Cruisin’ on homebrew

Yesterday I decided that the biodiesel I made last weekend looked good enough for a fill up. I spent last week washing the stuff in my washtank – first is sprinkled water on it and drained the soapy water from the bottom. Then I put a bubbler in the water below the biodiesel. The rising bubbles drag water through the biodiesel, then they pop and the water sinks back down to the bottom. Kind of like Spongebob and Patrick riding the fishing hooks -up and down and up and down … and every time they pick up the soap from the biodiesel. This process gets the soap out, but it leaves water dissolved in the biodiesel, and that needs to get removed in the next step.

There are several ways to dry washed biodiesel. I chose bubble drying. I just removed the water from the bottom of the washtank and fired up the bubbler, again. I also pointed a box fan at the surface of the biodiesel. Now the bubbles of air pick up the water, and drag it to the surface, where it evaporates. After a couple of days of bubble treatment, the biodiesel had turned from murky to clear.

So Sunday evening, I drained five gallons from the tank and filtered it to 5 microns using a sock filter. Finally, I poured my first homebrew biodiesel into the fuel tank of my 2002 Jetta. I took it for a spin, and all was well. There were only about 1 1/2 gallons of commercial biodiesel left, so it is running on mostly homebrew at this point. I drove about 30 miles (50 KM) today, and I noticed no difference, compared to the commercial biodiesel.

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