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CONTINUOUS DRY-WASHED BIODIESEL PROCESS

A New Process to Produce CNO Based Biodiesel

Most of the local producers of biodiesel in the Philippines are using the century old method of
production wherein the vegetable oil is trans-esterified , separating the biodiesel and washing it with
water until the desired quality is achieved. The problem with the water washing process is the
consequent production of wastewater that is high with carried over impurities and adsorbed biodiesel. It
also put a high demand for process water used in the washing.
The new process introduced most recently does not require the need for process water to wash the raw
biodiesel. It saved on the demand for water by limiting its need for steam production and recycled
cooling of condensers. The savings generated by removing the water washing step generated by the
new process more than compensates for the cost of additional condensers and polishing columns.
The Continuous Dry –washed Biodiesel Process utilized the crude coconut oil as feedstock instead of
the usual refined coconut oil in the old water-washed process. The new process is able to used high free
fatty acid content of the crude coconut oil by pre-esterification before the trans-esterification reactions.
This eliminates the need for refined coconut oil as feedstock and reduced the feedstock cost. The new
process is using a closed process system to reduce if not completely eliminates production losses
inherent to the old batch production process currently used by most local biodiesel producers.. Steam
generation cost is reduced in the new process by utilizing heat conservation methods wherever heat is
needed in the process steps.
The new process is consisting of six process steps as follows;
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

Feedstock preparation and treatment
Pre-esterification and pre-drying
Trans-esterification and continuous separation
Alcohol recovery
Sweetwater concentration for crude glycerin production
Biodiesel dry-washing and continuous polishing

The biodiesel quality using the new process meets the standard biodiesel specifications demanded by
ASTM and Philippines Department of Energy. The common problem of biodiesel flaking observed after
prolonged storage and being experienced by most of the local current producers is eliminated by the
new process.
The details of the new process are available from process designer with contact information below:
Designed by: Henry S. Firmase (Registered Chemical Engineer)
Mobile Contact: +639155687823 (Globe) email Contact: hsfirmase@yahoo.com