Lye Purification Information

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So basically I was doing some work to document, and/or plan out how to make biodiesel. I realized then that most reactions use sodium or potassium hydroxides (Lye). I remembered a past instructable on making lye via wood ash leaching. Thus I made the Open Source Bases Construction Set. So later I was planing how to purify the crude lye into actual pure (or at least as close as we can get) potassium hydroxide. I made the Open Source Lye Purification Apparatus page but intend for that to be an automated device likable to the Open Source Lye Production Apparatus. Thus I am now here. I determined that repeated recrystilizations should yeild a relitively pure product. Due to the washing after each recrystilization of everything it seemed more simple to just do this with a chemist, some basic lab equipment, and a whole lot of time.

Lab Equipment Needed


  • Distilled Water
  • Wood Ashes
  • Filter Paper


  1. Begin by gathering materials
    1. Leach the ashes
      1. Filter The Liquid
        1. Dry the powder you get
          1. Pour this powder into the bottom of a round bottomed flask
          2. Add a magnetic stir rod
          3. Add Xml of Distilled Water (Note that this is exothermic so cool as needed) (also heat may help the reaction get staarted but is otherwise not needed much at this point
            1. Once dissolved start slowly drying the liquid via heat to begin the recrystilization
              1. Once crystal growth has peaked, remove from heat and filter as soon as possible

Now loop steps 3-7 untill desired purity is reached. Then clean up all materials and store the powder in a dry place

Tests and Results

Automation Plan (Based off of what was learned)

See Also

Useful Links