Critique my twist on cold upflow settling

Collecting, filtering and dewatering of WVO SVO vegetable oil. For Biodiesel producers too.

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Postby powerstroke73L » Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:40 pm

I finally got around to hot pan testing the sample I had been fooling with just to see what would happen. The test revealed LOTS of water. Not the point of spitting and popping, but there was quite a bit of bubbling. This oil was taken from the output of the settling drum. Based on what I've learned about additives defeating the settling process, I'm guessing that the water is in suspension throughout all levels of the barrel and due to the presence of the PSDK. However, if this mixture of oil, diesel, and PSDK is not "fooling" the hot pan test, can the water be removed?
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Postby canolafunola » Mon Jun 09, 2008 10:11 am

John Galt wrote:Yes, I make sure the oil going in is not warmer than the oil in the upflow barrel.


Is that in your cold upflow settling writeup? Seems to me an important step.
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Postby WD8CDH » Mon Jun 09, 2008 12:04 pm

powerstroke73L wrote:I finally got around to hot pan testing the sample I had been fooling with just to see what would happen. The test revealed LOTS of water. Not the point of spitting and popping, but there was quite a bit of bubbling. This oil was taken from the output of the settling drum. Based on what I've learned about additives defeating the settling process, I'm guessing that the water is in suspension throughout all levels of the barrel and due to the presence of the PSDK. However, if this mixture of oil, diesel, and PSDK is not "fooling" the hot pan test, can the water be removed?


Try mist washing and/or bubble washing then settling. Try it on a pint or so in a glass jar first. 1/4 water and 3/4 oil. Shake it up for a while, let it settle for a few days and pan test some oil from the top.
Ron Schroeder
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Postby John Galt » Mon Jun 09, 2008 12:23 pm

canolafunola wrote:
John Galt wrote:Yes, I make sure the oil going in is not warmer than the oil in the upflow barrel.


Is that in your cold upflow settling writeup? Seems to me an important step.


My processor is outside in an unheated shed, all the oil is the same outside temperature.
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Postby Burbarian » Mon Jun 09, 2008 2:01 pm

powerstroke73L wrote:However, if this mixture of oil, diesel, and PSDK is not "fooling" the hot pan test, can the water be removed?


Oil that's contaminated with PSDK and other volatile additives that have a lower boiling point than straight vo will show a false positive in a hot pan test. If these volatile fractions are of similar specific gravity and are miscible with the base vo, then they will not separate by settling or centrifuge. However, the blended fuel could be used if it was thoroughly dewatered. Passing it slowly through a column of silica gel might do the trick. Then you'll have to refilter to catch silica dust, which is abrasive.
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Postby powerstroke73L » Mon Jun 09, 2008 3:06 pm

Burbarian wrote:Oil that's contaminated with PSDK and other volatile additives that have a lower boiling point than straight vo will show a false positive in a hot pan test.


I eventually figured this out by doing some more reading. :(

Burbarian wrote:If these volatile fractions are of similar specific gravity and are miscible with the base vo, then they will not separate by settling or centrifuge. However, the blended fuel could be used if it was thoroughly dewatered. Passing it slowly through a column of silica gel might do the trick. Then you'll have to refilter to catch silica dust, which is abrasive.


This is where I'm a little lost. Just to clarify I'm not trying to separate the Power Service or diesel from the oil. All I want to do is make sure that I can effectively dewater the blend. WD8CDH mentioned that if the water has become dissolved or emulsified as a result of the additives that a CF/settling will not remove it. Perhaps a CF by itself, but what about with the addition of heat which typically accompanies it? It's clearly stated that centrifuges do most if not all of their dewatering via flash evaporation. What about that?

I don't want anyone to think I'm being difficult here, but I'm not a chemist and I'm trying desperately to wrap my mind around emulsions, dispersants, etc...
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Postby John Galt » Mon Jun 09, 2008 3:24 pm

Won't the CF remove any harmful water? For an older engine the dissolved water shouldn't be a problem, especially if you use it in the summer.
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Postby WD8CDH » Mon Jun 09, 2008 3:31 pm

WD8CDH wrote:Try mist washing and/or bubble washing then settling. Try it on a pint or so in a glass jar first. 1/4 water and 3/4 oil. Shake it up for a while, let it settle for a few days and pan test some oil from the top.


By, the way, I am not advocating mist washing as the best general purpose processing method but it is very good for some contaminants that can't settle out.

Under some conditions, water that is suspended by detergents, alcohol and a few other contaminants can still be harmful and not able to be removed by settling or a CF.
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Postby powerstroke73L » Mon Jun 09, 2008 3:51 pm

WD8CDH wrote:Try mist washing and/or bubble washing then settling. Try it on a pint or so in a glass jar first. 1/4 water and 3/4 oil. Shake it up for a while, let it settle for a few days and pan test some oil from the top.


I'll try this as soon as I get home. I had sampled half a peanut butter jar full a while ago and decided to add some water. It's been settling on my dresser for the past 2 days.

WD8CDH wrote:Under some conditions, water that is suspended by detergents, alcohol and a few other contaminants can still be harmful and not able to be removed by settling or a CF.


Again though, are we talking about a standalone CF or one that is utilizing heat? What's to say that the PSDK (and the water) will not boil off together? I realize that could be a little hazardous-perhaps I should do the initial test outdoors :wink:
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Postby WD8CDH » Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:19 am

powerstroke73L
[quote="WD8CDH wrote:
Under some conditions, water that is suspended by detergents, alcohol and a few other contaminants can still be harmful and not able to be removed by settling or a CF.


Again though, are we talking about a standalone CF or one that is utilizing heat? What's to say that the PSDK (and the water) will not boil off together? I realize that could be a little hazardous-perhaps I should do the initial test outdoors :wink:[/quote]

Heat could have positive and negative effects. While it will reduce viscosity allowing for faster seperation (by either gravity or a CF) it will also increase solubility making it harder to seperate. Probably the best thing to do is add water so the dispersed contaminants bond to the water and become diluted. Then gravity or the CF will be more effective in removal. Not knowing what the boiling point of PSDK is would prevent me from reccomending vacuum or boiling for removal.
Ron Schroeder
WD8CDH
'85 MB 300DT 2 Tank
Since '81 former WVO conversions:
'83 240D
'80 Audi 4000D
'83 Isuzu Pup
'86 Golf
'76 Honda Civic with Kubota engine
Prior to the cars, several generators
Kubota Tractor
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Postby coachgeo » Tue Jun 10, 2008 8:03 am

your in uncharted territory with no real way to test for water.

what is your vehicle? if its a high dollar rig you want to keep forever.... then pitch this batch and move on.

If its a beater of a rig and you got a replacement.... then try the silica, mist washing.... or even adding salt to force it to settle better then..... ORRRRR skip all that and just run it till its used up and don't do any new batches that way.

How much oil do you have that is done this way?
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Postby powerstroke73L » Tue Jun 10, 2008 9:09 am

John Galt wrote:Won't the CF remove any harmful water? For an older engine the dissolved water shouldn't be a problem, especially if you use it in the summer.


That's what I was thinking, but I'm just not sure.

WD8CDH wrote:Heat could have positive and negative effects. While it will reduce viscosity allowing for faster seperation (by either gravity or a CF) it will also increase solubility making it harder to seperate. Probably the best thing to do is add water so the dispersed contaminants bond to the water and become diluted. Then gravity or the CF will be more effective in removal. Not knowing what the boiling point of PSDK is would prevent me from reccomending vacuum or boiling for removal.


Interesting idea!

coachgeo wrote:your in uncharted territory with no real way to test for water.

what is your vehicle? if its a high dollar rig you want to keep forever.... then pitch this batch and move on.

If its a beater of a rig and you got a replacement.... then try the silica, mist washing.... or even adding salt to force it to settle better then..... ORRRRR skip all that and just run it till its used up and don't do any new batches that way.

How much oil do you have that is done this way?


It's a 2003 7.3L Powerstroke-not something I can afford to mess up. I have about 110 gallons (two 55 gallon drums full) and I've since sealed them and put them aside. I've set up a new upflow system with two new barrels and will be filling them with nothing but WVO. Does anyone know if oil burners are very sensitive to suspended/dissolved water? I had been toying with the idea of modifying my oil burner to hand WVO anyway...
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Postby WD8CDH » Tue Jun 10, 2008 9:27 am

powerstroke73L wrote:It's a 2003 7.3L Powerstroke-not something I can afford to mess up. I have about 110 gallons (two 55 gallon drums full) and I've since sealed them and put them aside. I've set up a new upflow system with two new barrels and will be filling them with nothing but WVO. Does anyone know if oil burners are very sensitive to suspended/dissolved water? I had been toying with the idea of modifying my oil burner to hand WVO anyway...


I have 2 small upflow settling systems that I use for batches of wierd stuff. One made from 2L soda bottles and one made from 5 gallon water cooler bottles. You might want to make up a small one to get rid of your 110 gallons too.

Oil burners are not very sensitive to dissolved or suspended water except for long term storage. A floating pickup will prevent any free water until the end. I have been heating with a waste veggie burner for many years but that is off this topic.
Ron Schroeder
WD8CDH
'85 MB 300DT 2 Tank
Since '81 former WVO conversions:
'83 240D
'80 Audi 4000D
'83 Isuzu Pup
'86 Golf
'76 Honda Civic with Kubota engine
Prior to the cars, several generators
Kubota Tractor
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Postby powerstroke73L » Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:43 am

WD8CDH wrote:I have 2 small upflow settling systems that I use for batches of wierd stuff. One made from 2L soda bottles and one made from 5 gallon water cooler bottles. You might want to make up a small one to get rid of your 110 gallons too.


What exactly do you mean? Are you talking about getting rid of it by blending small amounts with other oil-etc...?

WD8CDH wrote:Oil burners are not very sensitive to dissolved or suspended water except for long term storage. A floating pickup will prevent any free water until the end. I have been heating with a waste veggie burner for many years but that is off this topic.


I'd love to hear more of your thoughts on this in the space heating forum-I'm starting a new topic there.
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Postby WD8CDH » Tue Jun 10, 2008 12:07 pm

powerstroke73L wrote:
WD8CDH wrote:I have 2 small upflow settling systems that I use for batches of wierd stuff. One made from 2L soda bottles and one made from 5 gallon water cooler bottles. You might want to make up a small one to get rid of your 110 gallons too.


What exactly do you mean? Are you talking about getting rid of it by blending small amounts with other oil-etc...?



No, just adding water, shake and then upflow settle of the 110 gallons oil with PSDK in it seperate from your "clean" upflow settling system.
Ron Schroeder
WD8CDH
'85 MB 300DT 2 Tank
Since '81 former WVO conversions:
'83 240D
'80 Audi 4000D
'83 Isuzu Pup
'86 Golf
'76 Honda Civic with Kubota engine
Prior to the cars, several generators
Kubota Tractor
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