Biodiesel

THE BIODIESEL PROCESS

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Technology Highlights

Multiple Feedstock (Liquid Oil – Palm – Animal Fat – Used Fried Oil)
Continuous Trans – Esterification process with a very low soap formation
Separation by gravity
Final Washing by Centrifugal Separator
High Conversion Yield
Low Methanol Consumption
Low Catalyst Consumption
High grade Pharmaceutical Glycerine
Zero effluent since plant is coupled with Glycerine concentration
High Quality Biodiesel in compliance with all international standard
Low Utilities consumption
Accurate Computer Control System
Soap Removal (Acidulation) without presence of methanol

Advantages

Our company has developed efficient industrial plant  capable to process not only standard refined vegetable oils but also 100% Used Fried Oil or low grade vegetable oil. The target has been achieved thanks to a proven technology already applied in the field of Oils Refinery and Oleochemical Plants. Low quality oils, like Used Fried Oil, containing a high FFA(up to 10%), need to be treated and neutralized in a special distillation plant (Pack Tower). The obtained crude glycerine has to be treated as well,concentrated and refined in similar units already used in oleochemical plants but with the relevant modifications. The experience of C.M. BERNARDINI also in Plants where solvent is used, particularly into the distillation section,has allowed us to develop a very efficient alcohol recovery distillation and rectification system which respects all safety rules. Thanks to special arrangements in our process steps,the whole system has also the great advantage of having almost zero effluent water. Compared to other processes, our system is also one of the few where the produced crude glycerine can be easily processed up to 99.8% purity, respecting all International Parameters. Fame Distillation and Fractional Distillation units. C.M.Bernardini can provide also plants for Methylester Distillation in order to obtain high quality Biodiesel with very low T.M.C. and high conversion (99%). Also FAME  Fractional Distillation Columns can be provided in order to obtain a pure cut of different carbon chain to be used for further process like C/12-C14-C-16-C-18 at purity up to 99%.

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PRODUCTION STEPS

1. In case of crude oil and oil-refining  pre-treatment is suitable to improve the yields and to increase the efficiency of the subsequent steps and also to remove the impurities and free fatty acids  to avoid any side reactions;
2. Mixing alcohol, oil and catalyst in a controlled and safe reactor under nitrogen blanketing. It normally works with excess of alcohol. The use of methanol requires suitable safety precautions, as provided by the law. The mixture reacts at 70°C for about two hours. The reaction environment is corrosive, so all the equipment has to be in stainless steel;
3. Special continuous gravity settling apparatus in order to separate the methylester and glycerine phases;
4. Recovery of the exceeding alcohol through a vacuum evaporation process (stripping). This operation is carried  out both on the produced methylester and on the aqueous phase containing glycerol;
5. Methylester washing through a water solution so as to remove the residual glycerine. A special centrifugal separator is used in this step;
6. Crude Glycerine Acidulation so as to split the relevant soap produced during the reaction. In the CM Bernardini’s  system this reaction is performed without alcohol and with HCl. The obtained so called Acid Oil can be then esterified using glycerine produced by the Biodiesel Plant and the obtained neutral oil can be mixed with the relevant feedstock for Biodiesel Production. Fatty acids coming from Crude Oil Refining can also be esterified in order to increase the overall yield. This kind of Esterification reaction avoids the use of sulphuric acid normally used in the others’ processes, with no formation of sulphide,difficult to remove and harmful for the subsequent Glycerine Refining steps. The non – use of H2SO4 also avoids the utilization of special stainless steel materials,which are used to prevent the corrosion, whereas the HCl permits the use of plastic materials with lower costs;
7. Alcohol Rectification in a rectification column in order to obtain a concentration of alcohol at 99,9 %.

Fame Distillation and Fractional Distillation units

C.M.Bernardini provides plants for Methylester Distillation in order to obtain high quality Biodiesel with very low T.C.M. (Total contamination matters) and high conversion (99%). After Trans-esterification process, every kind of product are directly sent to distillation unit. Technology improvements allow to by-pass the washing step in order to obtain high quality of final product and energy saving. Also FAME  Fractional Distillation Columns can be provided in order to obtain a pure cut of different carbon chain to be used for further process like C/12-C14-C-16-C-18 at purity up to 99%.

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ABOUT METHYLESTER GLYCERINE

Glycerine is the main by-product and it is obtained at 80-85% concentration.  Since most of the soap formed during Methylester reaction  and all relevant impurities are concentrated in the Glycerine, a proper treatment is needed. There are processes treating the concentrate glycerine with H2SO4 in order to split the soap and to recover the so called  Acid Oil; this reaction takes place normally with glycerine having still the presence of methanol, which is negative for a good treatment and also requires a special stainless steel material, since the reaction is very corrosive. C.M. Bernardini has already installed several units where the relevant treatment with HCL is effected only after Methanol removal from the crude Glycerine in order to treat it properly. Besides using U.F.O., if Glycerine is not properly purified and if further treatment is not used to remove saltformation and other undesirable components in the final Glycerine Distillation, a poor quality Glycerine is obtained with also high losses (polymerization). The advantage given by our route is that all the processed water coming from methylester unit is mixed with crude glycerine and then distilled in order to obtain zero effluent. There is also the advantage of diluting the glycerine, since  it cannot be deeply purifiedwith chemicals if the concentration is 80-85%;the optimum conditions are at 60-65% concentration. Once the treatment has been properly made, the further Glycerine Distillation Plant will produce a high quality product which follows all pharmaceutical grade parameters (99.8% min). The obtained pitch is also discharged in solid form (easy to handle).

Oil Extraction

Oil & Fats Refining

Oleochemical

Biodiesel