DIY Emergency Fuel — Bucket Biodiesel

If a disaster hits, and you run out of diesel for your truck or generator or heating oil for your home, you can make your own biodiesel out of a wide variety of oils —both vegetable and animal. Olive oil, corn oil, lard, peanut oil, and even recycled fry oil from restaurants all work, but new liquid oil will produce biodiesel with the fewest number of steps.

To create biodiesel in the easiest way, use 1 gallon of new vegetable oil (canola oil, corn oil, and soybean oil are the best), 14 grams (1/2 ounce) of lye in the form of sodium hydroxide (available as drain cleaner), and 800 milliliters (27 ounces) of methanol (methyl alcohol is commonly available as a fuel treatment). Make sure the label says methanol, as isopropyl alcohol won’t work.

First
While wearing gloves, goggles, and a dust mask, carefully pour the methanol and sodium hydroxide into a large glass jar. Stir the jar about 2 minutes, or until the sodium hydroxide has completely dissolved. Do this step outside, as the vapors are toxic. Use this solution within an hour, as it has a very small window of activity.

Second

Warm your oil in a cooking pot on a stove or heater until it is roughly 100 degrees, then pour the oil into a plastic or glass container with a tight fitting lid. Add the methanol and lye mixture very carefully and seal the container.

Third
Shake or roll the container gently for 20-30 minutes, then allow it to sit for 2 days in a warm spot. During this time, the fluids will separate. The bottom layer will be glycerin, and the top layer will be your biodiesel. Carefully pour the biodiesel off into a fuel jug, leaving behind a tiny bit of biodiesel and the glycerin.

Important Safety Precautions
Always wear thick rubber gloves, safety glasses and a dust mask when handling the lye, methanol, and the solution that they create. All of these substances are very harmful if they touch your skin or eyes, or are inhaled or swallowed. Methanol is readily absorbed through the skin and quite toxic. Drinking just a small amount would be fatal. Lye is extremely caustic, producing severe chemical burns on exposed skin (like that scene in Fight Club). Finally, methoxide (the substance produced from lye and methanol) is an extremely toxic nerve agent.

Ever made your own fuel? After reading that last paragraph, are you up for giving it a try? Leave us your thoughts in the comments.

Similar posts
  • Food Storage and What You May Not Kno...Today, food storage is an important topic! The more we prep today, the safer we all are for tomorrow.  Did you know that the average male consumes almost 2,500 calories a day, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But if a cataclysmic event that disrupted the agricultural industry and the supply system for food, [...]
  • Great Solar TutorialsWhether you completely power your home with solar energy or are just interested in using a few solar panels here and there, you can use these DIY solar panel tutorials to help you out. These solar panel tutorials are made with an array of materials and for a variety of purposes, ensuring that anyone can [...]
  • Getting Free FirewoodHeating a home with wood is generally the cheapest form of heating. But if the firewood supply is rare or expensive in your area, supplementing with scavenged firewood can help to reduce your heating costs. There are many places to find free or almost free wood for burning and in many cases, you may be [...]
  • Hidden Water Sources At Home…What if I don’t have enough stored water, and run out when I need it? If supplies run low, never ration drinking water. Drink the amount you need today, and try to find more for tomorrow. You can minimize the amount of water your body needs by reducing your activity level.   Hidden Water Sources [...]
  • The Safe And Private Home..These days, the number of victims of home burglary is quite alarming. According to FBI data American homes are robbed every 15 seconds. In any given time, especially if you live in a high-density area, your house may be next. Burglars don’t just take your belongings and walk away quietly, leaving you and your family [...]

No Comments Yet

Join the discussion...