Hello Brian

>Hello.  I am just starting in the production of my own
>biodiesel.  I have made several 1 liter test batches,

Good for you!

>but I'm not sure how to wash them.  I can't find
>anything online particular to small batches, but I
>have found sources that say bubblewashing will be too
>violent and cause emulsification.

People who say bubblewashing's too violent and set off on a quest for 
ever-gentler washing methods (eg "mist" washing) have taken a wrong 
turn before they start. Gentle washing techniques only mask the real 
problem, which is that the stuff isn't processed properly in the 
first place, they need to improve their processing.

Emulsification doesn't normally happen with well-processed fuel. It's 
caused by either (or probably both) too much soap and poor 
conversion, leaving diglycerides and monoglycerides, which are 
emulsifiers. If your fuel's properly made you won't be able to 
emulsify it no matter how violently you agitate it. That is what you 
should be aiming for.

See "Emulsification" and "Emulsion Explained" here:

So, some suggestions. First, take about 150ml of your finished, 
unwashed fuel and do this with it:
Quality testing

Let us know what happens.

Second, you can bubblewash it, in a 2-litre PET bottle. From Todd:

>You can use the pop-up cap found on water bottles at your grocer as the
>"valve" for drainage.
>This turns any PET bottle into a separative funnel.
>It takes a little practice to get the "valve" to trickle properly, but it
>does work superbly.

More details on how that works here:

You know those pop-up caps? Maybe made for cyclists or something. 
We've used something a little different (I think), a screw-on pop-up 
cap with a straw through the middle that goes right down to the 
bottom of the bottle, with an air-inlet gap around the straw, and the 
cap closing both the straw and the air-inlet. Do your bubblewash, 
remove the air-stone and air-pipe from the pump, screw on the pop-up 
cap, turn the bottle upside down and allow to settle. To drain off 
the settled water, hold the bottle (still upside down) over the sink 
or something, lift the cap; the water comes out the air-inlet gap, 
air goes up the straw to the top (bottom) of the bottle, and draining 
is smooth without any glug-glugging that'll splash and prevent a 
clean separation. If you can't find something like this you could 
easily rig it with some thin air-pipe and epoxy putty. If you can't 
find an air-stone small enough to fit the neck of the PET bottle, cut 
the neck off; when the wash is finished decant it all into another 
PET bottle and use the pop-up cap as above.


Best wishes


>Will someone share
>a success story?
>Thank you,

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