Finding the limits of my centrifuge and the sweet spot

Mt_Man

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Mt_Man

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I recirculated the marine diesel for 6 days. After the first day of centrifuging, I put inline a racor 1000 with 2micron filter and removed the centrifuge. Thought it would separate more of the water but the centrifuge was doing better. So I reconnected the centrifuge and ran both for 3 more days. Then final pass went into a different tote to make sure it all went through the setup. Final pumped it through goldenrod 496 water blocking. Looks pretty clean and didn't plug the water blocking filter. So thinking it must be pretty dry.

Cleaned the centrifuge three times. Every few days. Last cleaning was less. It was decreasing.
 
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Mt_Man

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Fattima

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Nice work, centrifuge is great for removing water. I get a fair amount of old heating oil from people who have moved to natural gas for heating. Often it has a bit of water in it and the centrifuge cleans it up nicely.
 

Mt_Man

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My little pump has been doing awesome but slowed down to half what it was doing. First I thought it was failing, but found out it has a filter on it. Took it off and pushed some carb cleaner backflushing it and then some low air pressure from the air gun to push the carb cleaner through it faster. Hooked it up and back up to full speed. It is pumping harder(normally). That is what I noticed first was how weak it felt and it was taking longer to go from tote to tote. It looked like the filter could be rinsed out. So far so good. Almost took it out but if the backflushing worked then no reason too. We will see how long it lasts this time.

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Mt_Man

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Been running green fuge (absolute centrifuge) then wvo designs fuge in series for a while now. Got my new pabiodiesel ultimate force centrifuge(UFC)and running it solo. Works great and easy to clean. Finally got around to building a new rack to put all three in series. Pabiodiesel UFC then absolute centrifuge then wvo designs. I will turn the wvo designs fuge up to 6k rpms and see what it gets out.
Before I got the pabiodiesel UFC and just running two in series. I was getting similar amounts in both fuges. It was set up with absolute fuge then wvo design fuge.
I will post some specs tomorrow of the bowl size and rpms.
 

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Mt_Man

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Thought experiment. If I decrease the flow rate even more. Would it be better then currently doing at least two runs.

Example. It takes 48 hours to run 300g through one pass. Two passes would be 8day three would 12day. But would see if there was anything getting through.
Slow it down (to half current) and it would take 8days per pass 16days for 2. But maybe it would only need two pass? Maybe it still requires another pass, could it be faster?

Which is better? Thinking about it. Second pass is necessary to just be part of the QC. Could the second pass be faster?

First pass right and second pass left.
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Interesting the amount of difference in volume. 1st pass was cleaned half way through by volume and then at the end. Also note it was pumped from one container to a different one to insure that 100 of the product was passed through the fuges. Also the slower flow rate has yielded that the fuges are removing less as it goes to 2nd and 3rd fuge.

Using water to compare volume between two different containers.
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Mt_Man

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3rd pass done.
Well took 54hr to pass 300g through the fuges. So about 5.5gph.
Numbers are in. I zeroed the scale for each container type. Left to right pass 1, 2 ,3.
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Weights 52.83oz, 13.20oz, 7.48oz.
So it is interesting that it is now halving the sludge amount. Would be an interesting curve to graph. Started the 4th pass and we will see what it comes back with
 

bbjordan

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Interesting thought experiment. Obviously, the first pass is very effective. Subsequent passes have diminishing returns, but are still effective in removing crud. If you have the time/energy keep doing passes, IMHO.
 

Mt_Man

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Here is the results of the 4th pass.
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Sludge is consistent with the other passes, in consistency, maybe slightly stiffer(holds form better). Each pass seems to have less water. 4th pass was 5.86oz. So still less then pass 3, but not by much. Entering the realm of diminishing returns. Setting up for a 5th pass. Same setting as all the other passes.
This batch was heavily thinned so I wouldn't need heat. But think I might want to try heat at the end to see what it does.

Questions I don't have the answers to yet.
-why is this sludge not coming out on the previous passes?
-is it because of different head pressure when the tote is full vs empty and the pump isn't pulling so hard? This causing a faster flow rate at the beginning and slower at the end? Causing contamination on the clean side(to fast flow rate)?
-am I still running the oil through to fast?
-am I getting the lighter(smaller) particles out now vs heavy on the first pass? Why wouldn't it pull all of them out at the same time?
-how many fuges would be needed to do one pass?

I have run this pump/fuges at full tilt (~20gph) in a continuous recirculating configuration and pull out gobs of sludge but "takes longer." Recirculating to the same container seems to work, but also seem to be mix and not always guaranty that 100% passes through the fuges. I am passing to a different container then source so 100% goes through the fuges.

Need to do some smaller batch that will finish faster and do several of the following.
-decrease the flow rate more
-run with heat
-graph and see how many more passes would get most of the sludge out. Figure out the point of diminishing returns.
-send sample to lab and see what particle size mix is left.
 

ChevellRCR

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I actually have had the same thoughts as you. I have the PA Bio Ultimate which I have been running for a couple years. I got one of the green certrifuges that you are using also though I have never used it. Got it in a package deal with some other equipment. One thing that I'm doing differently is I'm using 55 gallon drums instead of totes for the cleaning process. I removed the flat bottom and welded cones on the bottom.


I did multiple drums this way so I can have a couple settling at the same time. I added a ball valve on the bottom of the funnel to drain water and sludge off. Make sure it's at least a 3/4 inch valve. Bigger the better as it will allow the sludge to drain easier. I then welded a pickup pipe about 6 inches from the bottom of the drum so that I'm never sucking from the sludge/water area. Letting oil settle for at least a week in the summer or a couple weeks in the winter have lessened my sludge issues. Longer the better. I do have drum heaters where I can heat the drums if needed in the winter. I usually add a few gallons of gas to the drums to aid with the settling process. From there I pump the settled mix to a higher drum where is gravity feeds through the centrifuge and on to a lower drum. I let the mix pass though the centrifuge twice before pumping to a 250 gallon tote for storage until I'm ready to use it.

Things I am considering changing....

1. I heat the mixture to roughly 180-200 degrees as its flowing through the centrifuge. I think it's a waste of electricity to heat the mixture twice for the second pass. I think I am going to plumb in that second green centrifuge downstream of the ultimate force machine so I can use the first machine's heat for the second pass. Also shortening the process.

2. I am planning on setting up one of my old lister engine generators which will run on WMO behind another shed. This will generate power and should make the whole operation self sufficient.



I also have one of the wvo designs centrifuges that I'm currently building a WVO cleaning system with. Using the same funnel shaped settling design but pumping to a 250 gallon tote for dirty storage, running through the centrifuge and then pumping back up to a clean 250 gallon tote for clean storage. From there it will gravity feed 50 gallons at a time to a Biopro Biodiesel processor.


Hope to get the WVO side online in the next couple months. Almost done but currently doing a lot of engine builds and swaps.
 

ChevellRCR

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To answer your questions and the reason I went into the above....

I think if you develop a way to settle and remove the majority of the sludge and water before you centrifuge you would have less problems.

Second... Slower is always better and heat is your friend.
 

Mt_Man

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Pass 5. 3.49oz

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This stuff is thinned and been settled for a while. Suck off the top and then combine the bottoms of several and dispose of has been my method. Yes heat always helps. Trying to not do heat at the moment. Looks like I am flowing 5oz per min~2.3gph 8oz per min ~3.75gph(I read the graduation wrong. I have measured it a few times throughout pass 6 and it is staying constant.

Thanks for the link for the barrel funnel for weld-in. Was wondering if those were still available.
 
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Mt_Man

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If they are in series the heat will go through to #2 but you will see some drop from 1 to 2. But my setup with and inline heater was still able to warm the tote after going through two fuges.
 
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