WFU Biofuels

Wake Forest students, faculty, staff and associates making and testing vegetable-oil based fuels.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Splog update

Well, after one week I recovered 2 freaking mL of MeOH!!!!! I used an IR thermometer and the glycerin temperture was 55C. Either the MeOH came out so slowly it was not condensed or there was just not enough energy to liberate the MeOH. I don't believe this to be a simple distillation/evaporation. The glycerine is very basic and so the MeOH has to "rip" a proton from somewhere in order to leave the solution. If I try this again I'll do it in the lab where I can watch it more closly. Anyway, I just ended up pouring the glycerin into my compost pile. I was just kind of disappointed and that seemed to be the right thing to do at the moment. I am sure I breathed lots of MeOH in the process. On the up side this was worth a try and it was not a total loss. My compost smells really sweat and it's really dark. I am sure you could run the biodiesel reaction in a compost pile since it was so hot. We should give it a try on a small scale the next time we are preparing a reaction.


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