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Build A $50,000 Biodiesel Plant For $5,000
In more than 20 years as an industrial engineer, Paul Oliver says he never used plastic in an industrial processing system. He wasn't going to start when he built his own biodiesel plant.
"I saw biodiesel processing systems on the market from $20,000 to $50,000, and they were made with a lot of plastic," he says. "I would have been laughed out of the industry if I had ever used plastic in my business."
A dedicated recycler, Oliver looked for low cost metal alternatives to the plastic tanks and other fixtures when he designed his biodiesel systems. For his 25 to 50-gal. per batch plant, he recommends salvaged steel drums. His 250 to 350-gal. per batch system uses 500-gal. propane tanks.
Oliver says some entrepreneurs buy his plans, build a unit and then sell it. He heard of one individual who was asking $50,000 for a completed 250 to 350-gal. system. However, most customers for his larger system are farmers and small to medium-size construction companies. He says some customers make up to 5,000 gal. a week, while others make enough for the month in one batch.
Oliver sells detailed plans for both systems and provides technical phone support. "I am on the phone all day long talking to people," says Oliver. "It ęs a chance to teach and share my experience and knowledge."
For buyers without access to discount pipe fitting parts, Oliver also offers a complete parts package as an option.
"If you're going to a pipe fitting supply store or even a Home Depot, my parts kit will probably save you 50 percent because of the quantity discounts I can get," he says. "It also saves you the cost of hunting down individual parts."
Plans are available online only (can be printed) or with both online and paper editions. Prices for the 25 to 50-gal. MM63 are $99 (online only) and $139 (online and paper versions). Parts kits are priced at $559.
Plans for the larger MM500 are priced at $750 for the online version and $790 for online and paper editions. Parts kits are available for $2,750.
The only things not included in the parts package are tanks ($800 new; $100 to $300 used), structural steel for the legs, black iron pipe, junction boxes, switches, wire and conduit, and a 50-lb. or greater scale.
Both systems require basic welding, drilling, cutting, electrical and plumbing skills. Oliver also sells plans for variable size pump-out tanks he calls "Super Suckers". These units are intended for use when picking up used vegetable oils at restaurants.
Oliver says his customers tell him building the biodiesel plant and making the fuel is the easy part. "Going out and collecting the oil is the time consuming part," he adds.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, MurphysMachines.com, 11375 Faircrest Dr., Washington Township, Mich. 48094 (ph 586 995-0101; information@murphys machines. com; www.murphysmachines.com).

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2008 - Volume #32, Issue #6