Biodiesel Simulations

 The SPT laboratory has PBLeiner7.jpgcreated a lab-scale method of producing biodiesel.  This method has been applied to numerous feedstocks including: yellow grease, brown grease, beef and chicken tallows, and algae oils. Biodiesel from these feed stocks have been tested against ASTM D-6751 to ensure product quality. Each feedstock has its own unique composition resulting in slight modifications in the design to ensure maximum efficiency. Many sequential batches of each type of feedstock have been run, recycling the glycerin byproduct and excess methanol, to insure long term stability of the process as a whole. The data collected from these laboratory simulations have been used for the engineering design of full scale plants, with maximum yield and minimum cost.

We do many in-house tests on the biodiesel we produce including: Free and Total Glycerin, Acid Number, Catalyst and Soap Concentrations, Karl Fischer Moister Analysis and more. See Laboratory Analytical Services for your biodiesel testing needs.

While most biodiesel work done in our lab has been completed batch-wise, some processes have been run in a continuous fashion. For example, we have done multiple trials of “continuous glycerolysis” to mimic the reaction in a continuous flow plant design. Our lab design consists of multiple reaction vessels in series. Feed oil and recycled glycerin are pumped into the first vessel which then overflows into the next vessel in the series. We have run this simulation for many hours to obtain equilibrium of the glycerolysis reaction product and have had great success.

 Biodiesel Related Testing

We have also studied the effects of various issues on the biodiesel process. An example of our studies includes our “Wet Transesterifcation Experiment”. There were concerns about water building up in the recycled methanol.  In order to test this, we added a known concentration of water to the transesterification reaction. We recycled the excess methanol through the process many times, observing the percent water via Karl Fischer Moister Analysis. This test, and others like it, have helped us to refine our process design for maximum efficiency.

 Our testing capabilities are numerous. If you have interest in biodiesel production, glycerolysis, distillation, or any other tests you would like us to run, we would be happy to perform lab based simulations for you. Please contact us.

Anaerobic Digestion

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Superior Process Technologies recently completed a one and a half year study of anaerobic digestion. The experiment consisted of the digestion of animal byproducts which would otherwise be fed to a traditional rendering process.  Each vessel was jacketed with circulating water to insure temperature stability of the system. Once a day, a calculated amount of organic animal byproduct was fed to each digester. Samples from each vessel were taken on a daily basis and measured for volatile fatty acid concentrations, chemical oxygen demand, moisture, volatile solid composition, and Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen.  The volume of biogas produced from each stage was also measured once a day.  GC-Mass Spectrometry analysis of the biogas confirmed a methane concentration of greater than 70%. The results from this lengthy study provided us with valuable information, for scale-up and capital cost estimate for a commercial plant design.

We would be happy to discuss the possibility of running an anaerobic digestion simulation for you. We are open to test any number of feedstocks.

 

 Please contact us for your process simulation needs. We are open to run simulations on many aspects of any engineering process. We can determine feasibility and maximize efficiency of your particular project demands.

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