Reducing Material Waste in Biodiesel Production through Multi-Energy Optimized Processing

M.M. Kropf
The Pennsylvania State University, US

Keywords: green chemistry, process intensification, microwaves, biodiesel, ultrasound

Summary:

Multi-Energy Optimized Processing is a patented green chemical processing technique which substitutes focused energy for hazardous chemicals to achieve efficient fuel conversions. Applied to bio diesel production, this technology reduces material waste in the form of catalyst while improving energy efficiency providing a competitive advantage for the producers. The technology employs high intensity ultrasonics and microwaves to achieve rapid reaction rates while minimizing catalyst requirements. The reduction in catalyst not only reduces the waste associated with bio diesel production, it also permits more economical treatment of “low-value” feedstock such as fryer oils and corn oil derived from dried distillers grains. The technology has been developed from bench top experiments to a continuous flow, pilot scale demonstration reactor. Scale-up validation studies have indicated the process is not capital intensive and suitable for plug-in upgrades to existing facilities. Finally, the insights gained in the development process has positioned this technology to have major impacts across a broad base of applications in the fuel and chemical processing arenas.