How to Make Your Own Bio Fuel

Fuel pumps.
  • 4-5 hours
  • Advanced
  • 50-100
What You'll Need
1L of unused vegetable oil
200ml of methanol
Lye - a corrosive alkaline substance, such as potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide
Duct tape
Metric scale
Two funnels
Half liter plastic container
2L soft drink bottle for settling
Two 2L soft drink bottles for washing

Biofuel is an alternative fuel to that which is purchased at gas pumps. Not only is it much cheaper, but it is also much better for the environment. Biofuels can be used to power vehicles, as well as other types of machinery. Learning how to make your own biofuel is an economical and ecological energy option.

Step 1 - Measure the Lye

When measuring lye, it is important to note that it absorbs water rapidly, so it needs to be worked with quickly. The lye should be measured in a plastic bag on a scale. Precise measurements are crucial. Sources of lye can be potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide. If using potassium hydroxide, 1 tsp. is required. If using sodium hydroxide, you only need about half that much.

Step 2 - Measure Methanol

Place 1 cup of methanol in a plastic container using a funnel to avoid spillage. Using the second funnel, pour the lye into the methanol and screw the cap on. Swirl the plastic container around to gently mix the two substances until the lye completely dissolves. This mixture will create sodium methoxide, or potassium methoxide, depending on which lye was used.

Step 3 - Blend the Oil and Methoxide

Heat up the fresh vegetable oil to about 130 degrees Fahrenheit and place in it a clean, dry blender. Add the sodium or potassium methoxide into the blender, and mix the two substances on low speed for approximately 30 minutes. This mixture can then be poured into the 2L soft drink bottle for settling.

Step 4 - Allow for Settling

The blended mixture should settle for about 24 hours. After this time has elapsed, a dark-colored sediment will settle at the bottom of the mixture, and a light-colored liquid will be up top. This clear, yellowish liquid is the biofuel. When settling has occurred, this top layer should be placed in another 2L soft drink bottle. If any of the dark-colored sediment is allowed into the second soft drink bottle, another 24 hours will be required for settling again.

Step 5 - Wash the Fuel

Make a hole in the bottom of one of the remaining soft drink bottles and cover the hole with duct tape. Add half a liter of water into the oil and mix it as much as possible. Allow the oil and water mixture to settle for a few hours. Allow the water to drain from the bottom of the soft drink bottle by removing the duct tape off the hole. When the water has drained, the biofuel should be poured into the remaining soft drink bottle. The biofuel should sit in this bottle until it is clear and dry, which can take a few days. At this point, the biofuel is ready for use.