I know there are a lot of members here who are making biodiesel for their vehicles and would like to transition it over to home heating as well, so it’s imperative that we get this information here on the forum ASAP. Though I’ve seen the numbers on producing a gallon of biodiesel range from 50 cents to a $1.00, even at that amount, it’s a bargain if you know how to safely make it, so there is a lot of focus on this right now.
If you live in Connecticut, making biodiesel, and live not too far from Stamford, please contact me offline as I would like to purchase some B100 to experiment with.
I won’t deny that there is an big investment of time and equipment when converting a Beckett, for instance, over to a siphon nozzle setup:
- air compressor
- siphon nozzle/adapter/oil lines
- air preheater
- oil preheater
- air diffuser (retention head)
- misc. Switches for temp control
- band heaters
- external pump to keep the oil reservoir full
- oil reservoir
- misc. Connectors, etc, and I’m sure I’ve left things out as each application is different.
- Then there is the filtering of the wvo for use in the siphon nozzle.
On the other hand, I think there are valid applications for B100. I am currently conversing with an owner/farmer of six greenhouses who makes biodiesel for all his personal and farm vehicles and wants to convert over the six Becketts to B100 as well.
He has a good source of wvo for his winter use. When I collect my wvo and filter it, I don’t get a 100% return as 20% or more is dumped because it’s unusable. From what I understand about making biodiesel, it’s a 100% return when you make it, i.e., it’s doesn’t matter how thick the wvo is or how many Freedom fries are in it, so not much involved in the filtering end of it. If he could get all six burners to run effectively on B100 during the winter leaving him to concentrate on making B100 for all his uses I could see the incentive for that.
Also remember you are talking about using wvo in an enclosed environment like a basement or garage that is semi-heated and no one has come back with any data on running wvo oil in a gun style burner out in the open, so to speak, like a greenhouse.
I think there is a huge potential for B100 in a Beckett A4 style burner (residential) and would like to see someone put a Carlin nozzle heater on their oil burner and see if they could burn B100. Unfortunately, Carlin does not put the switching temps on their nozzle heater and when I emailed them about, I was told to call the factory tech on it, not leaving me with a lot of confidence about it’s use under a heavy application.
Maybe, it could be as simple as putting a 1” x 3” brass collar, a 1” x 2” band heater, and a 100 degree temp button on the nozzle tube up near the nozzle, but I have seen no data on preheating B100 other than the lightbulb that Myles incorporated into his setup at one point. I understand that the problem are in the startup, so maybe even a time limiter on the preheater could be incorporated into the design.
There are a lot of people who are not mechanically inclined to build a si-borg siphon burner but can make biodiesel in their sleep. I’d like to find a clear cut way for them to easily build or buy a kit to retrofit their burner to run B100 and I think it exists, I just need some more feedback from forum members who are currently using it.
I fired up the Miller Gun today, on my workbench outside. Observations:
- After the burner shuts off (no longer calling for heat) a fine spray persists out the nozzle for maybe 10 seconds. Is this normal?
- With 0% BD the flame was large and bright orange with no droplets or smoke visible.
- With BD100, the flame is smaller, droplets are visible, and there is a fair amount of smoke visible. My initial guess is that the smoke and droplets are from unburnt BD.
- BD50, flame is nearly identical to 0% BD with no droplets or smoke visible.
So there is day 1 of testing. I am not sure what is normal for this miller gun. There seems to be quite a bit of unburnt fuel that is in the blast tube as a result of the spray mentioned in #1. There isn’t a gasket between the tube and the body of the gun, so there was a few drops that leaked out. I’m sure that isn’t good, so any feedback on that problem would go a long way to ease my mind about installing the gun. The nozzle is a MH 579. HVAC shop said that is what these mobile home furnaces are suppose to use.