Flagstaff Renewable Fuels:

Biodiesel Cooperative Project

Northern Arizona University



Client Contact:

·         Mr. Ed Smith

Client Background: Flagstaff Renewable Fuels (FRF) is currently a back yard operation that produces approximately 75 gallons of biodiesel per week utilizing the apple-seed process.  FRF and Mr. Smith are looking to expand from the back yard operation to a cooperative.

Project Objective: To design a biodiesel processor cooperative that can produce 375 to 400 gallons of biodiesel per week.


Project Details: Our design will be based on the “apple-seed” processor that is currently being used by our client Ed Smith. The apple-seed processor is a basic design that utilizes commercial off the self parts, most of which can be found at a local hardware store, to produce biodiesel from waste vegetable oil.


The apple-seed design has four main stages:

Text Box: 1.The reactant stage
Text Box: 2.The settling stage
Text Box: 3.The washing stage 
Text Box: 4.The drying stage

Our design is based on a two batch process. The processor uses 4 hot water heaters for the reactant stage, 2 conical bottom tanks for settling, and 4 flat bottom tanks for washing and drying.  In between each stage a pump is utilized to move the biodiesel from one stage to another. After each batch is completed it will be transferred to a horizontal storage tank through the use of another pump.