Cheap centrifuge testing - an Acme juicerator, it works!

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

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Cheap centrifuge testing - an Acme juicerator, it works!

Postby SunWizard » Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:11 pm

I have been testing an Acme juicerator, an old juicer that I bought on ebay for $15. They come up there often, I bought 4 for testing different mods (possibly destructive.) You get the 3600 rpm motor, a balanced stainless steel rotor, and a housing included. It requires a few easy mods to make it work. It has removed a 1/4" thick layer of black goo from my first 3 - 5 gallon test batches. I am still in early testing so haven't done any suspended water tests, but it should remove it similar to any CF with the same size rotor and speed. Here is the full rig:

Image

The top blue barrel gravity feeds through a faucet that I use to control the flow rate. The pipe and hose are wrapped with heat tape cable which provides a little heat to make it seperate better. This goes into the red plastic plunger which I drilled out to thread the garden hose in. I painted the rotor with rustoleum enamel paint inside and out. This is bubbling a little already due to the force, and I will probably do it with epoxy resin now that I have proven it works (edit-the epoxy resin is working good.) Here is the rotor before paint:
Image

My first tests were with it ratchet strapped down on top of a barrel, and it vibrated too much after it got a good layer of goo. So much vibrating that it made my feed hose come loose and spilled some VO, lucky I was outside. It did remove a large amount of black goo. So then I bolted it down to the top of a barrel using the 4 existing bolt holes and 3" pieces of all-thread into the metal bottom of the juicer: (edit- I learned after more experimenting- don't strap it or bolt it, leave it loose, the magic red foam feet stop vibrating best. When its not attached, you may need to hold it while speeding up and slowing down to prevent it walking away. You need to get it very level to prevent vibration.)
Image

This still vibrated too much when full sometimes, it felt like it would tip the empty barrel or break itself. So I drilled 2 equally spaced small holes in the top of the rotor so it holds less VO when full:
Image

This did the trick, it runs smooth, and appears to be working great. More testing to come, I will run it on the same VO as my Dieselcraft to compare speed and water and particle removal. I think I made the holes in the rotor too low, so it doesn't hold enough VO now, so my next tests I will start with the holes right near the center, then test and if it still vibrates, try new holes slightly lower, etc.

You have to run the VO very slowly through it for the best goo removal. I am starting with is a 5gph rate since the rotor is about the same size as the Bud and simplecentrifuge designs, and the motor speed is the same. Thats much slower than my Dieselcraft CF, but it was cheap and I can run it (or even 2 of them) at the same time to get even more processed.

The water and goo stays in the rotor when you are done. You unscrew the knurled nut in the center to remove the rotor if you want, but thats not needed for cleaning. I just remove the top, take the whole juicer and flip it over into my "old wet and goopy" barrel. Then wipe with a plastic spatula, then a rag.

It has an interesting (patented) feature, the metal disk shredder part in the center is about 1/8" thick and floats up and down, spring loaded, to provide better balance. The rotor is 7" in diameter, 3600rpm, producing a g force of 1289g. Many of the 5001 and 6001 model# parts are interchangeable, the difference is the top part is stainless on the 6001 models instead of very hard plastic on the 5001.

One warning to all you mad scientists out there, be ready for some vibration! I wouldn't just set this on my kitchen counter and test it unless you want what im6under called an "oil van gogh". A rotor of this diameter when it starts to vibrate seems dangerous. The rotor mass is a lot less than a CF made from a solid block of aluminum, or a propane tank, or a pressure cooker, but beware! I would not leave this thing unattended for very long until after much more testing. The Dieselcraft CF seems much safer, I leave it unattended all the time and I have never had it start to vibrate much, no matter how much goo builds up, and I have run it at least 100 hours so far.
YVORMV - Your veg. oil results may vary.
95 Dodge Cummins 4x4 SVO WVO conversion.
81 Mercedes 300D- stock and happy on V80/D20 blend.
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Postby SunWizard » Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:12 pm

I have run it continously for 3 hours in the sun and it didn't get too hot. Mildly hot to the touch, it has a large airflow through it. These things are very well built. The bearings may wear out eventually but these are so cheap, thats no big deal.

I don't think it would be very good for use in a moving vehicle just because of the large rotor and the gyroscopic forces created by that. The Dieselcraft is best for that, it has huge bearing surfaces designed for moving use, and a small rotor.
YVORMV - Your veg. oil results may vary.
95 Dodge Cummins 4x4 SVO WVO conversion.
81 Mercedes 300D- stock and happy on V80/D20 blend.
Low fossil net zero house- 100% solar power and heat.
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Postby SunWizard » Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:13 pm

I just used the fiberglass epoxy resin with hardener from an auto parts store on another rotor, and it worked great. I didn't use the fiberglass mat which is another option. Painted it on the inside and out, and it hardens in about an hour ready to use. It made a better seal than paint (which took 2 coats and still failed) and this stuff is tough. I think this will be able to take the 1300g of force, as well as the repeated scraping of the goo off the inside. More testing to come...
YVORMV - Your veg. oil results may vary.
95 Dodge Cummins 4x4 SVO WVO conversion.
81 Mercedes 300D- stock and happy on V80/D20 blend.
Low fossil net zero house- 100% solar power and heat.
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Postby SunWizard » Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:14 pm

Eureka! the epoxy resin does the trick. This is looking much more promising after several days of work and testing. I just ran 10 gallons through it bypassed off the pump while I ran the same VO through my Dieselcraft at 120-140F. This simple rig is removing almost as much goo (per hour) at a 5gph rate as the Dieselcraft is at a 60gph rate. This means its removing much finer in 1 pass, and I can tell that it is by feeling the grittiness of the goo between my fingers. I have developed a good feel for it after cleaning the rotor hundreds of times and feeling it as it removes to finer and finer levels.

I have learned some more tricks too. There is some magic in the density of the rubber feet on the unit, since it balances better when not bolted to the barrel (which compressed the rubber). The only drawback is I wonder if it gets off balance if it will go flying off the barrel. When its not attached, you may need to hold it while speeding up and slowing down to prevent it walking away.

The juicer on the right has a 1" taller motor, and has better balance. This better model also has a black 3 prong plug compared to the older one which has a gray 2 prong plug.

Here are pics of the latest rig:
Image

In this pic you can see the goo has a pattern up towards the holes, it may be better to have more than 2 holes spread out around the rim. On the bottom is where I ran my finger through it to see how thick the goo was.
Image

Maybe with more testing I can make it use a full rotor with no holes, this would retain more VO in the rotor for longer, but also be more dangerous!

The goo it removed from 5 gallons of VO in an hour:
Image
YVORMV - Your veg. oil results may vary.
95 Dodge Cummins 4x4 SVO WVO conversion.
81 Mercedes 300D- stock and happy on V80/D20 blend.
Low fossil net zero house- 100% solar power and heat.
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Postby SunWizard » Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:17 pm

My dieselcraft CF is getting more goo per hour. The juicer is getting much finer goo in 1 pass. It appears the dieselcraft is filtering to the same particle size after 4-6 passes since they both stop removing goo at the same time (being fed the same VO.) This makes sense since they both are creating 1300g's.

The dieselcraft is faster overall to the same size: 4 hrs. for 50 gallons versus 10 hrs. The juicer does it in 1 pass, and I may be able to speed it up closer to the dieselcraft if I can make the rotor hold more without going unstable and walking away. I haven't found the trick to juicerator any faster after 5 days & 100 gallons of experimenting with it.

Its still very unpredictable when it will go unstable so I don't feel good yet leaving it unattended. Here is the picture: I am working in the garden 200' away when I hear it go unstable (it gets loud), so I run at top speed over to it and catch it just before it moves so far it starts to spill its VO all over the place.
YVORMV - Your veg. oil results may vary.
95 Dodge Cummins 4x4 SVO WVO conversion.
81 Mercedes 300D- stock and happy on V80/D20 blend.
Low fossil net zero house- 100% solar power and heat.
SunWizard
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Plugging the holes

Postby harry3 » Thu Mar 06, 2008 6:53 am

I was wondering if silver soldering would work to plug the holes in the router? It is soft for easy removal of excess material and I don’t think it would ever brake away from the router. I just don’t know of a good way to apply it evenly. Nice forum. :idea:
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Postby SunWizard » Thu Mar 06, 2008 9:49 am

It might work, but its a lot of holes and would take a lot of expensive solder, and a lot of time.
YVORMV - Your veg. oil results may vary.
95 Dodge Cummins 4x4 SVO WVO conversion.
81 Mercedes 300D- stock and happy on V80/D20 blend.
Low fossil net zero house- 100% solar power and heat.
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Postby David » Thu Mar 06, 2008 6:08 pm

I reckon this is a top idea! Imagine how handy this thing would be for traveling. I'm going to have to see if they sell the same type of appliance here to do one myself!

For soldering, There is an industrial method called wave or pool soldering. Basically you get a big molten pool of solder and you skim the item you want to be soldered across the top. In wave soldering they have the solder flowing over a weir which makes it rise a mm or so like the opposite of a meniscus in a glass of water and they use that point to draw circuit boards and the like across.

For this app, maybe something like a narrow baking tin could hold the solder and the rotor of the juicer could be rotated on a shaft so it just touched the top. If it was put through the solder a few times so the rotor itsel was hot, I think the solder would find its own even density.

Perhaps if the rotor was properly cleaned with acid and/ or flux, lead, which is the main component of solder may be able to be used on its own which would make the process much faster. ( don't try molten battery lead, It won't work)

Plumbers solder sticks may also reduce cost if it can be made to stick.
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Postby Burbarian » Thu Mar 06, 2008 6:12 pm

Why not just put either an overlapped strip of plastic on the inner surface of the rotor or a plastic bag (properly cut) in the drum? This will plug the holes but allow the lighter oil to top out and escape. Then when you are done just peel off. No need for scraping. Pre-bagged goo.
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Postby haroldcr » Thu Mar 06, 2008 6:23 pm

Well, it's been a good while, but, I made the first test run today, with the Juicer.

Seems that I'm not getting any cleaning action, though ??

The oil is dark, but, not real dirty. I pour it into a sewn up Blue Jeans leg and then put that through the juicer. I had coated the basket with liquid steel instead of Resin. It is ground down and there is only a slight vibration, which gets much better when up to speed. When I first started it up, I first poured about 1 cup of oil into the basket, and flipped the switch. Didn't take long for oil to come out the spout?? When the stream slowed down, I started pouring at the rate of maybe a 1/8" stream, or twice the size of a pencil lead. I'm pouring from a small pop bottle, and trying to keep the feed rate pretty even with the output.

I'm not running anywhere near the 5 Gal. per hour rate. When I had run about 3 litres through the machine, I shut it down, to look things over. Hmmm, no crud buildup. Then, I noticed the 3, 1/4" holes I drilled in the domed ring, showed no signs of oil. However, when I ran a finger up under the lip, I did have oil on the tip of my finger, at each hole ???

The top of the domed ring is dry ??? I looked pretty good, and could see no bad places in the sealed wall, and there was NO oil on the outside of the basket. It was pretty dry ???

The bench I set the juicer on, is tilted to match the sloping floor. I re-ran the same oil, with my finger holding up the low side of the machine, and did the same style of run. Still no oil on the top of the domed ring, and a very slight dark streak of debris on the bottom inside edge of the basket.

On shutdown, I have about a 1/4" depth of oil in the basket ???

Any ideas ??? I've re-read this thread twice today, and can not see, if I have a leak, why the outside of the basket is not wet ???
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Postby haroldcr » Thu Mar 06, 2008 6:45 pm

Update

Today, I heated the oil to about 140°. It was pretty hot. Might even burn the skin a little. No thermometer, but, I believe it's a reasonable guess. Roll Eyes

Ennyhoo, I re-ran 2 litres from the first round. That makes 3 passes on this particular quantity. It came out looking as before, transparent but dark.
I wiped a finger around the inside of the basket, and, there IS brown sludge all around the basket, a very small amount. Big Grin

I tipped the machine, to drain out the drippings, then took out the basket and drained it. A few tiny drops of water, and many tiny bits of black (dirt) ?? It's all from the first batch. I never cleaned the basket.

Now, I'm heating a new batch, laying a clear 2 litre bottle of oil on some corrugated roofing, in the sun. After lunch, I'm going to look for the meat thermometer, I THINK I brought down here. That will give me a temp reading.
I live out in the country, so, not a LOT of gadgets in the stores.

I have held the basket up to the sun and see NO holes for oil to escape. I took the top off, and ran the machine with the run-back from shutting down. It DID spray out the 3 holes I drilled in the domed lip. ALL IS COOL. The machine is well balanced, and working like a charm.
Now, I have to rig up some barrels and get an auto feed system going, and then go collect 2 more 55 gallon or MORE drums that we had given to us for FREE Big Grin I didn't see the drums, but, my Bride says they are VERY tall Roll Eyes She's about 4'-8" or so Big Grin

So, Life is GOOD. I hope what little I posted will help another get going.
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Postby haroldcr » Fri Apr 04, 2008 5:27 pm

Nother update.
I've drilled 3 holes in the domed ring, for oil to escape from the basket. The holes were just under ¼", and about ¼" in from the sides of the basket. Oil exited the basket quickly and didn't seem to be as clear as I thought.
Plugged the holes with pieces of roofing rubber-vinyl washers. ?? Could NOT get the juicer to sit still. At top speed, I had to grab it, no matter what I tried, to steady it.

Today, drill 3 more holes in the domed ring, this time, just over 1/8" and just below the flat area on the domed ring, where it starts curving down to the sides.

Machine sits like it was bolted to the bench. Quiet, and oil is pretty much controlled as to how much exits the spout. Ran 3 gallons through it, and then, the sky opened up. Covered everything and will check tomorrow on how much crud is caught.
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Postby td2dv » Wed Jul 23, 2008 12:34 pm

haroldcr wrote:Nother update.
I've drilled 3 holes in the domed ring, for oil to escape from the basket. The holes were just under ¼", and about ¼" in from the sides of the basket. Oil exited the basket quickly and didn't seem to be as clear as I thought.
Plugged the holes with pieces of roofing rubber-vinyl washers. ?? Could NOT get the juicer to sit still. At top speed, I had to grab it, no matter what I tried, to steady it.

Today, drill 3 more holes in the domed ring, this time, just over 1/8" and just below the flat area on the domed ring, where it starts curving down to the sides.

Machine sits like it was bolted to the bench. Quiet, and oil is pretty much controlled as to how much exits the spout. Ran 3 gallons through it, and then, the sky opened up. Covered everything and will check tomorrow on how much crud is caught.

=========
Now that it's been a few months, how's the Acme working out. Are you happy with the placement of your 3, 1/8" holes?
Benz 240-D
Minneapolis
WVO/RUG (10%) 5 mo/yr
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Postby haroldcr » Thu Jul 24, 2008 2:21 pm

I am happy with the way the Juicer works. Only thing is, I still have to make it a more automatic operation.

I don't drive much or very far, except to get more oil, which is starting to accumulate.

I still pour from 1 gallon jugs, at a slow enough rate to watch the discharge, and keep it slow. Probably takes 1 hour to spin out 4 gallons. Got a cartridge filter I have to rig up, for final filtering. Just too many projects and not enough time.

I'm looking for a newer, better vehicle, so, I need to get in gear and get the process running smoother :roll:

I highly recommend this Juicer as an alternative to the pressure system, on a smaller amount needed basis. Great way to get involved and educated. Can always sell it and upgrade.

I have a guy wanting to buy or trade lumber or logs for my cleaned oil :roll: :lol: :lol:
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