Hi Guys, I havent posted here for a while but I thought you might be interested in my latest project. As some of you may know Im no longer involved in homebrew but now work in the biodiesel industry as a consultant engineer. My latest job was to design and commission a mobile biodiesel plant to produce fuel to power the stadium lights at the European Cup football matches in Lyon France.
It all had to be constructed inside a standard shipping container and be capable of processing 750 litres per day. Since yield was not a prime consideration I decided to start with a caustic stripping unit followed by a dryer based on my old turbo dryer design. After that the stripped dry oil was converted in a stainless steel processor with 2 x 500 litre per minute centrifugal pumps. The converted biodiesel was then dried and passed through an ion exchange tower.
the whole outfit was constructed here in Ireland and shipped to France.
The quality of the biodiesel was monitored by an independent lab and I am pleased, and relieved, to say they we achieved din 14014 standard on the third batch. The first batch failed because of a faulty ion exchange tower and the second because of a batch of feedstock contaminated with sulphuric acid!
The lab results were very helpful when fine tuning the process and also enabled me to compare my own field test results with certified standard tests. We used a sandy Brae to test for water content ( the client thought the carbide manometer looked too "home made") and found that it consistently measured wrongly against the more accurate Karl Fischer Titrameter. The error was between 200 and 400ppm. The supplier of the Sandy brae instrument explained the difference because it is not capable of detecting chemically bonded water. Base on these findings a result of 500ppm from a Sandy Brae ( or possibly a carbide manometer) is not a pass and I would recommend a reading of below 250ppm to be safe. I dry my own fuel to 100ppm by the carbide manometer.
We were able to compare our 30/270 conversion test results with calibrated ester content results and found that in all five case our results were accurate to 1%. This will not come as a suprise to the hundreds of homebrewers who use the conversion test as part of their regular process but its always good to have scientific confirmation.
The generators that power the stadium have run faultlessly on our fuel and as an added bonus Ireland has done very well in the tournament.
I want to thank all of you that I have collaborated with over the years, without your experience and generosity I would never have achieved this result
Congrats, and thanks for the update!
well done Delighted that your experience have been positive
Thank you for all the help you have given over the years
If it’s not broken don’t fix it if you do you’ll break it.
The black dog can be beaten
Very interesting, thank you.
There has been a bit of discussion about the 30/270 test and whether or not the result is simple pass/fail, or whether or not percentage conversion can be determined with this test.
What is your opinion please?
Very well done John.
Nice to see you on here again, many thanks for updating us and I am pleased you are doing so well.
That is interesting. I am surprised that a Football stadium the size of Parc Olympique Lyonnais is not connected to the national electricity grid.
I see you have gone to larger pumps for mixing as I had suggested.
If you have any further problems do not hesitate to ask.
It is always a pleasure to help someone solve a biodiesel production problem.
Nicely done. What is the feedstock?
I didn't realise you took so much interest in football Tilly, well done.
Did you enjoy the England friendlys, I particularly enjoyed the game against Australia. England 2 Australia 1
The stadium is of course connected to the grid The generators were used as part of a sustainability programme. They are used to power the lights only and the grid connection is for backup.
Interestingly we found the two pumps too vigorous and ended up using only one.
The 30/270 test if correctly carried out at 20°C correlates exactly (1%) to Din 14014 Total ester content results. These tests were done on well converted samples of finished dry biodiesel.
The feedstock was provided by the client and was a real problem. It was a mixture of high and low titration oils with considerable amounts of fats, water , dirt and even a dead rat. However, coarse filtering, caustic stripping and thorough drying solved the feedstock variability . In every batch we were able to reduce the titration to <1ml KOH and <100ppm of water before processing.
I was doing a bit of reading and the articles I read said it was used to power the generators and floodlights at the Stade Geoffroy Guichard in Saint Etienne during the Euro 2016 football championships.
That is indeed interesting. Too much of a good thing might be too much. In what way were two pumps too vigorous?
Which 30/270 test were you using, the one that only counts the dropout that occurs in the first 15 minutes or is it the one that counts ALL the dropout until the methanol is bright and clear?
The 3/27- 30/270 test is not a test for Ester Content. Can you explain what the correlation is.
PS the European spec for biodiesel is EN 14214 and it requires a minimum ester content of 96.5%
Thats right, Greentech is my client, they are based in Kildare In Ireland.
I designed the unit and Greentech built it. Paul Roche of Greentech has been operating the processor in France and has been emailing and texting me daily updates and test results. Two weeks of sweltering in a tin box doesnt appeal to me and anyway Im not a football fan.
We found that on the test batches done here in Ireland that if we used both 500lpm high shear pumps the biodiesel and glycerol separated very slowly 25 - 35 minutes even when high conversion was achieved . Using only one pump reduced the separation time to 6 - 12 minutes.
The method we used was to cool the sample to 20°C and take the reading at 15 minutes. To compensate for the short test time we subtract 1% from our 15 min result.
My typo, 14214 not 14014.
The 3/27- 30/270 test is not a test for Total Ester Content. Can you explain what the correlation is.
I think everyone here understands perfectly what I am saying.
Sadly I see that not much has changed here on the forum, no doubt that is why it seems almost deserted.
It's just wonderful how members of these forums have been able to take a simple idea and turn it into really useful technology. This is graduating with Honours!
I would expect that with the low T value, and very dry oil, the two pumps were overkill.
How long is the process time, and how do you make your methoxide? Do you recover MeOH?
Could you describe please how the caustic stripping works?
Thank you Tilly, I'll read up when I have a chance.
Yes, your descriptions make sense to me and I'm just a BD-brewer not a chemist. It's good to see what you've been up to -- very interesting system you've built. Is the sustainability idea to use the UVO from the concessions at the sports venues as feedstock?
I hope you can click on the names any trolls use to place them on ignore to hide any comments they make and continue to contribute your useful and interesting knowledge and experiences. I find it's the only way to enjoy the forum without it becoming a negative experience. There's simply no point in seeing what hateful people write; it adds no useful info to discussions and just makes me irritated. I suppose that's why they post their drivel. It's like a child misbehaving for the attention it gets. I ignore those too. As long as nobody quotes the troll-scat, then I don't see it, and it doesn't effect me. Life is easier that way and I can concentrate on biodiesel.
Well said John...
Yes, your lack of chemistry knowledge has been noted.
I know people can make biodiesel without understanding the chemistry involved and that is fine.
The thing you do not seem to understand is that making biodiesel is a Chemical reaction and the Chemistry involved is important.
The concern is when people that do not understand the chemistry involved post inaccurate chemistry information. That does not help anyone. Someone might come along and believes the inaccurate information that has been posted.
The answer is, if you do not know the chemistry, do not make something up. Just post pictures and tell us what you did.
If he did not mean "correlates exactly to Din 14014 Total ester content results." using "calibrated ester content results" It didn't make sense to me.
Can you describe what he meant and how he arrived at that conclusion.
I think you are wasting your time Tilly as John will only see your post as ignored.
Probably something I should have done a long time back.
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