Advice for a traveling filtration and dewatering system

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

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Advice for a traveling filtration and dewatering system

Postby graham » Sun Mar 29, 2009 5:26 pm

This summer, my partner and i will be traveling the country in a bus running on WVO with an organic garden on top. I have spent several hours today doing extensive research into numerous topics i needed to brush up on - like dewatering.

Ive learned about settling as an ideal way to dewater and begin the filtering process. We have a filter system already to prepare the final product, but do not plan on getting a centrifuge (primarily due to cost).

What do you think the best system would be for dewatering in a moving bus, as settling seems to be impossible? Quick n Dry?

Any general suggestions for this adventure would also be appreciated
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Postby John Galt » Sun Mar 29, 2009 5:53 pm

Centrifuge. Do a search on that word to get more information. It's been discussed extensively. The more you're willing to spend then the quicker, easier and higher volume per hour it will be.
Q&D is best used for final 'polishing'.
John Galt
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Postby 240Volvo » Sun Mar 29, 2009 5:55 pm

I dewater in a 30 gallon barrel with a livestock bucket heater. I bring the oil to 140F (takes about 20 minutes at room temp) and let settle for 12 hours.

If you are going to attempt this, you must do so when you will not be moving the oil for 13 hours or so. You would then need to test the dewatered oil for water content, and remove the safely tested upper portion of the oil (that has separated from the water) to a different container, as a moving bus will remix the oil and water.

You should try collecting oil, filtering, and bouncing around the filtered oil for a few days (as you would on the road) and then dewatering (as above) to see if this would actually work. I have my doubts. Emulsified water and oil can be very difficult to separate. Most people I know of who do this use a CF.

You should also post exactly how you are planning to filter oil here to see if you are missing something very important. You should also post what you have done to your bus (with all info about make, model, engine and IP), and you should have taken time to test and debug your system well in advance of your need to depart on the road trip.
1984 Volvo 240 diesel with a single tank Elsbett conversion: electric fuel filter heater, FPHE, glow plugs, and injectors. Also injector line heaters and block heater, running 20%kero/80%WVO winter blend.
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Postby WD8CDH » Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:53 am

Heat while driving and settle while parked. I haven't tried it yet myself but Quik n Dry might be a good final step if you can't settle long enough.

Sucking from the top down 2/3 of the way after settling would be better than draining off the crud and then trying to get good oil out the same drain.
Ron Schroeder
'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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On-Board Filtration System

Postby dragonfly » Wed May 20, 2009 11:17 am

I have purchased a 33' 5th wheel and therefore it is crunch time for the mobile filtration system to come off the drawing board and into the bed of my '69 Chevy 3/4 ton PU. I've decided to use an open bowl CF to process on the move. I am going to build a small set up just to work out the logistics, placement of the components which will be dictated by the exit hole of the CF bowl. Two 15 gal poly drums on their sides; open bowl CF with a 1/3 hp AC motor; 1000 watt AC/DC inverter, in-tank coolant water heater exchanger; Shureflo pump; 30 gal aluminum VO fuel tank. In a gravity feed system, the CF bowl will have to be placed so as the good oil exists the outer bowl, it will drop into poly #2. The poly tanks will be stacked on top of each other on their sides. The top poly (#1) will receive RAW oil and heated via engine coolant water; exits #1 into CF bowl then drops into poly #2; Shureflo pump (1 gal/min) will pump oil back into #1 and recycled as many times as needed. Through a solenoid, the Shureflow pump will transfer the oil from #2 to the aluminum VO fuel tank. Just to play it safe, the trk's standard alternator will be replaced with a 100 amp unit. For collecting on the road, I have a Fill Rite 12VDC pump (mounted in the trk's bed) with the output connected to the #1 poly. I plan to have a long electrical cable with an ON/OFF switch to control the pump when pumping VO from the restaurant's WVO container. Eventually, the two poly drums will be increased to 30 gals. each. As far as dewatering is concerned, I'm confident that even in a mobile configuration the open bowl, the CF will take out the suspended water. I will be using the same RAW oil in my stationary setup as a base line for water content to process in the mobile system. The RAW base line has been 675 ppm and after being processed via my SimpleCentrifuge, and tested by the Sandy Brea Testing system, registered a 75 ppm reading. I'll test the mobile processed oil again to see what the numbers before and after the process. Input welcome from the list.

I'm confident that an open bowl CF will
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