Book Review: Do It Yourself Guide to Biodiesel

May 11, 2008

diy-biodiesel-bookReading the “Do It Yourself Guide to Biodiesel” by Guy Purcella was like having a long conversation with someone who is very knowledgeable about biodiesel, but on a different page.

Purcella sells a plastic-cone based biodiesel processor and obviously believes in safe, quality homebrew made in his design. Thankfully the book isn’t a 230 page advertisement, but it does go to lengths to describe why the plastic cone-processor is a good idea.

Personally, I am opposed to mixing heated flammable chemicals in plastic.

He also strongly encourages folks to buy a pre-made processor or at least a kit. Now, the kit and DIY resources he recommends – Utah Biodiesel Supply, the Infopop Biodiesel-SVO forums and the Collaborative Biodiesel Tutorial are the same ones I point folks too, so I’m not sure where our paths diverged.

This may be the book for you if you want to buy a processor and have it “just work.” Which, interestingly is the conversation I’ve been having recently with a few local folks.

Purcella goes into great detail describing everything except building a processor: the standard personal story, why petroleum is bad and biodiesel is good, oil collection, storage and titration, and quality testing homebrew, as well as storing, filtering and pumping the final product.

It’s got a lot of information. Perhaps a little too dense for those just interested in biodiesel, but good for folks who are thinking about buying a pre-built reactor. This is probably the only book that lists a “buyers guide” to pre-built systems, and really lays out the big picture of what’s required beyond the processor.

Of course, for those hardcore DIY types, my favorite book for actually building a processor is Home Brew Biodiesel from b100supply.

Veg On!

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