Nov
29

Home Biodiesel Kits: Things to Consider

If you are like me, you are probably fed up with the high cost of diesel fuel. The average cost for a gallon of diesel hovers around $4.00 nationwide and it looks like it will only go up especially if the economy begins to improve. Coupled with international political uncertainty and no coherent national policy to fully develop domestic sources, there is little chance we will see any relief in the price of diesel. That is why home biodiesel kits look so promising.

When it comes to home bio diesel kits, we have to make a couple of distinctions. First, there are available a number of biodiesel kits that are designed to get a newcomer familiar with the biodiesel process. Whether it is for a classroom science project or to train oneself in the mechanics and the chemistry of making biodiesel fuel, introductory, bio diesel kits serve this purpose. The cost for an introductory, basic kit ranges from $50 such as one from Utah Bio Diesel Supply, up to $395, from BioFuels Equipment LLC.

Home Biodiesel Kit from Utah Supply

Inexpensive Home Kit

 

Biodiesel Home Kits from Bio Fuels Equipment

Example of a More Expensive 4 Gallon Home Kit

Utah Biodiesel Supply puts out an excellent introductory video to explain the overall process of how bio diesel is made at home.

If you are completely sold on the idea of producing your own biodiesel fuel and you are comfortable with the production process and the chemistry involved, there are at least four steps you need to consider before you shell out your hard earned cash to buy a full scale home bio diesel kit.

1. How much biodiesel fuel do you require? If you only require up to 40 gallons a week, then a less expensive, smaller, bio diesel kit is all that is needed. If you have a small fleet of vehicles and you need to produce 100 gallons a day, then you need a more complex and more expensive kit.

2. How much space do you have to properly and safely set up your equipment? If you have minimal requirements, a regular sized garage should be sufficient. Your garage will also need to have electric power hookup. Amperage requirements will depend on the size of the bio diesel kit. Also, you will need to consider local zoning laws because you will be working with methanol and lye and will produce waste products.

3. You don’t need a lot of mechanical skills when you construct your biodiesel kit. Some kits require more than others. In the fully automated, commercial versions, you require almost no mechanical skills at all. Nevertheless, you should ask yourself if you have the necessary skills to make everything work properly.

4. Lastly, consider the economics. There are economies of scale as you increase production and you can ultimately, over time, reduce the costs of making biodiesel fuel in a range of $0.70 to $1.00 a gallon. You may have to produce as much as 1000 gallons before you realize true savings. Be sure to think through all your costs – not only the cost of the home biodiesel kit, but also, the additional costs such as storage barrels, lye, methanol, electricity, filters, waste cooking oil collection, disposing of glycerin and so on.

In our next article we will take a closer look at some of the latest home biodiesel kits and point out some tips to help you make an informed choice. You may also want to take a look at our Bio Diesel Pros and Cons article. Once you have determined your fuel requirements, assessed your own mechanical skills, considered the space and zoning rules for your equipment and figured out the production and recovery costs of your investment, you will be well on your way to purchase a home biodiesel kit that will save you money and will contribute to a better, cleaner environment.

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