How Does a Biodiesel Processor Work?

Eleanor Hanson

The many advantages that come with biodiesel fuel have certainly garnered much attention from millions of people all over the world. And why wouldn’t it when it is indeed deserving of much attention? Fuel has been steadily increasing in terms of price over the last several years. Looking at the state of fuel in today’s world market, it is quite clear that prices will not stop increasing anytime soon. This has prodded many people to search for alternative fuel sources, and with the advent of biodiesel technology, this is certainly one of the easiest and safest alternatives in the market. The great thing about biodiesel is that you can actually produce your own fuel for your personal consumption right inside your own house!

What exactly does this processor do? From the name of the gadget alone, it is clear that this processor is responsible for the processing and the conversion of the primary source of biodiesel into the end product itself, which is biodiesel. For the most part, vegetable oil is the primary source used in this process. What happens first is the preparation of the components that will be processed and converted into biodiesel.

Utmost care must be given during the whole process, especially when checking the water and the free fatty acids that the vegetable oil contains. If the levels of either water or free fatty acid are too high, then this could result to certain problems, like soap formation. Another problem that you should avoid is the untoward separation of glycerin.

When the right levels of both water and fatty acids are attained, then it is important to add a catalyst into the alcohol. What should be used here is known as an agitator or a mixer. The mixture, along with the catalyst already, should then be placed inside the processor, which will then act as a closed reaction vessel. Here, the vegetable oil should then be introduced.

The reaction mix is then heated around 70 degrees Celsius to induce the conversion of fat into esters. The reaction time can range from an hour to eight hours. After that, the mixture is ready to enter its glycerin phase. Glycerin is then separated from the biodiesel that remains unwashed. Excess alcohol is then removed through distillation. Your unwashed biodiesel goes through bubble or mist wash to remove remaining alcohol, glycerin, and other substances. After drying, the fuel is filtered and can then be used to power your engines. Such is the role of the biodiesel processor.

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