We are a young and small company in Canary islands.
We use a Ukranian equipment by CT System , the reaction takes place in a cavitation reactor.
According to the instructions of the manufacturer we produce our fuel using 10% of methanol and a 3% potassium methoxide (equal to 1% KOH). For production we use a 100% chicken fat which we render ourselves. The quality of the fat is very good. The % of the FFA is around 0,5%
We manage to produce the biodiesel but the problem is that we cannot understand what the quality of our biofuel is...
Firstly, during each washing a considerable amount of emulsion is formed. We know how to prevent its formation (using hot water and a softer washing). Yet, there are still emulsifiers in our product (mono- and diglycerides). By now we do not know which test can help us to find out the quantity of the mono- and diglycerides in the fuel. We've performed a methanol test and we've performed transesterification with the biodiesel that we've produced. After the reaction there is a sediment that drops out. The sediment is not really dark, but we understand that it still means that there are mono- and diglycerides in our biodiesel. We also understand that there is a huge amount of methanol in this sediment, so we face again the same problem - how to understand how much glycerides we have in our product. (The European standard EN14214 allows biodiesel to contain around 0,8 and 0,2 of the mono- and diglycerides.)
Another questions coming out of the situation is what's the impact of having mono- and diglycerides in the biodiesel. If we start providing our clients with such fuel will it maybe harm their motors.
We've also read in internet that changing the parameteres of the reaction could help us to get rid of the glycerides. We've increased 50% the quantity of the methanol and doubled the quantity of the catalyst. It didn't help. The 3/27 test shows the same result as the one that we'd performed on our 10% methanol/3% potassium methoxide product.
I'd appreciate any suggestion and recommendation.
One of our theories is that it may also be due to the fact that our reaction takes place in the cavitation reactor and its processes are not yet learned till the end. Although of course we would like it to be any other explanation…
Possibly water is in the chicken fat liquid grease. When I made bio with store bought lard it didn't work well because water was in the lard.
Have your fuel tested to ASTM method D6584 to determine the amounts of monos, dis and tris in your fuel. Google it for a description and to find a lab capable of this test. Should cost around US$120.
Got Renewable Fuel?
Did you titrate your chicken grease for free fatty acid content?
Dont worry much about quantity of monoglycerides.
They are excelent lubricants and have much better lubricating property than all most modern oil lubricants.Just 0.1% monoglycerides added to low sulfur Diesel fuel(which has bad lubricating and can cause fuel injection pump failure)improved fuel quality drastically.
If you still worry about it and need precise data how much MG and DG you need order gas chromatography in nearest laboratory.
If you using ultrasound, optimal conditions is (at least it works for me best): 0.75% w/w NaOH/1000 g oil.180ml alcohol/1000ml oil.Temperature 30*C, Time to sonicate 30 min (*If batch only 30 min, this will be different if you using continuos flow reactor*). Do not overdose catalyst because you will produce a lot of soap.
The equipment from CT Systems was brought to my attention recently by a gentleman we were doing some consulting for.
While I have not used their equipment first hand, I suspect that I know why you are having problems. The "recipe" is a big part of it, however simply fixing the recipe will not solve all your problems if my suspicions about that equipment are correct.
I would encourage you to contact me through our corporate office if you would like a professional consultation.
Think you are still not using enough methanol and catalyst. Trying to make B2 grade biodiesel which is similar to the EN spec for glycerides, can do about 20% of the oil volume in methanol. Also use 1.5 to 2.5% of the oil's weight in sodium methylate which is 30% NaOCH3 by weight dissolved in methanol. The result is 0.5% monoglycerides 0.1% di and trigllycerides.
Making B1 grade (monos are <0.4%) then you have to do a 2 stage reaction around 80% reactants on first shot, settle and decant glycerin, then re mix and the add remaining 20% followed by a catalyst and methanol neutralization step.
ALSO, it is a good idea to water wash the chicken fat in the presence of weak acid and salt either by heated mixing and decant or centrifuge. There will be gums and emulsifiers that will be removed in the water layer(these MAY be causing emulsion problems in your transesterification reaction).
Lastly, if you can make good product in a lab reaction using a flask and stir bar that will tell you your recipe is sound. If you can't make it on the plant floor that means your cavitation reactor system is not working properly. Use a continuously stirred tank reactor (CSTR)as they are easier to work with anyway.
AZBiodiesel has hit the nail on the head.
If it makes it easier, you can use my calculators for either the single stage or 2 stage method. Adjust the MeOH:TG ratio in the Transesterification Calculator in order to manipulate your MG levels.
Use the smallest MeOH : TG ratio you can get away with.
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