Biodiesel Centrifuge

biodiesel centrifuge

Table of Contents

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

A biodiesel centrifuge is an industrial centrifuge that separates biodiesel from glycerin during biodiesel production from vegetable oils. The biodiesel and glycerol have different specific gravities easily separated by the high centrifugal forces generated by a disc stack biodiesel centrifuge.

Industrial Centrifuge Applications in Biodiesel Production

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.

Advantages of a Centrifuge in Biodiesel Glycerol and Wash Water Separation

  • It is a continuous process with the least operating costs.
  • Mechanical separation extracts the most amount of biodiesel.
  • Simultaneous separation of fine sediment.
  • It affects fast separation under the high centrifugal force.
  • The automatic process saves labor costs.

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.

Advantages of Industrial Centrifuge in Biodiesel Polishing

  • It allows for the removal of small particles without filters (filters tend to plug up).
  • Wash water removal to produce 100% clear biodiesel.
  • It helps break emulsions (if any).

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.

Technical Considerations for 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.’

  • VITON seals in all fluid contact areas.
  • Direct-drive (friction-less) design for hazardous area installation.
  • Teflon covered collecting covers.
  • Electrical design for hazardous areas. (Class 1 Div 2 or Div 1)

Biodiesel Centrifuge Specifications and Sizing

Centrifuge Type Alfa Laval Disc-Stack Centrifuge with Biodiesel Kit
Model BDB 104 BDPX 207 BDB 209
Biodiesel Kit Features VITON Seals in Wetted Parts; Special Metal Plating of Non-Stainless Parts; Friction Clutch Replacement; Explosion Proof or HazLoc Motor & Control System 
Titrated Feed Stock (WVO) Separation 3 GPM 10 GPM 35 GPM
Biodiesel Glycerin Separation 6 GPM 18 GPM 60 GPM
Biodiesel Wash-Water Separation 3 GPM 10 GPM 35 GPM
Glycerin Clarification 5 GPM N/A 40 GPM
Motor Power 2 HP 10 HP 15 HP
Bowl Speed 7,500 RPM 6,400 RPM 6,700 RPM
Sludge Space 0.325 Gal 1.3 Gal 2.0 Gal

Contact Dolphin Centrifuge to discuss your biodiesel or other centrifuge application.

Alfa Laval MAB205 Biodiesel Centrifuge

Hi-Speed æ Disc Centrifuge

Technical Specs
Capacity: 15GPM on Biodiesel Glycerin
Motor HP: 5 HP
Voltages: 230V / 460V
Skid Dim.: ~ 4′ x 5′
Skid Wt.: ~ 1500 lbs
Features: Teflon Coated Covers

Alfa Laval MAB206 Biodiesel Centrifuge

Hi-Speed æ Disc Centrifuge

Technical Specs
Capacity: 25GPM on Biodiesel Glycerol
Motor HP: 7.5HP
Voltages: 230V / 460V
Skid Dim.: 5′ x 6′
Skid Wt.: ~2000 lbs
Features: VITON Seals

Alfa Laval MAB207 Biodiesel Centrifuge

Hi-Speed æ Disc Centrifuge

Technical Specs
Capacity: 50GPM on Biodiesel Water
Motor HP: 15HP
Voltages: 230V / 460V
Skid Dim.: 5′ x 6′
Skid Wt.: ~ 2500 lbs
Features: VITON O-Rings