Bio Diesel



AATec
works with the latest developments in Biodiesel production technology and
The Continuous reactor from BHR Biofuels and local agent
GC Biofuels is just such a technology.

 

 2picsdiagram1

The Biodiesel Reaction was fully examined by BHR Biofuels and challenged to a full Process Intensification assessment. This development was achieved using several devices, starting with custom built pressure capable batch reactor, Figure 1, used to map the kinetics and profile the requirements for the process. This was followed by using BHR Group’s FlexReactor technology, Figure 2, to explore well mixed continuous environments and measure accurately the residence time and temperature profiles required for the process

diagram2

After the FlexReactor provided the operational
parameter envelope, BHR Biofuels Ltd used its
design and reactor scaling know how, combined
with the empirical operational data to specify a
75-100Mtpd (metric tons per day)
Transesterification reactor. This reactor was
built and run successfully at production rates
up to 100mtpd (110 000 liters/Day), Figure 3.
Finally both Esterification and Transesterification
reactors were installed for site trials in an
existing biodiesel production plant with a flash

evaporator module downstream to allow
full-scale production trials to be performed,
Figure 4.

 

 

 

figure2 figure3
Figure 2.
Flex Reactor
Figure 3.
75-100TPD Transesterification unit

figure4

Figure 4.
20 Mtpd Transesterification and Esterification reactors without insulation prior to shipping to South Africa for 2012 KZN Biodiesel project.

 

Figure 4 presents a photograph of 2 reactors in service. The silver glad reactor in the background is a Transesterifier capable of 150 Mtpd productions whilst the un-insulated reactor in the foreground is a 100-150 Mtpd Esterification reactor.

The development trials (site and laboratory based) performed to challenge the reactors to the following:-
-    Virgin vegetable and animal oils were made into 98% methyl ester plus in less than 1 minute residence time within the transesterifier reactor. Oils tested were Rape Seed oil, Soy oil, waste vegetable oil, Pig, Cow, Pork and chicken tallows and crude palm oils. In all cases the transesterifications were successful.
-    RBD Soy oil with added Oleic acid to simulate FFA contents up to 20% FFA was used as a control substance for initial mapping of the esterification chemistry.
-    Waste vegetable oil with FFA contents up to 10% FFA esterified and then transesterified.
-    Crude Palm Oil with 5-7% FFA

biodieselAfter the Esterification trials, the remaining FFAs were typically below 0.5%. The systems were then tuned to enable efficient use of heat within the plant and minimize energy transfer devices within the plant. Also the systems were designed to use robust engineering materials and cost efficient pumps and static in-line devices.

Even by using a BHR Biofuels Transesterification reactor, if the feedstock in question has significant FFA, overall yields will be affected by at least twice the FFA% (as the plant makes soap from the FFA and this allows more biodiesel to be carried away during the separation stages, as found during site trials using unesterified batch reacted biodiesel). To have a truly multi-feedstock potential and maximize the plant’s yields, even when challenging the reactor to as low as 2% FFA oil, an esterification reactor should always be seriously considered.

BHR Biofuels Limited has supplied the Biodiesel market with proven and efficient reactors solutions since 2007.

 All that is needed is vegetable oil at the correct temperature and moisture content and appropriately catalysed methanol feed streams. Off take lines exit the reactor to the client’s choice of glycerine phase separation method, biodiesel washing/ filtration and storage.