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Esterifying 100% fatty acids to biodiesel

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February 16, 2012, 08:51 AM
african_biodiesel
Esterifying 100% fatty acids to biodiesel
Hi guy,
I would like to get some information especially experience based responses from any of you who might have made biodiesel from pure fatty acids. I currently produce FFAs from soy soapstock and sell it pretty cheaply as an animal feed supplement. I would like to try making biodesel since I'll get more money for it and save myself money making my own. There doesn't seem to be much info on this site (or maybe I;m just lazy) so I hope to catch someones eye with this topic.
February 16, 2012, 02:25 PM
WesleyB
I haven't done esterfication of "pure" fatty acids. In chemistry class the teacher taught, mineral acid (like H2SO4) plus dry alcohol plus caboxylic acid yields the ester plus water. I think some of the sulfuric acid also adds to the double bonds of the fatty acids, but I haven't proved that. The Sulfuric acid is a catalyst. For this reaction for best results, it should have as little water in it as possible. I'm wondering how you make pure fatty acids, when I did that my product had a lot of water in it. Thanks
February 16, 2012, 03:05 PM
beberly37
I'm not speaking from experience, but it is theoretically possible, though you will have to do it in stages and remove the water since FFA+methanol=FAME+H20. When you hit a point there will be too much water and the reaction will stop. If you were crafty you could figure out a way to continually remove the water.

My guess is it will take a lot of methanol and you will end up with a lot of sulfur in the fuel. Like I said, its possible, but it will not be as easy as KOH+methanol+oil mix, drain, wash.

It might serve you better to use FFA's as boiler/heater fuel and save a bunch of headache.
February 25, 2012, 09:15 AM
jmm2020
I have worked with distilled free fatty acids which are highly concentrated ,98T + "feedstock"...its almost comical to dump 98 or 99ml into an 11ml base solution...it can be converted in stages though it is far too time consuming and energy intensive to be viable with AE...too much soap and water creation so as you process you are constantly combating those issues by draining and drying and mething...all too much to consider beyond an experimentation in whats possible and not whats practical. I have several drums left over and am considering some experimentation with Enzymatic processing at some point. Piedmont is doing some very cool stuff with Novozyme enzymatic pretreating so keep your eyes and ears open for more info.


John
http://www.granitestatebiofuels.com
February 25, 2012, 10:42 AM
Biotom
jmm interesting post: great web site. Tom


" I don't know what I don't know until I know"
1994 GMC 6.5 Tubo 2005 Dodge ram 3500, 3 VW's 2000, 2002, 2005.
March 07, 2012, 11:16 PM
peter yek
CAN TELL ME MORE ABOUT: to use FFA's as boiler/heater fuel, HOW IS THE PROCESS, I HAVE AROUND 2000TON OF FFA, FROM THE OIL REFINERY FACTORY, PLANNING TO CONVERT IT TO VALUABLE PRODUCT, THANKS


peteryek
May 30, 2012, 10:31 PM
BRFuels
quote:
Originally posted by peter yek:
CAN TELL ME MORE ABOUT: to use FFA's as boiler/heater fuel, HOW IS THE PROCESS, I HAVE AROUND 2000TON OF FFA, FROM THE OIL REFINERY FACTORY, PLANNING TO CONVERT IT TO VALUABLE PRODUCT, THANKS


Is this an ongoing supply?
If it is we can help you process that into bio-diesel or a more valuable product such as lubricants for bearings etc.

If you are interested please give me a call 207-930-5247 (cell)

I think we can help you with turning that free fatty acids into some high paying value added product.

Thank you
Ralph Howe
Bio Renewable Fuels Corp
4 Industrial Rd.
Fairfield ME 04937
www.biorenewablefuels.com
August 13, 2012, 05:35 PM
WesleyB
Started with 95.2 grams stearic acid (octadecanoic acid) added 78 milliliters anhydrous 1-propanol and 1.8 milliliters concentrated sulfuric acid. Heated about 6 hours with magnetic stirring in a 500 ml round bottom boiling flask. The flask was sealed. The temperature was about 68-84 degrees centigrade. The reaction liquid formed 2 phases. The lower phase was 28 ml and weighed 26.9 grams. Poured the upper phase (layer) into a separatory funnel. Extracted twice with distilled water (300 ml portions) at about 65 degrees centigrade. The crude stearic acid fatty acid ester was transluscent. Dried the propyl stearate with about 20 grams of anhydrous sodium sulfate to get 91.09 grams transparent colorless propyl stearate, with a density of 0.843 grams per milliliter. But the product ester has the odor of ether to it, so there is some ether in it. That's 83% of theoretical yield of the propyl stearate ester. The titration number of this free fatty acid is about 120 NaOH.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: WesleyB,
August 28, 2012, 06:02 PM
WesleyB
Put 110.7 grams stearic acid, 68 milliliters dry ethanol and 1.8 ml concentrated sulfuric acid into a 500 ml round bottom boiling flask. Stoppered the flask. Heated for 6 hours with magnetic stirring at 73-77 degrees centigrade. The reaction liquid formed two phases (layers). The lower layer was 34.8 ml and weighed 31.7 grams. The upper layer was 164 ml and weighed 139.7 grams. The density of the lower phase was 0.9109 grams per milliliter. The density of the upper phase was 0.8518 grams per milliliter. Poured the upper phase into a 1 liter seperatory funnel. Extacted twice with 300 ml portions distilled water that was 70 degrees centigrade. Then put the 150 ml of wet ethyl stearate into a 300 ml beaker. Added 20 grams anhydrous sodium sulfate to the beaker. Covered the beaker with plastic wrap and sealed with a rubber band.Four days later decanted off 88.5 ml ethyl stearate that weighed 75.98 grams, with a density of 0.8585 grams per milliliter. Put into a clear storage bottle. A day later the ethyl stearate has solidified at a room temperature of about 74-75 degrees farenheit. Strearic acid is a component of many vegetable oils. I got 62.48% of theoretical yield.
July 20, 2014, 02:09 PM
Samuel
quote:
Originally posted by african_biodiesel:
Hi guy,
I would like to get some information especially experience based responses from any of you who might have made biodiesel from pure fatty acids. I currently produce FFAs from soy soapstock and sell it pretty cheaply as an animal feed supplement. I would like to try making biodesel since I'll get more money for it and save myself money making my own. There doesn't seem to be much info on this site (or maybe I;m just lazy) so I hope to catch someones eye with this topic.


Are you still looking for a method? How much FFA do you have?


Biodiesel for cleaner air and fuel independence!
(502) 272-6333
August 26, 2014, 03:01 AM
african_biodiesel
I think I may have found a method but I am still building the reactor for it. I plan to use ultrasonication to help overcome the water obstacle. Under sufficient ultrasonic radiation cavitation will occur and the micro bubbles that form and collapse with provide a localized high temperature and high pressure reign throughout the liquid phase and theoretically speed up the reaction. I an expecting some funding in the next few weeks to finance a pilot plant. Will post results here for all to share.
September 01, 2014, 01:07 AM
WesleyB
In making synthetic fuels, like biodiesel, part of the idea is getting more energy out of the fuel when it is burned, than it took to make it. There may be other factors, like making a usable liquid fuel from a solid like coal, to help in manufacturing the liquid fuel. So, making free fatty acids from fatty acid triglyceride esters takes a lot of energy investment to separate free fatty acids from glycerine by the catalytic hydrolysis (addition of water). How can you come out ahead in the energy available from biodiesel when compared to the energy expended to make biodiesel from free fatty acids?