After rain and more rain, a sunny day was warmly welcomed by all.

Yama (our dog)  sunbathed.

The chickens ate an extra helping of weed seed.

And we made biodiesel.

Actually, I continued diligently on soldering, caulking, and trimming the solar panels. Marcin cut metal for the panel frames.   I’ve been working on the panels for the last 3 months and Marcin is bored after doing anything twice, so, while important aspects of the operation here, these are hardly worth a post.

The biodiesel, on the other hand, is this beautiful amber-golden liquid that became a reality as we slept.  It finished its reaction overnight and all we had to do was pour off the glycerin from the bottom of the drum and then fill up the vehicles with fuel. That is newsworthy.  That is an engaging drama.  That is Factor E Live quality material.

Well, don’t get too excited yet.  We have the footage and will share the updates in the near future.  In the meanwhile, I thought you might enjoy a few pictures to wet your appetite.

From left to right: The heavier, darker glycerin is drained from the bottom of the reaction chamber.  Next, note the lighter color.  Some biodiesel is escaping with the last of the glycerin.  On the right, after all the glycerin has been drained off, we empty the liquid gold biodiesel from the tank.


  1. Dan

    What do you do with the glycerin?


    My first choice would be car and tractor fuel. Initial tests show that it is more flammable than diesel fuel. We are currently developing an open source steam engine construction set. We hope to use the glycerine with a Babington burner – and power LifeTrac and other steam power devices. This means our biodiesel reaction would have 100% fuel yields. Yesterday we got 20% glycerine and 80% diesel yields.

    We are also considering soap and detergent production.

    Right now we are saving this gold in containers, until future testing with the Babington burner. Any comments on suitability with the Babington?

  2. Sasha

    Incredible. Really something I thought or years about…
    Anyway where do you get the raw oil?

  3. Marcin

    Raw oil is abundant for free in America in oil dumpsters by many restaurants. Some mainstream places like McDonalds are already contracted for their oil. In Europe, it’s much more scarce – you can probably tell me better if there is any free oil around. Have you ever seen an oil dumpster by a restaurant?

    We get one consistent supply in 5 gallon containers from a local restaurant. There was another restaurant where we got oil – but someone contracted with them to pick it up after fuel prices doubled here to about $4 for diesel.

    Biodiesel is relatively easy to do. People sell these ‘advanced’ systems for thousands. But all it is in reality is measuring and mixing ingredients, and heating. Quite rewarding. Plus – the glycerine byproduct is also a fuel – if you have a steam engine! Glycerine burns readily, and we’ll try it with the Babington burner. Has anyone done this?

    So, you can say we have 100% fuel yields from our reaction! World record from one point of view. Well, maybe not – we had a small leak from a brazed fitting at the bottom of our reactor chamber.

    All in all, the experiment went well. Stuart did a good job on the system – see Factor e Live Part 9 – where we show the reactor construction.

  4. Reto

    I’m looking forward to hear more of the diesel production. Although it is still a step to complete self reliance with fuel …if you produce biodiesel only with biomass you need huge quantities I guess.

  5. Richard Schulte

    reto, there are some quickly emerging options for fuel production from biomass, including woody biomass to biooil. Another emerging option is electricity production from biomass, including gassification, emerging electrolysis techniques and methane collection, which can all be done in conjunction. Three sources from one process, quite nice, eh?