Reusable Energy  
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Costings

 

 

Only two chemicals are needed to produce biodiesel. These are Methanol and Potassium Hydroxide. While Sodium Hydroxide can also be used in place of Potassium Hydroxide we do not recommend it.

The price of Methanol varies with the Crude Oil Price. Sasol is the major supplier of Methanol in South Africa, and supplies a number of smaller localised distributors. These distributors have different pricing structures and different exit prices. In Johannesburg Triangle Solvents and TAG Solvents are bigger suppliers.

Potassium Hydroxide is available in flakes from most Industrial Chemical suppliers. Remember that you do not need lab grade chemicals, price Industrial grade chemicals. You can find Potassium Hydroxide at Protea Chemicals. Protea also sell methanol.

22% methanol and about 10g of Potassium Hydroxide are used per liter of oil that is converted to Biodiesel. Please phone your nearest chemical supplier to obtain costs on these chemicals

You will need a supply of Vegetable Oil. Most biodiesel producers build up a relationship with a few restaurants in their area and buy the oil from them. It is generally too expensive to use virgin oils.

There is also a yield loss when making biodiesel from used cooking oil (which is what most people make it from). This varies depending on how and how long it has been used in the restaurant. You can work on a 10% yield loss to be safe..

As a general guide (and this obviously varies) we advise people that the conversion cost for a liter of biodiesel is less than R2.00 per liter (as of 2013). If the price of the infeed oil is added onto this then you will have a cost of materials per liter of fuel, this excludes labor charges and other indirect costs.

As an example, if you pay R2.00 a liter for used cooking oil from your local Steak House then your Biodiesel will end up costing R4.00 a liter.

 


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