How to Make Biodiesel Without Methanol

Updated February 21, 2017

There are many benefits to biodiesel fuel. Because it uses organic elements and burns clean, its impact on the environment is less than traditional fuels. Biodiesel can also be produced at home and used to power generators, diesel vehicles and diesel-powered heaters. Many people worry about the harmful side effects that methanol can cause and want to make biodiesel with another form of alcohol. While this is possible, producing biodiesel without methanol is very difficult and requires the use of special equipment.

Carefully read the directions for the reactor and become familiar with its parts.

Add the rapeseed oil to the main chamber and the water to the water chamber.

Pour the ethanol into the plastic container.

Add the potassium hydroxide to the ethanol in the container. Potassium hydroxide is a very reactive compound and must not be exposed to the air for too long, so add it quickly.

Place the cap tightly onto the container and shake. Continue shaking until the solution is quickly replaced and no solid particles remain.

Pour the solution into the reactor and turn it on. The reactor will process the reactants into biodiesel.


Measuring the reactants carefully is the key to a successful batch of biodiesel. Exercise caution when preparing the quantities of ingredients.


Make biodiesel only in a highly ventilated area and while wearing eye protection and gloves. Read and follow all safety warnings included with the reactor.

Things You'll Need

  • Biodiesel reactor
  • 100 gallons of rapeseed oil
  • 25.5 gallons of water
  • HDPE No. 2 plastic container with lid
  • 27.4 gallons of ethanol (preferably 200-proof)
  • 491 Kilogram of potassium hydroxide
  • Goggles
  • Gloves
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Faith Davies has been writing professionally since 1996, contributing to various websites. She holds an LAH insurance license in the state of Pennsylvania and has experience as a bank branch manager and lending officer. Davies graduated cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Arts in art history.