Biofuel is considered to be the most pure and the easiest available fuels on the planet. Also known as agrofuel, they are classified into gas, liquid and solid form derived from biomass. Most of the people would be very happy to know that most of the forms of biofuels can be easily manufactured even at in one's kitchen garden. One of the key features of biofuels is that they are better than other forms of fuels like petrol or diesel that is manufactured by most of the big oil manufacturing companies. Most of the diesel engines would work more efficiently and even last longer with the use of these home made biofuels. These fuels are also very clean and environment friendly. These biofuels can be a lot more economic if used in the kitchen for cooking purpose. These fuels also encourage the recycling process as most of them are manufactured from waste products.
There are various forms of biofuels and most of them are made through a detailed process having various stages. Most of the animal fats, vegetables and oils contain glycerin and are thus called triglycerides. In the process of manufacturing the biofuels, all the fats and oils are turned into esters, separating the glycerin. At the end of the process, all the glycerin sinks down at the bottom and all the biofuel rests at the top. The process through which the glycerin is separated from the biodiesel is known as transesterification. This process also uses lye as a catalyst in the whole process. Some of the chemicals which are used in the manufacturing of biofuels are ethanol or methanol which brings into use methyl esters. Methanol is derived from fossil fuels while ethanol is derived from plants. One of the advantages of using ethanol is that they can be distilled even at the home without any problem.
The process of manufacturing biofuel can be classified in the following stages. These stages are:
Filtering: In this process, waste vegetable oil is filtered to remove all the food particles. This process generally involves warming up the liquid a little. After warming up the liquid, it can be filtered with the use of coffee filter.
Removing of water: All the water contained in the residual gangue has to be removed which will make the reaction faster. The water can be easily removed by making the liquid boil at 100 degree C for sometime.
Titration: This process is carried out to determine the amount of lye that would be required. This process is the most crucial and the most important stage of biofuel manufacturing.
Preparation of sodium methoxide: In this process, methanol is mixed with sodium hydroxide to produce sodium methoxide. In most of the cases, the quantity of methanol used is generally 20 percent of waste vegetable oil.
Heating and mixing: The residue is heated in between 120 to 130 degree F after which it is mixed well. It should be remembered that process should be done carefully avoiding splashing of the liquid.
Settling and separation: After mixing the liquid, it has to be allowed to cool down. After the cooling process, the biofuel will be found floating at the top while the heavier glycerin would be found at the bottom. The glycerin can be easily separated by allowing it to drain out from the bottom. The person is left over with pure biofuel which can be used for various purposes.