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Biodiesel Glycerin soap


awickedscent
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Actually, anyone see that episode of Dirty Jobs when the guy made biodiesel out of old grease from a mexican restaurant? He added several things but one was lye. Can't remember if it was Sodium Hydroxide or Potassiun Hydroxide. I see lye and fat mixed together.

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Actually, anyone see that episode of Dirty Jobs when the guy made biodiesel out of old grease from a mexican restaurant? He added several things but one was lye. Can't remember if it was Sodium Hydroxide or Potassiun Hydroxide. I see lye and fat mixed together.

Glycerin is a by-product of biodiesel production. It is Sodium hydroxide that they use. I haven't ever used the glycerin by-product in soap, however I would love to learn more about it. I buy my lye from someone who makes biodiesel :)

Part of the business that we own is recycling used restraunt grease and we ship 3 tractor trailor loads of it every week to another state. Our particular oil gets put into livestock feed, but MANY others who collect that grease do so for bio diesel production. I have no idea what is done with the glycerin, but because a lot of people who make biodiesel are environmentally conciencious I'm guessing they try to find ways to recycle it. One of these days I'd love to learn more.

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Glycerin is a by-product of biodiesel production. It is Sodium hydroxide that they use. I haven't ever used the glycerin by-product in soap, however I would love to learn more about it. I buy my lye from someone who makes biodiesel :)

Part of the business that we own is recycling used restraunt grease and we ship 3 tractor trailor loads of it every week to another state. Our particular oil gets put into livestock feed, but MANY others who collect that grease do so for bio diesel production. I have no idea what is done with the glycerin, but because a lot of people who make biodiesel are environmentally conciencious I'm guessing they try to find ways to recycle it. One of these days I'd love to learn more.

That sounds very interesting what you do. I have a friend that retired last year from the military and he now runs a business where he goes into restaraunts and cleans/filters their cooking grease from the fryers to extend the life use of it. I'm going to have to ask him if he has ever heard of reclycling it for biodiesel and if that might be a part of what he does.

Is what you guys do a pretty dirty job? It sounds like it would be. I know what my friend does gets him pretty filthy.

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That sounds very interesting what you do. I have a friend that retired last year from the military and he now runs a business where he goes into restaraunts and cleans/filters their cooking grease from the fryers to extend the life use of it. I'm going to have to ask him if he has ever heard of reclycling it for biodiesel and if that might be a part of what he does.

Is what you guys do a pretty dirty job? It sounds like it would be. I know what my friend does gets him pretty filthy.

The main part of what my family's business is is extremely gross!! It would be a prime candidate for dirty jobs if someone would call them hehe! We are mainly a livestock rendering company, but the used restaurant grease is becoming a very large part of our business. I know that HB and a few others have made lots of fun of my family's business lol, and it bothers me not! Nov 8th it will be 20 years since mom and dad went out on their own. Before that my dad worked 20 years for a much larger company as their manager doing the same thing. He quit after they asked him to do something he considered unethical and went on his own. He put them out of business and 20 years later I am so proud of him, and proud to work for a company that does their part (however gross and disgusting it may be) to recycle and keep the environment clean and disease free. So there, now ya know! ;)

Oh.. the grease part of the job isn't really that dirty. The drums have lids on them, and of course the guys get a little grimy, but it's no worse than most farm jobs or other manual labor jobs I guess.

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The main part of what my family's business is is extremely gross!! It would be a prime candidate for dirty jobs if someone would call them hehe! We are mainly a livestock rendering company, but the used restaurant grease is becoming a very large part of our business. I know that HB and a few others have made lots of fun of my family's business lol, and it bothers me not! Nov 8th it will be 20 years since mom and dad went out on their own. Before that my dad worked 20 years for a much larger company as their manager doing the same thing. He quit after they asked him to do something he considered unethical and went on his own. He put them out of business and 20 years later I am so proud of him, and proud to work for a company that does their part (however gross and disgusting it may be) to recycle and keep the environment clean and disease free. So there, now ya know! ;)

Oh.. the grease part of the job isn't really that dirty. The drums have lids on them, and of course the guys get a little grimy, but it's no worse than most farm jobs or other manual labor jobs I guess.

It sounds like a honest way to make a living. You can't fault a person for making a living by working hard. No shame there. At least its not pushing meth to kids!

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  • 2 years later...

I just happened upon this older thread, and after reading through it figured I could bring it up to date.

I am the author of "Biodiesel Glycerine Soap - The Guide" as well as a 6 year veteran of homebased biodiesel production. The Guide is a 62 page introduction to making soap from the biodiesel glycerine layer and is on 5 continents making of it the world's most read book (PDF) on using the biodiesel glycerine in soap making.

http://www.blackcrownsoap.com is my website.

Many people who have had experience with modern soap making do not at first understand how this is possible,and while there are some precautions that need to be taken, such as the complete removal of the methyl alcohol from the mix using a simple to make condensing unit, the process is pretty straight forward.

Where the confusion registers is in the low amount of caustic required to do the job.

(30g NaOH/litre of glycerine for bars and 40g/litre for liquid) I am one of the only people to ever accomplish making liquid soap using nothing but sodium hydroxide as the caustic with a canola based glycerine layer.

It is called a "glycerine layer" because it does not only contain glycerine,which you know is a clear substance, but that is also where all the free fatty acids (FFA's) that were once in the cooking oil (yes, we use used cooking oil) and the DI,TRI and MONO glycerides end up.

The main goal is to produce biodiesel or it's more technical name Methyl Esters, however the welcomed secondary product is soap; the kind of soap you have never seen before. It's ability to clean is unsurmounted by ANY commercial or handcrated soap out there, and part of this is in no small part due to the concentration of the above mentioned in a percentage layer of what used to be whole oil.

The reason so little caustic can be used is due to the fact that most of the saponification process is accomplished during the biodiesel reaction (technical word = transesterification) and all that is left is to push the saponification reaction a bit to complete it.

I have not only written The Guide but have also used my soaps in the shower as a body and hair soap replacing shampoo, we use it for washing dishes, the car,the bathroom toilet sink and tub (a cup of javel once a week in the toilet as it is not antibacterial - a good thing if you are health consious) and last but not least it has also replaced our laundry detergent.

On average we save upwards of $5-600.00 a year on soaps we no longer need to buy and there are but 2 of us. The bigger the family the greater the savings.

There are imitators, but there is only one The Guide. I welcome comments and questions, and will reply as soon as time permits.

Thanks for letting me introduce myself.

Luc

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My neighbor was looking into making his own biodiesel and was trying to get me to take his by-product to make soap. I told him now way would I have a market for that. I thought it sound just gross. I told him if he gave me all the supplies I would be more than happy to make it for his family. He didn't want it either. In the end I told him I didn't think our county would allow him to make his own biodiesel because of all the regulations. I was sure happy when he found out he couldn't as he quickly dropped the subject.

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...the kind of soap you have never seen before. It's ability to clean is unsurmounted by ANY commercial or handcrated soap out there...

I have not only written The Guide but have also used my soaps in the shower as a body and hair soap replacing shampoo, we use it for washing dishes, the car,the bathroom toilet sink and tub (a cup of javel once a week in the toilet as it is not antibacterial - a good thing if you are health consious) and last but not least it has also replaced our laundry detergent.

On average we save upwards of $5-600.00 a year on soaps we no longer need to buy and there are but 2 of us. The bigger the family the greater the savings.

There are imitators, but there is only one The Guide.

I thought Billy Mays was dead.

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I guess I get annoyed when people come on the board and hit us with a sales pitch. I mean, it's not that we don't welcome people and like people who have something to sell, but it depends on how they behave. This just crosses the line into "I'm gonna baffle you with hype so you buy the book or my products--especially the book because that's an easy buck."

People here are familiar enough with soapmaking chemistry that I can de-mystify this. I know what biodiesel is, but I have never read a word about how to do it and I can still explain what's going on with this soap.

In the simplest terms, an ester is a chemical compound of alcohol and fatty acids. Oil is an ester of glycerine and three fatty acid molecules (a triglyceride). Glycerine is an alcohol.

When you make soap, the oil molecules (triglycerides) are disassembled into glycerine and fatty acids. The fatty acids combine with the "sodium" part of sodium hydroxide to make soap. The glycerine is left over.

When you make biodiesel, the triglycerides are also disassembled into glycerine and fatty acids, but the fatty acids are then re-assembled (esterified) with a different alcohol--namely methanol. You get biodiesel (methyl esters) and the glycerine is still left over, just like it is when you make soap.

In soapmaking, you make sure you don't put in enough sodium hydroxide to use up all the oil. What you have left over is excess oil plus bits and pieces of oil--oil molecules that only got partially disassembled. Your "superfat" consists of monoglycerides, diglycerides and triglycerides.

The biodiesel process also has a kind of "superfat." Just like soap, it has mono-, di-, and triglycerides--and even "free" fatty acids that aren't combined with an alcohol. This stuff, along with the glycerin and any leftover methyl alcohol is separated from the actual biodiesel stuff.

Once the leftover methanol is removed (it evaporates more easily than glycerin, so I assume they use heat), you end up with a lot of glycerin and various saponifiable dregs from the oil (think of it as the leftover "superfat" that got removed from the biodiesel). Add lye and you get soap. There's nothing different about the soap except that it's combined with a lot of glycerin and water, plus it might have an unusual fatty acid profile. My suspicion is that it has a lot of unsaturated fatty acids in it, which probably isn't the best thing.

There's no mystery or special significance to the SAP value of the biodiesel glycerin either. The SAP value reflects how much saponifiable stuff is in the material. A lot of it is just glycerine. If you are using a low amount of NaOH, you're getting a low amount of soap.

Edited by topofmurrayhill
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Part of the business that we own is recycling used restraunt grease and we ship 3 tractor trailor loads of it every week to another state. Our particular oil gets put into livestock feed,

PA, do you happen to ship it one state north? DH works at a mill where they get loads of grease for hog feed. It minimizes the soybean dust as well as adding nutritional value. Just wondering!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I read through several biodiesel forums and those folks are talking a lot of trial and error chemistry. They seem to be searching for endless ways to recycle fried grease and or other lubricants that are normally tossed away. The whole convo was fascinating and of course totally over my head.

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Sorry to have sounded like an infomercial. I've been at biodiesel glycerine soap making for about 6 years now and can honestly say that I wouldn't go back to any other type.

Seeing as how some have a good grip on what transpires during the transesterification of used cooking oil I'll try to keep it shop talk and brief.

As noted, during the biodiesel process methyl alocohol is used along with either KOH or NaOH as the catalysing caustic. What this has as an effect is to "crack" the vegetable oil into the esters section which is what is used as biodiesel, be it 100% or along with any percentage blend with the pump stuff.It is completely miscible with pump diesel just like vodka and water.

Ok, during the reaction the Di,Tri and Mono glycerides which comprise the viscous elements of vegetable oil attach to the caustic mix and drop out of solution along withthe level of FFA's found in the oil. The more used the oil is them higher the FFA count. (How much caustic tp use is determined by a simple titration and that is added to a known base amount in order to achieve a complete reaction and give high quality fuel.

The transesterification (making biodiesel) process is such that most of the saponification of the saponifiable elements in the breakaway layer of glycerides and FFA's is already done, but is not complete. What we do is then finish the job by pushing it a little with the use of additional caustic. This caustic generally ranges between 20-25% of the oil's original SAP or for the most part 30g NaOH for nar soap and 40g KOH for liquid. That is per litre of glycerine layer. I only use essential oils for scenting and it has worked extremely well.

OK, now what some may see as a health concern, as we do use used cooking oil for the biodiesel process. he oil is firstly filtered to remove any particulates down to dust levels and then reacted. The subsequent glycerine layer then contains the methyl alcohol and caustic used up during the porcess. Methanol is a no no so it has to be removed from the mixture before any soap making attempt can be had.

The removal of the methanol is done via a simple still, either pot or reflux depending on how fancy you want to get. This is done not only for the sake ofd the soap but also so thatthe supplemental alcohol can then be reused in the next biodiesel batch (waste not...).

The glycerine is distilled for the better part of a day. I distill 30L for 8 hours at a pot temp of 266F. This not only drives out any methanol in the mix but serves to also sterilise the glycerine of any potential impurities that *may* be left after having been subjected to a 2 hour 130F degree reaction temp and time in hot caustic alocohol.

A medical autoclave uses 266F for 13 minutes and the instruments are considered sterilised as a comparison.

So, what we have is what is considered a disposable product coming from restaurants (mine never sees the out of doors, but is put in closed containers straight from the fryer) and then we take that product and turn it into 2 separate practical and useful eco-friendly products; one being fuel for diesel vehicles and home heating applications and one of the others is soap.

At home we use our biodiesel glycerine soap for body and hair (replaces shampoo), the dishes, the laundry,as a bathroom scrub for toilet tub and sink (along with a cup of javel once a week in the loo as it is not antibacterial), a car wash soap, general hand degreaser in place of Go-Jo or some other such shop "dry wash", and also as a stain pretreatment for those stubborn stains that won't come out any other way. Spray and Wash can't hold a candle to it. Our yearly savings in soap alone is over $5-600.00 and there is just the two of us.

In he area of this type of soap making I am what has been called a "purist" in that I only use the absolute barest minimum of chemical additives (like the caustic used) and only essential oils for scenting. I discourage the use of synthetic acids and chemical bleaches due to serious health concerns. I've taken a lot of flack over that stand but that's my position.

Right now our team is working on a Universal SAP program, a small application that allows you to determine the exact SAP value in any given acid, be it whole new oil, used cooking oil, the biodiesel glycerine layer of mixed feedstock or even wild game fat.

It is in it's BETA stages right now and we hope to make it publicly available once the testing is done and we are sure all the bugs are worked out and it does what we claim it does. So far so good though; preliminary testing has been very positive using biodiesel glycerine and also whole new oils. I'll be a distributor for it once it is ready to go. My website is posted in the former post for any who might be interested.

Hope that helps clear up some ??'s.

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  • 2 years later...
I just got a nice bit of BDG to try in cp soap. You can add it to a recipe like a regular soft oil. I will post pictures when I give it a try.

Kitn, I was contacted by someone who has a TON of bio-diesel glycerine that they are just trying to give to me (I mean GALLONS AND GALLONS). How did yours turn out? Have any recipes you're interested in passing my way?

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