Biofuel Separation

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Biofuel — of which biodiesel is one of the most common — is fast becoming a favored alternative to fossil diesel. Of course, its path to popular use is in large part tied to finding a simultaneously economical and environmentally friendly method of producing it. Fortunately, with industry-leading screening equipment and sifting technology from VibraScreener™, there’s now a more efficient way to carry out the necessary steps of biodiesel separation in order to yield a final product that’s fit for market.


With organizations like the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) reporting that there are literally billions of pounds of trapped and used restaurant-grade grease — which serves as one raw source for biodiesel — available each year in the U.S., the use of VibraScreener™ equipment couldn’t be better timed. Why let these used fats and oils wind up in the waste processing systems of municipalities?


With the right screening technology, biofuel producers are looking at a potential annual yield that could total hundreds of millions of gallons of refined biodiesel — all produced from renewable sources that are effectively carbon neutral in relation to their lifecycle and emissions.


The Transesterification Process and Screening Biofuel


Whether using waste cooking grease, vegetable oils, animal fats or tallow as the raw source for producing biofuel, the assorted processes of refining these substances into a finished, usable fuel share many commonalities. Of all production methods, the transesterification process — with a conversion yield of 98 percent — is by far one of the most popular. With relatively low pressures and temperatures required, this process also uses smaller amounts of energy and is, as a result, more affordable.


The transesterification process is a chemical reaction that results in the forming of esters, as well as the production of glycerol, when an alcohol and catalyst react with the triglycerides found in fats and oils. At the end of the process, there are two major resulting substances — glycerin and the beginning of biodiesel. However, with the glycerin being far denser and heavier than the biodiesel, screening equipment using a centrifugal process is a proven way of speeding up the separation and filtering of the two substances.


Before being put to use as a commercial-grade fuel, the final biodiesel must be analyzed to ensure the reaction process is complete and all glycerin, alcohol, catalyst and fatty acids are carefully removed. This step, of course, is best completed using screening technology that’s sufficiently sophisticated and robust to do the job thoroughly.


Centrifugal Screeners for Biodiesel Fuel


Clearly, to methodically separate out water, glycerin, fatty acids, alcohol and other ultrafine impurities from the eventual biofuel intended for commercial use, centrifugal screeners are indispensable. Instead of relying on the simple effects of gravity, VibraScreener™ separators for biodiesel fuel speed up the process, yield better results and ultimately get you to market sooner with a higher-quality product.


In addition, since we’re an industry leader in sifting and screening technology, our equipment is built to run longer, clean more easily and operate with a lower noise output. In total, our equipment gives you maximum uptime, dismantles quickly when required and comes with our unparalleled customer support any time you need it.


Contact VibraScreener™ for High-Quality Screening Technology


For more information on screeners for biodiesel fuel, as well as the rest of the VibraScreener™ trusted line of products, contact us today. We look forward to being of assistance.