Ultrafast continuous biodiesel production from multiple feedstocks using fixed bed reactors and metal oxide catalysts (The Mcgyan? process)
Biodiesel is a renewable substitute and additive for petroleum diesel and its use can improve air quality, combat climate change and increase national energy security. The current biodiesel production methods are not well suited for efficient, large-scale continuous production and improved technology is needed. Recent Phase I research findings from SarTec Corporation demonstrate that biodiesel can be rapidly produced from a variety of feedstocks using heterogeneous zirconia catalysts in continuous-flow, fixed-bed reactors (The Mcgyan process). At elevated temperatures and pressures, efficient conversion of triglycerides and fatty acids to biodiesel (which met ASTM D 6751 quality standards) was achieved. Furthermore there was minimal pressure drop across the reactor bed and purposely-fouled catalyst was easily regenerated to its original activity. During Phase II work, we propose to further advance the development of this biodiesel production technology. Emphasis will be placed upon expanding the Mcgyan process so it can be used to process large quantities of high free fatty acid containing lipid feedstocks especially those that are solid or semi-solid at room temperature. We also wish to conduct a more complete mass and energy balance of a pilot scale production system as a prologue to full scale design, production and commercialization. When fully developed, The Mcgyan process will overcome the most significant limitations currently encountered by the biodiesel industry, namely the difficulty in using inexpensive feedstocks that contain high levels of free fatty acids, the necessity of continually adding catalyst to a batch mode process, and eliminating the need for extensive washing of the biodiesel with water. Therefore in addition to the advantage of converting high free fatty acid feedstocks to biodiesel, another major advantage of the Mcgyan process is water conservation. The proposed production technology will stimulate use of inexpensive feedstocks and lower the cost of biodiesel production. Successful development of this technology will change the economics of biodiesel production and expand its role as a renewable, environmentally friendly biofuel.
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617 PIERCE ST Anoka, MN 55303
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