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FuelMeister Makes Biodiesel From Waste Products
Adding biodiesel production to his organic oilseed crushing plant just made sense to Joel Yorgey, J&L Grain Roasting. Between the occasional load of organic grain not fit for humans or feed, and waste oil from local restaurants, J&L is getting fuel for itself and its employees on the cheap.
"So far it is working pretty good," he says. "We are using a 75 percent mix of biodiesel and 25 percent petroleum diesel in our company tractor and pickup. We hope to get to 100 percent. Some of our employees are now using it in tractors and skid loaders."
Yorgey ordered the FuelMeister, a do-it-yourself biodiesel system from Azure Biodiesel, after attending a one-day workshop. A day after assembling the kit, he was producing biodiesel. The turnkey kit makes up to 40 gallons per day. The closed system eliminates pouring or stirring liquids and only requires the addition of liquid vegetable oil, methanol, lye and tap water.
Designed to fit in the corner of a garage, the only additional equipment needed are 50-gal. barrels for the source oil and for the finished biodiesel. Lye and methanol are available from Azure Biodiesel. The company estimates that supplies cost less than 70/gal., while the FuelMeister is priced at $2,295 plus shipping.
"If you can read and follow directions, you can make fuel," says Yorgey. "Anyone with some common sense can do it."   
Yorgey has used his own fresh-crushed virgin oil, as well as waste cooking oil and says the virgin oil works best. It leaves less glycerin or waste. However, both work equally well for fuel. The process is working so well that he is considering expanding.
"We are looking at turning our facility into a 100 percent biofuels operation, where we would crush seed from local farmers and make biodiesel from it," he says.
Yorgey points out that farmers in Germany, where diesel costs about $8/gal., are growing their own fuel. They either bring it to a small regional crushing/pressing plant or several will share a small press. He thinks something similar could work here.
"I've had several people approach me about taking a mobile press from farm to farm like I once did with a mobile soybean roasting unit," says Yorgey.
He explains that several factors currently work against such a program, especially in the Midwest. One is the relative oil content of different crops. The other is a farm program that penalizes farmers for planting anything other than corn and soybeans.
"Sunflower and canola yield more oil per acre than soybeans, but as long as the federal farm program remains the same, there is no reason for farmers to change," explains Yorgey. "Europe is four to five years ahead of us in looking at sunflowers and rape/canola. ADM is converting plants in Europe from soybean to rapeseed crushing."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, J&L Grain Roasting, 12538 Addison Ave., Riceville, Iowa 50466 (ph 641 985-4255); or Dan Dykema, Azure Biodiesel Co., P.O. Box 468, Sully, Iowa 50251 (ph 641 594-3247; dan@azurebiodiesel.com; www.azurebiodiesel.com).

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2006 - Volume #30, Issue #4