Biodiesel production part 2 product recovery
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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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