Biodiesel Glycerin Separation – Process & Application Details
Biodiesel can be seen as 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. Click here for information about biodiesel.
Organic fats and oils are converted to biodiesel by the transesterification process. This process can be summarized as the conversion of organic fats and oils (animal fat and/or vegetable oil) into biodiesel and glycerin by the introduction of methanol and caustic agent catalyst.
Post reaction, it is essential to separate the two immiscible liquid phases (biodiesel and glycerin) to obtain pure biodiesel. It is critical to remove all traces of glycerol (glycerin with methanol dissolved in it) and any sediment to ensure a clean alternative fuel.
Industrial centrifuges are a proven way to accomplish the liquid liquid separation required at this stage. Alfa Laval industrial centrifuges (disc-stack type) are able to generate high enough centrifugal force to separate the glycerol from the biodiesel to produce ASTM grade biodiesel in cases where virgin vegetable oils are used as feed stock.
Biodiesel produced using WVO or animal fat typically needs a further step to remove any remaining impurities. A simple water wash or use of adsorbent is used to polish the biodiesel to ASTM purity level. For higher process volumes (10 GPM or more) – you may consider use of disc stack industrial centrifuge for large scale processing of WVO.
Biodiesel Glycerin separation centrifuge shown here is the Alfa Laval MAPX210 ‘Self-Cleaning’, three-phase, disc-stack centrifuge. This industrial centrifuge has a capacity to process 40 GPM of biodiesel glycerol mix. With animal fat as feedstock at this particular biodiesel producer, adsorbent powder was added for polishing the biodiesel. Downstream centrifuges (same make and model) were used to extract the adsorbent from the finished biodiesel.
Technical specifications of biodiesel glycerin separation centrifuge:
– Alfa Laval MAPX210 Self-Cleaning Disc-Stack Centrifuge
– VFD Control PD Feed Pump
– Fully Automatic PLC/Touch-Screen Control Panel
– Sludge Tank w/ Sludge Disposal System