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Bio-Diesel production is the process of producing the bio-fuel, bio-diesel through the chemical reactions of transesterification and esterification. This involves vegetable or animal fats and oils being reacted with short-chain alcohols. The alcohols used should be of low molecular weight.

Bio Diesel Plant Flow Diagram

Flow Diagram
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The biodiesel production usually involves the following steps:

FEEDSTOCK PRE-TREATMENT

Most Feedstocks used in Biodiesel production are of low grade and contain impurities that reduce the catalyst efficiency in Trans-esterification and hence have to be pre-treated.

TRANSESTERIFICATION AND/OR ACID ESTERIFICATION

This is the main reaction in biodiesel production which involves the conversion of the triglycerides and/or fatty acids into methyl esters. The conversion costs depend on yields, feedstock quality, choice of catalyst (Sodium Methoxide, Sulphuric acid, or Enzyme), process routes, energy consumptions, etc.

GLYCERIN RECOVERY

The glycerin obtained from biodiesel production must be further purified, concentrated & distilled to get technical grade or pharmaceutical grade of glycerine.

METHANOL RECOVERY

The excess methanol from the various streams is recovered to be reused again for the transesterification process.

BIODIESEL PURIFICATION

Biodiesel Purification involves washing of the methyl ester phase and drying. For higher quality biodiesel, methyl ester distillation may also be necessary.

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