Author Topic: Biodiesel Information  (Read 15735 times)

LowGear

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Re: Biodiesel Information
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2009, 08:16:26 AM »
Hi Rob,

I went and looked at the modified Appleseed processor and where in the Dickens do you find those fancy water heaters for under $600?  I see at least 3 more ports than any of the plain-vanilla units I have here at the house or anywhere I’ve seen in a conventional setting.

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carlb23

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Re: Biodiesel Information
« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2009, 01:47:11 PM »
Casey,

From what i have read i believe that most regular electric water heaters have extra ports that are plugged that can't been seen with the outer jacket and insulation on.  This is not first hand knowledge but only what I had read.

Carl

Canuck

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Re: Biodiesel Information
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2009, 11:07:34 PM »
Hi Lowgear,

I bought mine from the local Home Depot, but that was a couple of years ago now and I couldn't tell you where the best deals lie at this point.

My tank has the one port  near the bottom that is normally used to drain the tank.

There are four ports on the top... Cold in, Hot out, Pressure/Temp safety valve and the port that is normally occupied by the sacrificial anode rod which must be removed.  (I didn't use this port and it is currently plugged with a 3/4 plug.)

On my tank all five ports are 3/4 NPT which made it simple to organize the plumbing. My system draws the oil from the bottom port to a chinese made gear pump and sends it back to the old "cold" port on top via a glass re-enforced clear tube. Enroute it passes through a manifold that allows me to either pump out oil or draw in the Methoxide.  The pump is driven through a flex coupler by a 1/3 HP motor. Also found on this manifold is a cheepo automotive temperature guage sender to lets me keep track of the working temp of the reactor.

The old "hot" port has a "T" plumbed in where the vertical port is used as a gravity port to introduce the Acid and alcohol for the Acid/Base two stage process that I use. The horizontal port is home to a pressure gauge that allows me make sure I don't exceed the safety margin of the plastic hose mentioned above. I let my system pressurise to 10PSI then the heater switches off. This is a 100% safety margin for the hose I use.

The old "safety" port has a "T" plumbed in that has the original pressure/temp safety valve screwed into the vertical port and a nipple that fits my compressor hose in the horizontal port. I use this port to lightly pressurize the tank to aid in draining it.

I disconected the upper heating element as there are times when it will be above fluid level... and I really don't need the exitement that might follow an electrical heater burning out that is exposed to alchol vapour at 160 degrees F.

There are lots of shut-off valves in my system that allow me to completely seal the tank if needed.

If you go this route be sure to remove the 1.5 meter long thinwall plastic pipe that you will find inside the cold port before adding your plumbing.

I hope this helps, feel free to PM me if you need more info!

R.

« Last Edit: January 28, 2009, 11:16:55 PM by Canuck »
Canuck

LowGear

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Re: Biodiesel Information
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2009, 11:59:37 PM »
Hi R.

Thanks for the post.  Yup, these are the tanks I'm used to working with and around.  The link http://www.cybernet1.com/mcquaid/Appleseed%20proccessor.htm posted above in this thread takes us to a modified appleseed unit that has connectors comming out the sides - which usually means many bucks.  I contacted http://www.easthawaiibiodiesel.com/index.php?PHPSESSID=9766914cd80a681407186e7281b3b71b& and the fellow that administrats that site is going to have me over when his methenol arrives and give me a couple of full sequence rides to see how it's done with basically the tank you and I have.

LowGear
« Last Edit: January 29, 2009, 02:07:43 AM by LowGear »
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LowGear

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Re: Biodiesel Information
« Reply #19 on: January 29, 2009, 02:10:31 AM »
Aye, they do.  In the good ole days these heater elements screwed in but I think the glass linings had problems with the treads so we now have the gasketed ones.  Did you count how many side ports the linked appleseed had?

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LowGear

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Re: Biodiesel Information
« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2009, 03:56:13 AM »
Hmmmmmmm.  My experience has been the opposite so I went out to eBay hardware and they are about 50-50.  I haven't seen a threaded screw-in element in years and years.  This is the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii.  Most leaks I've seen are at the element port as well or where there's a small dent.  I think the dent cracks the glass and the rusting begins but that's only a private theory. 

I'm really looking forward to the show and tell when this East Hawaii BioDiesel fellow gets his alcohol.  Of course, there's still the romantic attachment to those coned plastic tanks but you have to let KISS (Keep It Simple and Smart) raise it's head once in a while.

Casey
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Canuck

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Re: Biodiesel Information
« Reply #21 on: January 30, 2009, 12:02:49 AM »
Hey Casesy,

Every tank I've ever seen here has had screw in heaters... (I'm on the coast of B.C.) but this may be due to a federal/provincial regulation that doesn't affect you... dunno tho.

I'm now on my second tank, the first corroded around the lower heater port. I think this was due to my leaving the acidified oil sitting in the tank for a spell while I was out of town tho. For whatever reason I got two years out of the first tank. If had the bucks I'd build a stainless tank with a conical bottom and two heater ports low down. 

As a hint that I learned the hard way...If you use a flex hose to run from the pump to the top of the tank it makes switching tanks a lot easier. The port placement is not the same from tank to tank and the flex hose helps to compensate for this without buggering around with the cast iron pipes.

let us know what you think once you've seen the process run a time or two!

cheers,

Rob.
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LowGear

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Re: Biodiesel Information
« Reply #22 on: January 31, 2009, 12:26:07 AM »
WHEN I"M WRONG I DON"T MESS AROUND!
I checked with my water heater guru back in Renton, Washington at the world famous McLendon Hardware.  Lady Di believes I'm at least 20 years out of date (she's a very kind and gentle person).  Every one of the heaters in their many stores have screw in heating elements.  I learn so much on this site - dang-it.  When you're the most sure you're often surely wrong.

Cheers,

Casey
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