Friday, August 31, 2007

Ultrasonic Transesterification of Oil to Biodiesel

The manufacturing of biodiesel from vegetable oils (e.g. soy, canola, jatropha or sunflower seed) or animal fats, involves the base-catalyzed transesterification of fatty acids with methanol or ethanol to give the corresponding methyl esters or ethyl esters.... In the conversion process triglyceride esters are turned into alkyl esters (= biodiesel) using a catalyst (lye) and an alcohol reagent, e.g. methanol, which yields methyl esters biodiesel.

...the vegetable oil or animal fat is being mixed with the methanol (which makes methyl esters) or ethanol (for ethyl esters) and sodium or potassium methoxide or hydroxide the mix is heated, e.g. to temperatures between 45 and 65degC the heated mix is being sonicated inline Flow Rate Required Power 200 to 750L/hr 1kW, e.g. UIP1000 800 to 3000L/hr 4kW, e.g. UIP4000 3 to 12m³/hr 16kW, e.g. UIP16000 20 to 70m³/hr 96kW, e.g. 6xUIP16000 200 to 700m³/hr 992kW, e.g. 62xUIP16000 glycerin is separated from the biodiesel the converted biodiesel is washed with water Most commonly, the sonication is performed at an elevated pressure (1 to 3bar, gauge pressure) using a feed pump and an adjustable back-pressure valve next to the flow cell.

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