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Traditional Biodiesel Technology

Traditional Biodiesel Technology

Description:Neutral oil (100% purity oil) and methanol have transesterification reaction based on the effect of catalyst (alkaline) and catalyst to produce fatty acid methyl esters and glycerol.

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Type: Biodiesel Machinery

Processing Material: Waste Cooking Oil,Vegetable oil, Acidic Oil, Soap-stock, Oil residue, Animal Oil

Main equipment: Filter, Hydrolysis kettle,Esterification kettle,Methyl ester distillation tower, Rectifying tower

Capacity: 10-500T/D

Three methods of traditional biodiesel production process:


1. Neutral oil (100% purity oil) and methanol have transesterification reaction based on the effect of catalyst (alkaline) and catalyst to produce fatty acid methyl esters and glycerol.

           1 Neutral oil +3 methanol + (NaOH catalyst) = 3 fatty acid methyl esters (biodiesel) + glycerol

2. Esterification reaction -Simple principle of oil(included the fatty acid) transform into biodiesel.

a. In the poor quality oils (such as waste cooking oil, swill oil, and gutter oil), it mainly have neutral oil (100% purity oil), fatty acids, and also the phospholipids of the colloidal impurities, which make biodiesel’s catalyst poisoning (lose efficacy), so it must refine the raw materials (hydration, washing) before the production of bio-diesel.

b. In refined (hydration, washing) oil, in addition to the neutral oil but also the free fatty acid (content by acid value or percentage), such as acid value is 10, the raw oil containing 5% fatty acid, 95% neutral oil.

c. Based on the effect of catalyst (sulfuric acid), fatty acid and methanol will have esterification reaction to obtain fatty acid methyl esters and water.

This reaction will only generate fatty acid methyl ester, water and 5% acid sludge. Acid sludge can’t degrade only discard or bury. The water and participant sulfuric acid will go on the transesterification reaction with the sodium methoxide, which reaction will produce sodium sulfate wastewater. Sodium sulfate wastewater is hard to deal with. During normal operation of biodiesel production, the solubility of sodium sulfate is low ,so it often crystal and block the process piping to be scrapped. Water produced during the reaction and decomposed glycerol will dissolve into sweet water (concentration of 15 to 25% diluted glycerol). Sweet water has low recycling value, which is generally disposed as waste.


3. "Vapor phase catalytic methanol with water distillation" process - The current popular biodiesel production process.

In the esterification reaction, fatty acid methyl esters and water do hydrolysis reaction to make the generated fatty acid methyl ester to be decomposed (hydrolysis) back to fatty acid and methanol, this reaction is called a reversible reaction.

In order to curb the reversible reaction, methods are as follows:

1) Methanol purity is the higher the better, requiring 99.9%;

2) Methanol need be excess, as per experience it requirement is 3-5 times than the requirement in theory. In theory per 1000Kg neutral oil need 109Kg methanol;

3) Methanol vapor phase catalytic, with water distillation" is a new advanced technology. This process has large methanol consumption, so the cost of production is high.

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