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30 May 2005
Brewing Biodiesel
Description starts at lower left and goes clockwise. The thingee with the terminals is the output from Mitch's solar thingee on the roof. He got a solar thingee to use while brewing to make his process as green as possible. Next it Mitch. At the top right is a plastic jug filled with a mixture of methane and lye. It is sitting on top of a still. The big black can is the reactor and the red thing is a pump.
The solar array drives the pump, which is attached to two pipes coming out the reactor. It acts as a mixer. One of the pipes that the pump attaches to has a small pipe sticking out of it. The lye/methanol mixture runs through a small plastic hose into that pipe. So the agitates the vegetable oil wile the methyloxide mixes slowly in. A small aquarium motor (also solar and not pictured) attaches to the other small hose coming out of the clear plastic jug, providing air pressure to push the methlyoxide into the reactor. On the top of the reactor, there is another little pipe sticking up. It goes into the still, into the circular copper tubing. At the bottom of the still is a little collection jar and the hose out of that goes into a vacuum pump. This sucks gaseous methane out of the reactor for possible reuse.

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Photos by Celeste Hutchins
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