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Biodiesel Production : Part 2 Product Recovery. Renewable Products Development Laboratories Portland, Oregon, USA. Product Recovery Steps. Ester – Glycerol Separation Ester Washing and Drying Glycerol Recovery Methanol Management Wastewater Considerations. Ester – Glycerol Separation.

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biodiesel production part 2 product recovery

Biodiesel Production : Part 2Product Recovery

Renewable Products Development Laboratories

Portland, Oregon, USA

product recovery steps
Product Recovery Steps
  • Ester – Glycerol Separation
  • Ester Washing and Drying
  • Glycerol Recovery
  • Methanol Management
  • Wastewater Considerations
ester glycerol separation
Ester – Glycerol Separation
  • Separation is based upon Ester-Glycerol immiscibility and density difference.
  • Separation is affected by:
    • Glycerol dispersion in ester phase
    • Presence of mono-, di-, triglycerides
    • Presence of un-reacted alcohol
    • pH of the two phases
ester washing
Ester Washing
  • Primary purpose – removal of soaps
  • Secondary purposes:
    • Removal of free glycerol
    • Removal of catalyst residues
    • Removal of trace methanol
ester wash methods
Ester Wash Methods
  • Use warm (~ 120 F), soft water
  • Water should be free of iron and copper to improve stability.
  • Use gentle washing action to avoid creating emulsions.
ester drying
Ester Drying
  • Esters can have ~ 1500 ppm dissolved water.
  • Washing can add entrained water up to~ 2 % w/w
  • Can dry esters by using:
    • Spray drying
    • Vacuum dryng
    • Evaporators
    • Absorbents
glycerol recovery
Glycerol Recovery
  • Recover methanol by spray drying
  • Neutralize catalyst using mineral acid
  • Can remove catalyst using ion exchange
  • All glycerol processing should take place at > 50 C
glycerol uses
Glycerol Uses
  • Glycerol is one of the most versatile chemical feedstocks.
  • Glycerol is easily derivatized.
  • Glycerol is a fermentation substrate.
  • Glycerol decomposes at ~ 290 C into acrolein and/or other materials.
methanol management
Methanol Management
  • > 98 % methanol recycle is the goal
  • Methanol affects all product recovery operations
  • Methanol emissions in air and water are major issues in permitting and safety.
wastewater considerations
Wastewater Considerations
  • Typical processes use about 1 gallon of water for each gallon of biodiesel.
  • All water should be softened to < 1 grain hardness.
  • Soapy washwater contains about 25,000 ppm BOD5.
  • Soapy washwater usually has pH 7.5 to 9.0
summary
Summary
  • Biodiesel production is deceptively difficult.
  • Multiple production approaches lend themselves to multiple scales of production.
  • It is NOT biodiesel until it meets ASTM 6751!
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