Dolphin Centrifuge

Biodiesel Centrifuge | Separating Biodiesel from Glycerin


What is Biodiesel?

Biodiesel is an organic, renewable alternative to conventional diesel fuel. It is environmentally friendly due to lower emissions and usable in current engines designed to operate on diesel fuel.

How is Biodiesel Produced?

The transesterification process converts organic fats and oils into biodiesel. In other words, transesterification is the process of converting fats into biodiesel and glycerin. Methanol and lye being the catalysts in the process. The lipids are animal fat or used vegetable oil.

Biodiesel Centrifuge

Alfa Laval MOPX-207 Biodiesel Centrifuge
Alfa Laval MOPX-207 Biodiesel Centrifuge

A biodiesel centrifuge uses a high g-force of 8,000 Gs to separate biodiesel from glycerin. The centrifuge bowl rotates at 7,000 RPM. The centrifugal force spins out the denser glycerin to discharge out the heavy phase outlet. The lighter biodiesel discharges through the biodiesel chamber outlet.

A small 'self-cleaning' centrifuge is able to separate 10 GPM of biodiesel and 5 GPM of hot WVO.


The following are key advantages of centrifuges in biodiesel production.

Centrifuge Applications in Biodiesel Processing

The biodiesel production process uses industrial centrifuges in most of the production steps. The list below explains each step with the corresponding centrifuge application.

Biodiesel Glycerol Separation

Post reaction is essential to separate the two immiscible liquid phases (biodiesel and glycerol) to get pure biodiesel. It is critical to remove all traces of glycerol and any sediment to reduce the load on the next process step.

Industrial centrifuges are a proven way to separate the two liquids at this stage. Alfa Laval industrial centrifuges (disc-stack type) generate a high centrifugal force on the fluid. This force separates the glycerol from the biodiesel to produce ASTM grade biodiesel. Especially in cases where virgin vegetable oils are the feedstock.

Biodiesel Wash Water Separation

Biodiesel produced using WVO or animal fat needs a further step to remove any remaining impurities. A simple water wash polishes the biodiesel to ASTM purity level.

An industrial centrifuge is the best fit for the separation of wash water from biodiesel. High centrifugal force in the disc stack centrifuge separates the water from biodiesel. This separation is, again, a continuous, efficient process.

Biodiesel Final Polishing

Polishing the biodiesel removes tiny particulate matter from the finished biodiesel. In the case of water wash, trace amounts of water may still be present in the biodiesel. The centrifuge removes the water from the biodiesel at this polishing stage.

Glycerin Clarification

Distilling separated glycerol recovers the methanol and produces glycerin. Pure glycerin has good resale value and is demand in the food and cosmetics industries.

Clarification of glycerin to remove small impurities makes it usable. A disc stack centrifuge has the required g-force to remove the finest trace particles from glycerin.

The advantages of using industrial centrifuges (listed above) are applicable for glycerin purification as well.

Biodiesel Centrifuge Design

Biodiesel production requires the use of methanol. This requirement, in turn, needs unique manufacturing specifications. Biodiesel centrifuge systems manufactured by Dolphin Centrifuge have the following features. We refer to these features as the ‘Biodiesel Kit.’


Centrifuge TypeAlfa Laval Disc Stack Centrifuge with Biodiesel Kit
ModelBDB 104BDPX 207BDB 209
Sludge HandlingManual CleanSelf-CleaningManual Clean
Biodiesel Kit FeaturesCompatible Elastomer, Corrosion Resistant Top-coat, Friction Clutch Replacement, Motor Suitable for Hazardous Applications
Titrated WVO Stock3 GPM10 GPM35 GPM
Glycerin Separation6 GPM18 GPM60 GPM
Wash-Water3 GPM10 GPM35 GPM
Glycerin Clarification5 GPMNot Suitable40 GPM
Motor2 HP10 HP15 HP
Bowl Speed7,500 RPM6,400 RPM6,700 RPM
Sludge Space0.325 Gal1.3 Gal2.0 Gal
Alfa Laval MAB205 Teflon Coated Biodiesel Centrifuge
Alfa Laval MAB205 Biodiesel Centrifuge

Alfa Laval MAB205

Technical Specifications
Capacity 15 GPM on Biodiesel Glycerin
Motor Power 5 HP
Voltages 230 / 460 3-Phase
Size 4' x 5'
Weight 2,000 Lbs
Options Teflon Coated Covers
Alfa Laval MAB206 Biodiesel Centrifuge

Alfa Laval MAB206 

Technical Specifications
Capacity 25 GPM on Biodiesel Glycerin
Motor Power 7.5 HP
Voltages 230 / 460 3-Phase
Size 4' x 6'
Weight 2,500 Lbs
Options Teflon Coated Covers
Alfa Laval MAB207 Biodiesel Centrifuge

Alfa Laval MAB207 

Technical Specifications
Capacity 50 GPM on Biodiesel Wash Water
Motor Power 15 HP
Voltages 230 / 460 3-Phase
Size 5' x 5'
Weight 2,800 Lbs
Options VITON O-Rings


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