How To Make Bio Diesel

Posted on 20th March 2010 in Global Warming, solar power

Although it is barely a new concept, the idea of making a bio diesel has gained much popularity Bio Diesel these days. Actually, the idea was conceived with the development of the first compression-ignition engine, which used peanut oil. This is an important point to remember when one wants to learn how to make bio diesel.

Bio diesel therefore refers to the non-petroleum-based fuel made from animal or vegetable fat. This fuel is usually mixed with ordinary diesel or used alone with an ordinary diesel engine. As such it is a viable alternative fuel source especially with the increase in fossil fuel prices.

The process of making bio diesel is relatively easy. This means you can learn the trade from various sources. There is also a huge variety of materials which can be used in making bio diesel including oils and feedstock such as soybean oil and rapeseed oil. It is also possible to get diesel from waste vegetable oils such as those used in restaurants. Other viable sources include animal fats such as tallow, chicken fat and lard. Algae is also used but most of these sources are not viable for commercial production.

If you intend to learn how to make bio diesel, you should identify your source first as the process varies with different materials. In some cases you also require specialized equipment referred to as bio diesel processors while in other cases, these are not necessary. A good example when you do not require specialized equipment is making bio diesel from used cooking oil using sodium hydroxide and methanol. However, this method produces very little amounts.

After establishing the oil source, the next step is testing it. This is necessary since the quality of your final product is usually determined by the ingredients. The two main factors that determine the quality of bio diesel you get are how acidic the source oil is and how wet it is.

The best oil sources, which will make the process easier, are those with relatively low water and acidic content. This necessitates the need to learn how to test the oil using different methods such as heating or using a water testing kit. Acidity is tested by adding the oil to a pH neutral alcohol, a process called titration.

Another major step when making bio diesel is filtration. This is done when using used vegetable oil and helps remove food particles and any other contaminants. Filtering is done mostly with drum filters which are very effective. You should learn about micron rating as it will help you select the most effective filter. The smaller the rating number, the smaller the holes in the filter will be.

Finally, before one can start full production of bio diesel, it is important to have a test batch. This can be prepared from materials purchased from the local shops. This is also the time you will make a final decision regarding the production equipment. Normally these include collection containers, bio diesel processor, oil filter and transfer capability and bio diesel washing vessel.

Storage containers and titration kits are also important. Normally, the intended capacity of production determines the equipment to be purchased. Collection of all these should prepare you to learn how to make bio diesel.

Understanding Your Carbon Footprint

Posted on 2nd March 2010 in Green Living

Many people are becoming more and more aware of the importance of going green. We play an important role in ensuring a cleaner and healthier lifestyle for future generations and need to take the initiative when it comes to making better choices for the environment. That’s why an important question to ask yourself is ‘what is my carbon footprint?’

According to studies, the average family in the UK emits a whopping 3.8 tons of CO2 a year through using their cars. The average family also emits around 9.5 tons of CO2 when adding up electricity, waste produced, and the products they purchase for personal use. This is a shocking figure and should motivate you to make changes in your life to help the environment.

Some simple things that you can do to reduce your carbon footprint are to turn off the lights and electronics that are not in use when you’re not in the room. This can become a habit by simply putting a reminder note on the entrance of the room to make sure excess energy isn’t wasted.

Another thing you can do is to make shorter trips when driving. Try to plan your driving so that you can do everything you need to do in one trip rather than in multiple trips. If you drive to work and a colleague lives near you and they also drive, why don’t you both share the driving to work? This is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and also less stressful since you won’t have to drive every morning.

One of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to change your shopping habits. If you make the choice of supporting green companies whether it is companies that produce beverages, companies that help you save energy, or even companies that produce emission free cars, you will be making a big impact.

There are sites that offer a reward programme to consumers that support these companies. These sites allow you to build reward points so that your initial purchases help you save money on you future purchases. This kind of reward programme is not only a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, it is extremely easy to do and there are many quality products that you can choose from.

So if you want to go green, start by using some of the tips outlined earlier in this article. Then, research companies that offers a reward programme for shopping with companies that are green. You’ll be able to save money and make a difference at the same time. Sometimes it doesn’t take a lot to go green. It’s more about taking the first step and finding solutions that simply works for you.

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