- This topic has 84 replies, 17 voices, and was last updated 4 years, 4 months ago by Anonymous.
- April 11, 2013 at 1:02 pm #78476j.l.holtParticipant
Sorry to disagree with you on the mixing…That has not been a problem.April 11, 2013 at 1:16 pm #78477
Actually, the chemical and energy (heat) costs are included in the cost per gallon of producing biodiesel. And to make it even close to profit making or break even, the byproducts (oilseed meal as well as glycerin) are considered to have been sold. Chemical cost – the sodium hydroxide is pretty minimal in both amounts and cost; methanol is not so cheap and now uses natural gas as the base so sort of linked back to the petro market. Can use ethanol but from the literature, it’s not as “good” as methanol. AND you need to make ethanol (and not drink it or use it directly).
The flow issues that bioD has are also a problem with WVO (waste veg oil). The other sticker is water. Water can wreak havoc on your lift/injector pump.
The positive thing about some biod production is that seed can be stored until you have the time to process it. Also, both ethanol and biod production yield a useable byproduct — the leftover/spent meal. The cost of the “processing equipment” if purchased, can be a putoff but worth investigation. Here’s a series of pics showing the setup at a local farmer’s shop –he’s running 3 seed presses in the first picture.
Attachments:You must be logged in to view attached files.April 11, 2013 at 2:25 pm #78483Andy CarsonModerator
I am a great supporter of Biodiesel, but just not on a small scale for at-home use. Here’s why.
The cheapest Biodiesel converter sold by US freedom Biofuels (the company in Geoff’s photos) goes for $8740 without shipping. They say the conversion of oil to biodiesel can be as cheap as $0.8 a gallon, all in, which does seem great. This is especially true if you it is working to the machines capacity producing many gallons of fuel per day. This is more than the fuel we are talking about, though. If we are talking about 20 gallons a year, this is providing a potential benefit (not taking into account oil price, harvesting, tillage, storage, etc) of $16 a year (20x$0.8). At this rate, it would take over 500 years for this machine to pay for itself. If you want to machine to pay for itself in 5 years (which seems like a reasonable minimum), you would need to produce 2185 gallons of biodiesel per year ($8740 /5 years /$0.8 ). 2185 gallons at 7 lb/gallon = 15,300 lbs of canola oil. At a 30% yield of oil, that is 51,000 lbs of canola seed (~25 tons). Now you need a silo too… That comes to 16.6 acres of canola, assuming 3000 lbs/acre yeild. This is not a side job anymore…
This paints a pretty grim picture, but it is only a small fraction of the equipment needed and assumes a best case scenario in alot of cases. Organic canola is, I am pretty sure, not going ot yield like this. You are goign to need a combine (or at least use of one) for these volumes. You need a high volume press of some sort of other oil extraction tool. You will need extra farm equipment and/or more animals to deal with this increased land area. Add all this up and I wouldn’t be suprised if we are talking about 50 acres of canola to make this profitable. That means you would likley need more land, and a loan. Even if you have all that and it works out on paper, you need costumers who are going to buy your biodiesel at $5-6+your living dollars a gallon (price of canola+processing+your living). Probably easy to unload some of it, and probably easier when diesel gets more expensive (of course this is going ot drive up the price of canola too) but can you unload 50 acres worth or 6500 gallons? That’s alot of customers… Again, this seems like a fulltime job, not something you fiddle around with on the side to make 20 gallons…April 12, 2013 at 9:57 am #78496JaredWoodcockParticipant
Ive worked with SVO and biodiesel for 15 years now and I agree with Andy, but using homemade equipment and used fryer grease has worked great for me on a small scale.
As for the hay I still think loose hay is the answer to all of this!!! As farmers we have more muscle than money.
JaredApril 12, 2013 at 9:58 am #78497
If you want to make bioD at a smaller scale you build your own “less efficient” processor at a fraction the cost. There are tons of plans/designs out there. Crushing is the limiter ….. presses are not so cheap either and the “reasonably priced” ones have a small throughput capacity. That’s why the guy in the photo was running 3 presses at once.
I tried to point out earlier that canola/rape have been highly bred and selected and need babying (pesticide/herbicides/fertilizer). The guy in the photos is probably crushing canola but he’s really promoting camelina — much smaller seed and yields but pretty hardy/tough plant that requires little “babying”.
Another option to offset costs would be to work out a cooperative arrangement with other like-minded individuals.April 12, 2013 at 10:00 am #78498
“As farmers we have more muscle than money.” Hmm – wait ’til you’re older and re-evaluate that statement. : )
Now mine reads “little muscle and less money”.April 12, 2013 at 11:04 am #78501Andy CarsonModerator
“As for the hay I still think loose hay is the answer to all of this!!! ”
It sure seems that way, doesn’t it?April 12, 2013 at 7:04 pm #78508bendubeParticipant
Loose hay certainly has a lot of advantages, and for a lot of folks, its definitely an answer.
The capital-intensity of biofuels especially, and also a lot of other technologies, underscores the need for cooperation for sustainability in a low energy future. And the low tech solutions, like loose hay, require a lot of labor, so you still need your neighbors.
In twenty years, I’d like to have one or two bio-diesel processors in my county, a neighbor with a loader-tractor, a neighbor with a motorized forecart, and enough people in my community farming with animals that we could string up a 20 animal hitch if we ever needed it! (not even sure why we would)April 13, 2013 at 4:16 pm #78514gwpokyParticipant
I’m with Andy, loose hay is the answer, as long as you are not planning on selling hay. if you have a good way to get it off the wagon it is the best feed and in my opinion less labor/capital intensive than small squares. That said, we just acquired a teamster 2000 that I would like to run a 9′ sickle with, but we will still put it up loose. I have tried to post a picture of out set up, we use three to pull this and then use a grapple in the barn to unload, very slick. Sorry if this is a little off subject. My good friend Tim is driving and I am stacking.
Attachments:You must be logged in to view attached files.September 18, 2015 at 11:20 pm #86141AnonymousInactive
Gotta need a clutch gear sifting guide,, any idea.. missing some important details here… new in this field.
Marko of http://www.digitekprinting.com/
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