Appleseed 3.1 Biodiesel Processor
By Rick Da Tech
This article is a work in progress. Bear with me while it's still under construction.
The traditional Appleseed Processor is the embodiment of KISS in DIY Biodiesel Processor design. It was stupidly simple to build and all the parts came from your average hardware store. Well, this is the third major upgrade to the design and it's still stupidly simple to build, only this time we've involved experts in chemical engineering, hazardous material handling, fire safety, and electrical codes to make a safer more efficient Appleseed that is still easy to build and now the easiest to operate DIY biodiesel processor design available.
The Appleseed 3.1 has all steel lines for improved safety. It has a triangular configuration to make installation a of all steel plumbing a breeze. It has a high velocity nozzle installed in pipe "A" that provides for improved mixing that reduces how much methanol we need and shortens processing time. Mixing is improved so much that we can pump our methoxide in as fast as it will go without jumping through hoops like with past Appleseed versions.
Pipe "A" is a special 3/4" x 4" schedule 80 pipe nipple with 1/2" npt female treads tapped in one end. That lets us screw our nozzle inside the nipple then screw the nipple in the tank providing us with a nozzle almost flush with the bottom of the tank. They are available on the Internet or you can order the schedule 80 nipple from your local plumber and have him tap the female threads in it.
Pipe "B" has to be made special at the hardware store. It is a 3/4" pipe threaded on both ends. To determine the length, measure the distance between the centerline of pipe C and the centerline of pipe D and add 4" to it for the length of pipe B. Just take the length to the hardware store and they will make you a pipe to fit.
Once you have the custom pipe install it (pipe B) and pipe A in the two ports that are widest apart.
Tighten one down as normal, then tighten the other so that the difference in height from the water heater is the same as your original measurement.
Since we are using a triangular configuration we can use stock pipe nipples for C and D. They just need to be within 4 inches of the right size. We can then rotate the triangle align everything.
Bill of Materials
A - 1ea - Adapter Pipe
Note 1 The size of pipe "B" varies depending on the pipe fittings you use and the specific pump you use. In my case it is very close to 12" long. Using two 6" nipples joined with a coupling allows you to adjust the length more finely
Note 2 This port is for future expansion. The other three pipe plugs are used to plug the unused holes in the water heater.
Note 3 The 1/2" ball valve is used for the sight tube.
If the construction is to difficult for you with it's custom length pipe, an alternative design replaces pipe "D" with pex tubing and eliminates the custom length pipes. PEX is biodiesel and methanol resistant. It is rugged. If you use PEX "Shark Bite" fittings you do not need any special tools. They are however one time use fittings, so be careful when you use them. Using the pex does insert plastic plumbing that can melt and dump the processors contents in the event of a fire. That's why all steel plumbing is always prefered over plastic.
The nozzle is not optional. You need the nozzle and the pipe adapter or the processor will not work properly. Fortunately, the nozzle can be soruced from most competent plumbers. It is simple a schedule 80 nipple with female threads tapped in one end. The adapter is also available on the internet from B100supply.com.