Modular Biodiesel Production with Glycerol Recycle

J.D. Smith, Z.P. Smith, S. Paudel, R. Jackson
Missouri University of Science and Technology,
United States

Keywords: biodiesel, process intensification, resilient energy, novel reactor, glycerol recylce


By reducing the net anthropogenic carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels, biodiesel remains an attractive alternative to petroleum-based diesel fuels. The conventional FAME process, used in large, centralized refineries, is slow and energy-intensive and produces excessive waste products. Applying principles of process intensification, a new process has been developed that reduces production costs and limits environmental impact of biodiesel. This presentation will discuss an intensified mobile modular biorefinery to produce high-quality, sustainable biodiesel from waste vegetable oil. Based on customer research, carried out as part of an NSF I-Corp funded project, the team has tested the value propositions for the biodiesel industry. Based on this work, the validated value propositions include: 1) our novel process minimizes safety and environmental concerns, 2) our process requires less capital and operating expense, 3) our process improves product purity and yield and hence profitability, 4) our process operates with shorter processing time, and 5) our process has increased versatility that allows it to accept a broader range of feedstocks.