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The students in the Freshman Academy & the Green School Initiative are proud to present the following on- line tutorial about biodiesel production at HPHS.

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Presentation on theme: "The students in the Freshman Academy & the Green School Initiative are proud to present the following on- line tutorial about biodiesel production at HPHS."— Presentation transcript:

1 The students in the Freshman Academy & the Green School Initiative are proud to present the following on- line tutorial about biodiesel production at HPHS

2 The Highland Park High School Biodiesel Laboratory was designed to teach students the science behind the production of alternative sources of energy. Students and teachers in the Freshman Academy and the Green School Initiative, partnered with Loyola University to learn about biofuel production and laboratory design. This slideshow provides viewers with a step-by-step tutorial of how the biodiesel lab was constructed, and how the biodiesel fuel is produced by students.

3 Tutorial #1 Producing the Biodiesel fuel The students at HPHS worked closely with students and staff at Loyola University to develop the following protocol for the production of biodiesel from Waste Vegetable oil. This production process has been tested and refined continuously by our students and staff, and thus, are not intended to be a definitive account of how to produce biodiesel fuel. This site is not intended to be a complete tutorial on biodiesel production, and thus, details of our process have been edited from this tutorial in order to give our audience only a very basic overview of our production process. If you have any specific questions about our production techniques, please contact Tom Koulentes, HPHS Assistant Principal, at

4 Day #1: Gather the Waste Vegetable Oil from the school cafeteria HPHS students have arranged to collect 25 gallons of waste vegetable oil from our school cafeteria every two weeks. This waste vegetable oil would be heading toward the garbage, we are recapturing it and converting it to biodiesel fuel that we will use to run our school tractors and lawnmowers. We carry and store the WVO in metal 5 gallon buckets. LIDS are very important!! We filter the WVO we collect through a 5 micron filter in order to remove any food particles or debris before we put it into our reactor.

5 Students work together to conduct titrations.  In order to determine the appropriate mixture for our methoxide solution, we must perform a titration with every new batch of WVO we collect.  Students conduct standard titration procedures, making reference solutions, analyte solutions, and ultimately, reading the titration results.  A “titration station” has been created in our biodiesel lab to facilitate this process.  The purpose of the titration is to determine how much lye we will need to add to our mixture in order to neutralize our WVO.  All data is recorded in our lab journal. Day #1: Perform a titration on the Waste Vegetable Oil

6 Day #1: Pump WVO into reactor & heat the oil. An automatic thermostat, built by the students, controls the temperature of the WVO. Students work together to add WVO to the tank  After we determine how much biodiesel we would like to produce, we place this amount of WVO into our main mixing tank.  Immediately, we begin heating the oil as it circulates through the pump. We heat to 50 degrees Celsius.

7 Day #1: Create Methoxide Solution Methoxide is a chemical that must be handled with care, adult supervision is required at all times. Students work with Prof. Tuchman to check their calculations and to create the methoxide solution  Once titration is performed, and total amount of biodiesel to be produced is established, students crunch numbers to prepare methoxide mix.  Methoxide (methanol & lye) is mixed in an approved science lab under teacher supervision.

8 Day #1—First Reaction Student carefully adding methoxide mix to our storage tank. This tank connects to main storage tank and pump for easy mixing.  When WVO reaches 50 degrees (celsius) we pour the methoxide solution into the methoxide storage tank.  Next, we pump 80% of our methoxide solution into the WVO  We run the pump for 60-90 min., allowing the oil and methoxide to mix.  After 60-90 min., pump is turned off and mixture is left to settle for 24 hours.

9 Day #2—Draining Glycerin Sample of the Glycerin (dark brown) that has settled on bottom of tank and biodiesel (gold) that remains on top.  After settling for 24 hrs, glycerin has separated from biodiesel.  Students drain glycerin and record the volume of glycerin drained.  Glycerin is poured into waste glycerin container.  Biodiesel is recaptured and returned to main mixing tank.

10 Day #2—Second Reaction  After draining the initial glycerin from the main tank, we run a second reaction by pumping the remaining 20% of methoxide into the reactor.  The reactor runs for 90 min.  We allow the mixture to settle overnight.

11 Day #3—Draining Glycerin  We return to the reactor and drain any new glycerin that has formed as result of our second reaction.  Students watch carefully as the glycerin drains to shut off the valve when threshold between glycerin and biodiesel appears.

12 Day #3—Fuel Washing Students wash the biodiesel & monitor the overall volume of water added to the mixture.  After draining all remaining glycerin, the fuel must be washed with water.  A simple hose, with a nozzle set to “mist” works well for fuel washing.  We wash fuel by adding 40% water to our biodiesel volume.  After washing, we let the mixture settle for 30 min.

13 Day #3—Draining the Wash Water Students watch carefully for the threshold between the wash water and the biodiesel.  After allowing mixture to settle, students drain the wash water from the main tank.  The volume of water drained is recorded in our lab journal.

14 Day #3—Checking pH of Wash Water Students use pH paper to determine pH of wash water.  While draining initial wash water, a 50 ml sample is collected in a beaker.  Students check the pH of this sample using pH paper.  Students will repeat fuel washing procedures until a pH of 7 (neutral) is reached.  Once pH of wash water reaches 7, the tank is allowed to settle overnight.

15 Day #4—Drain remaining wash water A sample of our wash water.  After settling 24 hours, any remaining wash water is drained from the main tank.  The complete volume of wash water drained is recorded in our lab journal.

16 Day #4—Bubble drying biodiesel  After wash water is completely drained, students add the aquarium bubbler to the main tank.  The aquarium bubbler is run for 24 hours. The bubbles help to remove any remaining water.

17 Day #5—Filter finished biodiesel  Students drain biodiesel from main tank by running it through a 5 micron filter.

18 Day #5—Fuel storage Sample of our finished biodiesel product.  Finished biodiesel is stored in fuel caddy and sent to the maintenance garage for use on school tractors and lawnmowers.  Reactor is cleaned and prepared for next production cycle.

19 Day #5—Biodiesel Dance Once the production cycle is completely finished, students do the biodiesel dance to celebrate the fact that they are working to conserve environmental resources!

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