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 26, 2006

What’s Going On…

Okay, so I’ve been in Thailand for 18 days now, and what do I have to show for it? Some new clothes, a fatter stomach, a big stack of papers, phone numbers, and random parts scattered about the office. I’m still in the “part allocation phase,” aka trying to find all these random odds and ends that tourists would never even consider buying. I visited a lab supply store to buy beakers and graduated cylinders, and it was quite an event. I’ve visited hardware stores, including the largest HomePro in Thailand. It was an interesting; there were at list 50 people who were working at the store, and maybe 10 customers. So when I walked in the door, I was instantly I was bombarded by 5 workers all asking me what I wanted (smells like commission?) In my broken Thai, I say bpump (for a pump), and kaw duu krap (I just want to look around). I finally lost them at the gardening section.

The future site of the biodiesel prcoessing facility

I’m in Krabi now, getting the site ready for biodiesel production. It’s a really pretty center (check out the pics), and the reactor will be built on a concrete floor under a thatch roof, with plenty of ventilation (a very good thing when working with methanol). I’m having the most difficulty finding big plastic tanks, 300 liter PE conical bottom, if anyone knows any contractors or plastic tank salesmen in Thailand (other than Mrs Janie), please let me know. Everyone’s got one of those friends right, the tank salesmen in the foreign country? Yeah, I thought so.

Ohh, in other big news, I ordered a biodiesel reactor. A former employee of PDA now is a salesmen for renewable energy components such as biodiesel reactors, microhyrdoelectric systems, and solar panels. He gave the PDA a special discount, and using his sources, we purchased a 120 liter stainless steel reactor. It’s not big by the US means (I visited 200 liter reactors in NC), but you can make four batches a day, 400 liters, or about 100 gallons. Not bad by any means. I’ll be doing all the assembly, but luckily the company will find all the hard to get parts (other than those blasted tanks).

So here’s the new timeline:

  • This week, stay in Krabi and get the site ready, write the manual
  • Next week, back in Bangkok, get all the final odds and ends
  • Monday, August 7th, road trip to PDA Krabi
  • August 8-16, construction
  • August 16-21, testing
  • August 22-23, return to Bangkok and have a beer.

Do-able? Lets hope so.


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