How to Convert Sunflower Seed Oils for Biodiesel Purposes

Written by preston manning bernstein
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How to Convert Sunflower Seed Oils for Biodiesel Purposes
Sunflower seed oil is among the least harmful of oil types. (sunflower image by Lucid_Exposure from

Creating biodiesel is a relatively simple process that can be done in the comfort of your own kitchen. The fuel you make will run cleaner than the petroleum-based diesel that you buy at the petrol station. It will let your diesel engine last longer with fewer maintenance issues. Sunflower seed oil is highly beneficial to one's health, and contains properties that are thought to fight cancer. Learning how to make 1 litre of biodiesel from sunflower seed oil is moderately easy.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 1 litre of oil
  • Coffee filter
  • Funnel
  • 99 per cent pure methanol
  • 6.25 grams of sodium hydroxide lye
  • Blender
  • 99 per cent pure rubbing alcohol
  • One large white plastic container with lid
  • 1 litre of water
  • Three 2-liter soda bottles
  • Duct tape
  • Thermometer

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  1. 1

    Filter the oil through a coffee filter to remove any impurities.

  2. 2

    Heat the oil to 129 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool. This removes any water that may be in the oil.

  3. 3

    With the funnel, pour a 1/2 litre of methanol into the white plastic container.

  4. 4

    Using the funnel again, pour the lye into the same plastic container.

  5. 5

    Mix for a minute at a time until the lye is completely dissolved in the methanol. It should take between 10 and 30 minutes to completely dissolve and turn into methoxide.

  6. 6

    Heat the oil to 54.4 degrees Celsius. Use the thermometer to ensure it is the right temperature.

  7. 7

    Pour the oil and the methoxide mixture into a blender, then set on low for 20 to 30 minutes.

  8. 8

    Pour the mixture from the blender into a 2-liter bottle. Allow to set for 24 hours.

  9. 9

    Carefully pour out the lighter-coloured layer (biodiesel) from the bottle into another container, leaving the darker layer (glycerine) behind.

  10. 10

    Pour 150ml of biodiesel into the third water bottle, then add in 150ml of water. Shake for 10 seconds, then allow to settle. If the two liquids form separate, distinct layers, then you have created quality biodiesel.

  11. 11

    Wash the biodiesel by combining it with equal parts water, then shaking the bottle. Allow the liquids to settle, then poke a hole in the bottom of the bottle to let the water seep out. Cover up the hole with duct tape, pour more water in, and repeat until the biodiesel is translucent.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not let the lye be exposed to air for too long.
  • Do not use the blender for anything else after creating biodiesel in it.
  • Wear protective clothing such as gloves and safety goggles at all times.
  • This liquid is highly toxic and highly flammable.

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