling and draining off the dirty oil on the bottom, the WVO is pumped into the reaction tank. Methanol and lye are added and the pump circulates this mixture for about two hours, at a temperature around 140 degrees. After the reaction is made, the mixture is allowed to settle and glycerin will be drained from the bottom of the tank. The raw biodiesel is then pumped into another tank where it will slowly pass through the ion exchange system. The pulls water and other contaminants from the raw biodiesel. The cleaned biodiesel is now ready to be pumped into any diesel vehicle.
This clean burning fuel is healthier for the engine and the environment. The only side effect is the smell of fried foods, which is not such a bad thing.