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....

August 05, 2006

A Reactor and a Kink in the Plans….

The intimidating reactor picture

So the reactor is finished, and delivered to PDA Bangkok. For the measly cost of 45,000 Baht ($1100), we got a beautiful 120 liter stainless steel biodiesel reactor. This comes complete with a 35 liter stainless methoxide mixer, a 1 HP circulation pump, a sexy control panel, and Japenese blender motors ghetto rigged for mixing tubines in the reactor. Sleek? Yes. Sexy? Ohh yeah…. Quite a beauty in my book. Big thanks to PlanEnergy Thailand and Khun Sitthichai for all their help in putting together and making the reactor. I’ve taken everyone in the office to see it and they all agree it’s the most beautiful thing they’ve seen in a long time. Now we just have to ship it to Krabi….

The fabled conical bottomed tanks

In addition, we ordered some conical bottomed plastic tanks to store the oil and also to wash the biodiesel. We got a great deal, about $100 each, including stands, back stateside these tanks cost up to $300 not including stands. There’s just one catch- they have to make them. We can’t just buy then and pick them up off the lot, they’re custom made on an order-by-order basis, and they take around a week to make. This poses a bit of a problem. Let’s see my timeline: today is August 5th. The tanks will be made and delivered to PDA Bangkok by the 11th. That weekend is a big holiday (the Queen’s birthday, slash Thai Mother’s Day) so there’s a long weekend and everyone relaxes. They earliest they can get to Krabi is the 15th. I promised to go see Far (my girlfriend) on the 19th; she's in a countrywide environmental debate where she’s competing with the best students at the best colleges in Thailand. I leave to go home August 23rd. So we’ve got 3 days (and nights… long long nights) to build, test, and make a batch of biodiesel. 3 days.

So the good news. PDA is all for it and promised we’d have backup to help. A friend of mine from the UNC CEP Thailand program, Jordan Shakleford, will be my wingman while in Krabi helping to piece everything together. We’re going down a few days early to make sure everything’s in order, and hopefully do a little pre-assembly. I’ve almost bought all the parts I need, and we’ll be up and running. We might night be getting our 8 hours of beauty sleep, but the reactor will be buit and tested. Keep those fingers crossed for me….


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