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Biodiesel and Scintex BD150 Biodiesel Processor FAQ's

We get a lot of inquiries regarding biodiesel and our processors and hopefully this FAQs section will be an easily accessible source of information regarding these topics. Over time we'll be adding to this and if you feel there are any questions missing feel free to let us know.

Scintex Biodiesel Kits are Australian Made!

Scintex Biodiesel Processor Australia

How much biodiesel will this kit make?

Each batch will make ~150L of biodiesel from ~150L of vegetable oil. Normally the process takes 1-2 hours. To increase the daily output of the processor we suggest you use a separation tank. This way you can complete the time limiting biodiesel/glycerol separation step outside of the biodiesel processor. Many customers are producing up to 1000L / day with this method.

How much does production cost per Litre?

This varies depending on what quantity you buy your chemicals (Sodium or potassium hydroxide and methanol) and if you have to pay for your vegetable oil. Our customers have reported production costs ranging from 15-30 cents / L of biodiesel. This assumes you get your vegetable oil for free!

What chemicals are required?

The most common biodiesel manufacturing process requires methanol, the higher the purity the better, however ethanol can also be used. The reaction catalyst is Potassium Hydroxide or Sodium Hydroxide, again the higher the purity the better.

Where do I get the chemicals from?

Methanol and Sodium or Potassium hydroxide are considered dangerous goods so shipping can be very expensive. It's best to find a local supplier of these chemicals. The best source is the White Pages or Googling chemical suppliers in your area. Customers have obtained methanol from places such as race tracks. Previously we have used Redox who have contacts in most major cities.

How much of each chemical is used?

A normal biodiesel process would involve using ~200mL of Methanol or Ethanol per Litre of vegetable oil. The amount of Sodium/Potassium Hydroxide is determined by your oil titration but should be between 1 - 11 grams per Litre.

How much power is used per in the process?

The electricity cost per Litre of biodiesel produced is almost negligible. The pump is max 450W and runs for about an hour, so ~0.45kW hrs used. The heater is ~2.4kW and usually takes about 30 mins to heat the oil depending on the initial temperature of your oil and surroundings, so another ~1.2kW hrs. Total ~1.65kW hrs. At the time of writing electricity was 30 c / kWh. Total electricity cost of 0.33 cents / L produced.

Where is the kit made?

The kits are manufactured in our workshop in Brisbane. Where possible all parts have been sourced locally in Australia including the tanks, galvanised steel frame, valves and plumbing, heaters and electrics.

What power source is required?

The kits require two 10A 240V single phase power outlets, the same as what is in your house or shed.

Does the kit include everything you need to make biodiesel?

The BD150 Package with filter system includes everything you require to make good, filtered biodiesel. All you will need to supply are the chemicals, methanol and sodium or potassium hydroxide. The BD150 Kit includes only the biodiesel processor and no filtration system.

Can you customise the kit or make the kit larger?

No, we do not customise the kits and provide the kit as an off the shelf item. Once you try and go to larger capacities heating will often require 3-phase power and larger elements which can drastically increase the cost. Often we find it is simpler and more economical to utilise a separation tank and run multiple batches with a smaller processor.

Dry wash or Water wash?

Both options have their pros and cons. Scintex recommends dry washing with our SiliWash dry wash product. It's simple to use and can be filtered out along with the absorbed impurities. There is no risk of ruining your biodiesel batch by introducing dry wash, unlike water washing, which if done incorrectly can lead to an emulsified batch that will not separate. Also it is counter intuitive to introduce water to a fuel you are trying to purify and want water free. The down side to dry wash is the cost.

Sodium or Potassium Hydroxide?

If possible source potassium hydroxide instead of sodium hydroxide. It is far easier to get to dissolve in methanol. The cost the hydroxide per L of fuel produced is very low, usually less than 2 cents / L, so go with the potassium hydroxide if you can get it.

Ethanol or methanol?

Either are acceptable but methanol is preferred as the end product is closer to regular diesel in viscosity and density. Using ethanol leads to higher molecular weight esters which will increase the possibility of gelling.

How much biodiesel will I get from 1 Litre of oil?

From 1L of vegetable oil you will roughly get 1L of biodiesel. The conversion is almost 1:1 and varies slightly depending on the composition of the vegetable oil.

What to do with the waste glycerol?

Most of our customers producing biodiesel dump the waste glycerol. To do this you will need to check with your local council for any regulations. The waste can be used in several industrial applications, such as soap production, but due to over supply the value is almost nothing. People have converted glycerol into ethanol, which can then be used to make further biodiesel, through fermentation. Note Scintex has no experience with this. The simplest thing, if you are looking to utilise the waste, is to recover any methanol through distillation, and dispose of the rest.

Can you supply replacement parts for your biodiesel kits?

Yes! As we manufacture the kits in Brisbane and use Australian suppliers where possible we can provide all components as replacements parts.

Do you sell the biodiesel kit components separately?

Yes! If you are looking to make your own customised biodiesel processor we sell almost all of the parts / components such as pumps, filters, heaters etc individually with many available to order online. Generally the cheapest way to getting a properly fuctioning biodiesel processor of this capacity is to purchase our biodiesel kit.

Do you do demonstrations?

Sorry, we currently do not do demonstrations of our kits. But we have sold hundreds of kits over a long period of time and the feedback has been that they are very simple to use and make the highest quality biodiesel when used correctly.

Do you do tutorials on biodiesel?

Sorry, we do not do tutorials on how to make biodiesel.

Can I view one of your biodiesel kits?

All kits are made to order and generally we don't have spare kits in our workshop for viewing.

I'm considering buying a biodiesel kit from the USA...

Many of our customers who bought a Scintex biodiesel kit considered buying a kit from the USA. This is certainly a feasible option for many people and I would only like to highlight a few stumbling blocks you may have when compared to buying a Scintex kit. The cost of freight, import duties and customs clearance will likely make this a more costly method of obtaining a kit. Any electrical components such as heaters and pumps are 110V and come with an American style plug. After sales support is also a factor to consider.

Note: Please only contact us if you have queries regarding our products. We cannot provide general information on biodiesel production. This can be found all over the internet. We recommend a site called Journey To Forever which has simple and detailed information on biodiesel production. There are also many clips on YouTube of people making biodiesel if you are unaware of what is involved.

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