This is an excerpt from the Ultimate Biodiesel Guide 2008 (www.ultimate-biodiesel-guide.com):
One of the main objections I get from people when I talk to then about making biodiesel at home is that it takes a lot of fancy equipment and that it's expensive to get started. They've usually had a look on the web and found biodiesel processors like the FuelMeister and so on which cost upwards of $2000 dollars.
Now I know that with gas getting more expensive it's easier to justify spending money to make your own fuel but even so $2000 is $2000 bucks.
But what if you could put together a small processor for home use for less than $200, one that was small enough to run in your workshop? What if it required no welding, no mechanical skill, was safe reliable and easy to use? (..and this works for any country by the way..)
The good news is that I faced the same challenges when I started out. I'm no DIY exert I can tell you, and I sure as heck didn't have $2000 to spend. In the end the solution was simple....and here it is:
What the heck is it?
For the uninitiated this is called a "catering urn" - enter that into your search engine or ebay and you'll find you can pick these up for about $100 or less! Basically catering operations use these to keep up to 60 litres of water hot for tea and coffee at big events.
What's so Good about it?
To make biodiesel you need a reaction chamber that you can heat the oil in and add the methoxide to. That's exactly what this Urn is! It has a built in heating element, it even has a tap for easy draining!
Add to that it's stainless steel so it will handle the temperature and it's easy to clean. It's discreet, it's compact, it comes in a variety of capacities from 5 litres to 60 litres. It's just as safe as a "store bought" processor (maybe more safe....it's not plastic so it can't melt for a start).
Of course you will need some extra bits and pieces to complete your setup, a thermometer, something to stir the oil, some jerry cans for oil, biodiesel and methoxide etc etc. However there is no reason why you can't put together everything you need for $200 MAX.
So.........what's your excuse now for not making biodiesel at home?
All the best