Homebrew capacitive water in oil % saturated meter testing

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

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Re: Homebrew capacitive water in oil % saturated meter testi

Postby SunWizard » Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:09 am

sooty wrote:Sunwiz,
I have calibrated my cap meter to dry and 2000ppm 0% FFA oil and made my graph to determine 0% intercept. Mine is 304.7 @ 68 (I calculated this from the formula because tests were done at a lower temp)
Do I still need separate graphs for increasing % of FFAs?

Yes if you want a PPM number. But I have found PPM is not as useful as % saturation since PPM varies hugely depending on the FFA, see the chart on post#1. And % saturation easier to measure and compare between varied batches (then FFA doesn't matter.) I set a goal to get the % saturation below 60%.
Have you heard from others if their chips follow similar slope increases as yours did for increasing FFA's?

No.
YVORMV - Your veg. oil results may vary.
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Re: Homebrew capacitive water in oil % saturated meter testi

Postby sooty » Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:31 am

I will start documenting % saturation from collection, settling, drying, pretreatment with glycerin to biodiesel and its final polishing. This makes it very easy. Thanks again. Jim aka. sooty
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Re: Homebrew capacitive water in oil % saturated meter testi

Postby Burbarian » Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:22 pm

Back on the air.

Been catching up on a few years absence from the forum. Interesting stuff!

Haven't seen it, but if it's already been mentioned, I apologize for the repeat. A modest suggestion:

Use the capacitive sensor as one leg of an r/c in a 555 timer set up as a tone generator. The output frequency will shift depending on the water saturation level. Use a frequency counter to determine the frequency value between 0% and 100% saturation. Capture the output in a counter and subtract the base value. Divide by 100 to get percentage. You can use the output to drive a BCD to 7-seg display, or a simple LED bar. Old school CMOS discrete logic chips. You could also do the above in software with an ATMEL or even a PIC micro. A few dollars in parts from mail order electronics supply stores. Wired together and encased in epoxy, it could be the size of a match box. I'd hazard <$100 in parts, including the sensor. Might be a business opportunity here.
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Re: Homebrew capacitive water in oil % saturated meter testi

Postby sooty » Sun Jul 08, 2012 10:08 pm

Follow up on use of this meter.
Works fine with regular WVO.
Does NOT work well with WVO that has been pretreated with glycerin byproduct for making Biodiesel. The readings actually get higher after pretreatment. I tried to check for water in my methanol and it fried the sensor, began reading in the 600 range and has never settled back down, even after putting it in a "dry box" with some calcium chloride. I eventually bought a replacement sensor and a spare and do not check methanol anymore. I suspect the methanol which is released from the glycerin byproduct into the WVO is elevating the readings. I have only checked one batch of biodiesel and the sensor does not like it.
jim
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Re: Homebrew capacitive water in oil % saturated meter testi

Postby wo_guy » Sun Aug 05, 2012 8:30 am

Hi, just joined this forum, and I'm very excited with all the info thats been posted about measuring the water content.I've been playing around with wmo (I hate the stuff, but thats all I can get,wvo is really hard to get cause of the oil collecting companies), and I was wondering if the sensor would have any issues with all the crap in wmo (heavy metals,ash etc.)? Has anyone tried measuring water % in wmo,did it work the same as with wvo ?
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Re: Homebrew capacitive water in oil % saturated meter testi

Postby wo_guy » Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:28 pm

I ordered a capacitive humidity sensor, but in the mean time I was playing around with a cheap digital hygrometer (from ebay).I placed the probe of the meter inside a barrel half full of oil that I just centrifuged and quickly closed the lid,so the sensor probe is sitting in the air above the oil. The temperature inside was about 40 C and after about 30min the reading was about 15% humidity.
I didn't make a measurement with the carbide manometer because the oil was to hot but I'll do that next so I can compare.
Do you think this could be a viable alternative to the capacitive meter or am I missing something? Granted it takes a bit to get a reading but if your not in a hurry it might be ok. For on the fly measurements you can't beat the cap. meter.
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Re: Homebrew capacitive water in oil % saturated meter testi

Postby SunWizard » Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:39 am

Yes I have found the headspace air does give some indication of the oil humidity. The trick is to do it when there is no sun shining on the barrel and the ambient air is the same temp as the WVO. If not the readings can be way off. Also you have to keep the barrel closed for a long time since it was opened for the humidity in the headspace to equalize with the WVO. If the barrel is only half full it may never equalize, I haven't tested that.
YVORMV - Your veg. oil results may vary.
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Re: Homebrew capacitive water in oil % saturated meter testi

Postby wo_guy » Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:58 am

After about 16 hours the temp in the barrel was the same as the ambient air around it : 30 C. and the meter showed 10% humidity.Also the barrel is 120l (32 gallons) and has 80l (21 gal) of oil in it so more than half but still a considerable amount of air. I'm curious to see how long it takes for the meter to stabilize, if it ever does. anyway it's not very a practical method thats for sure,as you said you can't open the barrel for quite some time. :lol:
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Re: Homebrew capacitive water in oil % saturated meter testi

Postby wo_guy » Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:49 am

ok, i finally have my accurate capacitance meter and the hch-1000 sensor,but I don't know what's going on here because I tried to calibrate it using a contaminated sample of oil ( 1ml of water in 1L of oil, or 1000ppm) and I get a very high reading 549 pF on the meter,I don't know what I'm doing wrong.
I've used a similar setup as everyone here: epoxied the sensor in a ball-point pen casing, with very short leads.
When measuring the humidity of the air in the room I get a very steady reading of about 330pF,and when I dip the sensor in a store bought sample of oil I get 324pF. So whats up with the very high reading in the wet oil.
any advice is welcome...
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Re: Homebrew capacitive water in oil % saturated meter testi

Postby SunWizard » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:48 am

We need more info to help. Was the contaminated sample the same new oil? How did you blend the water into the oil? Try adding only 500 ppm water (or less), since with new oil, that can be 100% saturated and anything beyond that won't register properly. It could be you got the sensor into a drop of 100% water, since if you go past saturation there are droplets, which can make it go really high.
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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Re: Homebrew capacitive water in oil % saturated meter testi

Postby wo_guy » Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:54 pm

yes the contaminated sample was the same new oil,
I blended the water and oil by shaking it until the oil turned cloudy.
So it couldn't have reached saturation with 1000ppm water if the new oil registered such a low value on the meter, could it?
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Re: Homebrew capacitive water in oil % saturated meter testi

Postby SunWizard » Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:24 pm

wo_guy wrote:So it couldn't have reached saturation with 1000ppm water if the new oil registered such a low value on the meter, could it?

Yes, new oil I have tested was saturated at far less than that, around 600ppm. You also need to wait at least 12 hours for it to dissolve evenly into the oil.
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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Re: Homebrew capacitive water in oil % saturated meter testi

Postby wo_guy » Wed Aug 22, 2012 2:00 pm

ok, i'm going to try a 500ppm sample and i'll test it after a day or two. thank you for your answer.
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Re: Homebrew capacitive water in oil % saturated meter testi

Postby N2GN2 » Wed May 14, 2014 10:50 am

SunWizard,

As of March 3, 2014 Honeywell has discontinued HCH-1000-001. Can you help me find a replacement? Honeywell says they have nothing similar. Thank you.
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Re: Homebrew capacitive water in oil % saturated meter testi

Postby SunWizard » Wed May 14, 2014 6:27 pm

This one looks like it would work, but with different capacitance values (only about half as sensitive at 0.31pF/%RH):
http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/HPP801A031/HPP801A031-ND/697731
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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