Biodiesel Production

Biodiesel is booming. The many different reasons for this success story include an environmental policy which is specifically promoting fuels from renewable raw materials. New biodiesel production facilities are springing up all over the world to transesterify vegetable and animal oils and fats into fatty acid methyl ester (FAME).

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GEA supports the production of this biodiesel product in terms of both the pre-treatment of the oils and fats required and transesterification itself.

Two variants have proved themselves within alkaline refining: firstly so-called standard neutralization and secondly cold refining, which allows oils containing waxes to be winterized as they are neutralized. 

GEA supports all refining processes, of which alcohol neutralization is the most economical variant. In this refining method, the process line uses a bypass flow of the transesterification stages to pre-treat the oils and fats. This completely avoids waste water and other waste products. 

Advantages of GEA process lines

GEA process lines allow the following pre-treatment objectives to be efficiently realized:

  • No waxes, making biodiesel more stable to cold
  • No impurities, resulting in improved glycerin quality
  • No gums to cause fouling in the thermal glycerin process
  • No free fatty acids, reducing the proportion of MONG (Matter Organic Non Glycerin)
  • No phosphates in waste water, reducing disposal costs

In addition to economical pre-treatment of the oils and fats, GEA also supplies all the components for subsequent transesterification. 

The individual solutions and equipment used in these process lines has been developed and optimized since as early as 1996. They are both sophisticated and tried and tested; they combine stable process management with high product quality and are well established with producers of biodiesel.