This game we all play is a guessing game sometimes at best, and sometimes I am clueless, WMO for fuel that is. I have had batches that ran better than diesel, I have had batches that run worse than diesel. I have batches that ran good, but got progressively worse.
A lot of the times I was guessing at what my problem was. Sometimes after making changes and placing blame I found the real problem by accident.
I have jumped around from running almost no oil to running pure oil back to half back to full back to none. All was done trying to figure out what a problem was.
I have changed my percentages, changed my blend from gasoline to D2.
I have plugged filters, and I have had months of no problems. I have had weeks where I had nothing but problems non stop. I have had days reveling in how little a trip somewhere was costing due to running my own fuel.
What have I found? The two most important things;
1: DRY YOUR FUEL do everything in your ability to make sure your batch is dry. I learned by accidentally leaving 10,000W of heat on for a few hours that dry fuel runs better, and even when I thought it was dry, I have been proven wrong every time by the boiling test. I now put 5500W of heat in a batch for several hours. I watch it periodically and once it starts boiling, I allow it to boil until it stops, and then I continue heating until the oil is giving off a tiny bit of smoke. At my electricity cost, heating for 8 hours ~ 8 bucks. Cheap insurance, one water blocked filter cost 10 to 30 bucks depending on the type.
2: CLEAN YOUR FUEL I have had more trouble than anything else, from assuming a batch was clean because the fuges ran for 6 to 8 rs. Install finishing filters on your equipment with a rating BETTER than your under the hood filters. I learned that lesson the hard way. I made two mistakes on a batch I made back in the summer. I assumed it was wet, and it was not. I assumed it was clean, and it was not. This caused me to spend an entire week changing filters on the mail rt, and on the side of the rd in both my car and in my wife’s car. During that week I made three mistakes, two of which I mentioned above, and the third was not knowing what the micron rating was on the under hood filters for the Mercedes. If I had known that my under hood filters were 6 micron filters I would have evaluated things differently.
Have a safety system on your equipment. There is nothing like having to clean up an entire drums worth of fuel from concrete and gravel. I am planning on having my next system encased inside of a 275 GAL tote that has had it’s top cut out, OR building a large plywood tank around the processor and gluing and painting it to make it into a “tank” to catch spills.
Take real notes, add things like temperature, mix, wmo source, running conditions, filter age, processing time, heating time, etc. One of my biggest problems is my memory bites, and I often forget to do something, or forgot the circumstances surroundiung a failure event so I suffer the same event again before I figure it out. I changed 120 bucks worth of filters on the mail rt, and on the roadside before I learned two things.
One my finishing filters were not good enough, and two don’t assume a batch is clean because of processing time.
Settle, and only pull from the bottom to transfer and settle again. Never pull from the bottom for a batch you plan on running. I have some oil in the tanks right now that has settle since past spring, and it was the easiest to clean. (I now use the centrfuges, and not time to tell me if a batch is clean)
There, ther’s my two cents worth to anyone who wants to read it.
Those pabiodiesel fuges are great for what they do and what they cost, but in my honest opinion, they suck for doing a dependable job at what we need them to do without a lot of babysitting and clean outs.
Written By: Josh Carmack of oilburners.net