Titration Process to Determine Lye Quantity

Free fatty acids will increase with the amount of time vegetable oil has been heated. Oil which has been used for cooking will require more of the reactive agents (lye and methanol) than fresh oil. The presence of too many free fatty acids will retard or stop the reaction which produces biodiesel, so it is necessary to detect the exact amount of LYE (Sodium Hydroxide or NaOH) needed to neutralize. Adding too much or too little NaOH will just make excessive amounts of bi-products (soap).

To Determine Reaction Proportion

To find the total amount of NaOH to be added we add the number of drops of NaOH needed for the wasted vegetable oil solution to reach a ph of 8-9 and 3.5 grams NaOH to catalyze the oil (stoichiometric).

An example formula used with one particular batch of wasted vegetable oil: 1ml of oil was titrated with a 1gm NaOH/1000ml H2O solution. It required 6.0ml to raise the ph level to 8. Hence 6.0gm/1000ml to neutralize the free fatty acids + 3.5g NaOH as catalyst = 9.5g per 1000ml oil.

Vegetable Oil

Diesel has a chain of 11-13 carbons and new vegetable oil has a chain of about 18, but waste vegetable oil, which has been heated, has chain of up to 32 carbons. To burn in an engine the chain needs to be broken down to be similar in length to diesel.

Representative APR 391%

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