Met-Chohm-Phuu (Appleseed) Biodiesel in Thailand

Creating Appleseed Biodiesel reactors in Thailand in rural areas for farmers with the PDA.... stories from a farang in Krabi... biodiesel back home in NC... and whatever else needs to be told online in my blog....

July 18, 2006

Shapiro’s Appleseed in Few-kway-Vah-Reeh-Nah

A few weeks before arriving in Thailand, I was moving out my Chapel Hill apartment and found a couple hot water heaters that were being dumped. Old hot water heaters are the perfect containers for small biodiesel reactors! I also picked up a copy of GirlMark’s book on how to create a reactor (pretty much a big blender) from an old hot water heater. And finally, I borrowed my dad (and all his tools) for a day. With a couple trips to Lowes, we had ourselves a reactor.

The whole process wasn’t hard at all, we just removed the old immersion heaters. Then we tried (and failed) to removed the hot and cold water inlet pipes at the top (welded pipes don’t come out easily by trying to screw them) so we decided to use them instead. Next we picked up a $35 water pump from Harbor Freight tools, got a bunch of brass ball valves, and hooked the sucker up. We tested it all by hooking a hose up and seeing if we could get the pump to spray the liquid inside the top of the reactor.

Okay, so we didn’t get to make biodiesel. But at least I felt a bit more comfortable throwing a pipe wrench around and seeing how all this stuff really works, rather than in my imaginary research online land. After all, what’s a college student know about the real world anyways? I felt a lot better after a day of tinkering, and more ready to face up to what the big T-land project has to offer.

It’s no “Buddy Downs” Nuckler (in the unfortunately classic gWb accent) reactor, but it’ll get the job done. Ideally you’d add oil, heat it up with a new immersion heater. Then slowly add methoxide from a carboy above. You’d circulate all this goodness up for a few hours and then you’d have biodiesel. Pour that into a big wash tank (aka oil barrel with an aquarium pump), then fuel up your diesel car.

Ahh… if only I had a diesel. Maybe I should start looking for one before mass producing my own biodiesel…


Post a Comment

<< Home