BHR Biofuels Ltd

Process Intensification Experts

About Biodiesel …
Biodiesel, which often has the familiar smell of putty or linseed oil, is a liquid with a viscosity similar to that of petrodiesel and is clear amber-yellow in colour. It is fuel made from renewable resources such as vegetable oils or animal fats and the transesterification can be written very simply as:

Vegetable Oil + Methanol = Biodiesel + Glycerine

but this does not happen all at once. The following diagram shows the three stages needed to complete the reaction and that all the processes are reversible.

Reversible processes need a driving force to push the equilibrium position far enough to achieve a good conversion - for this process the easiest method is to add an excess of methanol, which shifts the balance over to make biodiesel.

It is only by using excess methanol that the 96.5% EN14214 ester standard can be achieved. Some of the impurities can be extracted with post processing, but the best way to make good fuel is to get the chemistry to completion, ensuring the best yield, purest product, and therefore easiest separations.

Stacks Image 11

Philosophy that makes the difference.....

All the systems developed at BHR Biofuels Ltd have been designed through the philosophy of Process Intensification. A full understanding of all aspects of the process is essential, including:-
Chemistry Rates of reaction have been measured, the by-products assessed and impurities mapped to understand the limits of the reaction. Also a variety of feedstocks have been tested including rape (cold and hot pressed), Soy bean, sunflower, tallow (refined and unrefined, from pig and cow sources), waste vegetable oil (a variety of sources), and Palm (refined, un-refined and crude).

Heat transfer. The temperature at which the process is carried out is not that important (the chemistry is still fast at room temperature). Most companies think high temperature always makes a big difference, but this process is mass-transfer limited. Raising the temperature costs a lot of money and only succeeds in lowering the viscosity slightly and increasing mass transfer rates by perhaps 10% for every 10°C. The real gains in rate are made by getting the mixing right (see below). We have set the temperature to be that which makes most sense for the upstream and downstream processing.

Mixing affects the mass transfer rates and therefore rates of reaction. It is the thorough understanding of mixing processes (from macro-mixing and meso-mixing to micro-mixing) which enables the process rate to be accelerated to the impressive results obtained by our products.

Process flow-regime Running in a continuous system or a batch system, requires individual solutions for making best use of the mixing energy to give the fastest process rates.

Costs of operation, personnel and time requirements for each stage of the process is a key part of achieving viable intensified chemical processes. Over the past 14 years BHR Biofuels Ltd has gained the experience and skills to successfully implement these processes.
Why Use Biodiesel?

Biodiesel is a processed fuel derived from biological, renewable sources, basically a diesel equivalent. Biodiesel is technically fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) made from the transesterification of both vegetable oils and/or animal fats.

Essentially it is a fuel made from very recent capture of carbon from the atmosphere (usually 1 or 2 years old) unlike petro-diesel where the carbon was captured many thousands of years ago.

The major advantages of biodiesel are:

No engine modifications needed
Very small carbon footprint
Similar properties to diesel
Fewer emissions than diesel
Blends with diesel

With BHR Biofuels Ltd continuous, reliable processing, maximizing cost savings is within your reach.
Stacks Image 20

When you talk to us about the many innovative features of our processors you will quickly realise the effort that has gone into making these systems the most cost effective solutions.