Esterizer Biodiesel Process

We offer you the entire palette of components that are needed to create a state-of-the-art biodiesel plant. Our installation components produce top results that are still second to none. The performance of the plant as a whole depends on the relevant level of configuration chosen in each particular case. Instead of supplying a piece of apparatus straight from the catalogue, we build you a made-to-measure installation aligned to your particular needs and requests.

1. Yield:

We anticipate a yield of 100%, even if there is theoretically a slight bias in favour of the methyl ester in the first decimal place.
This yield is based on the following mass balance:

1000 kg vegetable oil + 103 kg methanol = 1000 kg biodiesel + 103 kg glycerine

A surplus of methanol is added and then gradually flashed off again during the course of the procedure.
The simple transesterification process produces yields between 97% and 98%. Increased free fatty acid values lower these values. This means that figures of this kind are always based on speculation, and the case in question has to be discussed with the customer.

2. Catalyst consumption:

We only use homogenous catalysts for transesterification. These might be potassium or sodium hydroxide or their methylates. In practice, this is usually confined to potassium hydroxide or sodium methylate. Consumption generally depends on the amount of free fatty acids. Calculations based on a fully refined oil produce the following results:

1000 kg vegetable oil + 12 kg KOH


1000 kg vegetable oil +   8 kg CH3ONa

Whether you opt for one catalyst or another is influenced by many different factors and the decision can only be reached by consultation. In view of its greater level of processing safety, we generally recommend potassium hydroxide.

3. Auxiliary power

Electricity and heating oil are the most common forms of energy employed. Based on a production of 1000 kg biodiesel, this consumption is distributed as follows:

Electric power:    50 kWh

Heating oil:         2.5 l   ~ 106 MJ

4. Auxiliary materials

Our process is known for being free of water. We achieve this by adding Amberlite BD10 dry resin made by Rohm & Haas, in the development and introduction of which we played a significant role. Should the customer prefer to reduce the amount of resin used by washing, we can also offer a combined wet/dry procedure. We do not offer any cleaning procedure based solely on washing with water or bonding agents since we are well acquainted with the drawbacks. The consumption of resin when employed for a resin-only purification purposes is as follows:

1000 kg biodiesel:      1 kg Amberlite BD 10 dry

5. Glycerine composition

Subject to a high-quality educt, the subphase is composed as follows as a percentage based on 1000 kg oil:

Glycerine:   61,3 %  ~  103.0 kg
Methanol:   14,8 %  ~    24.9 kg
Soap:         21,9 %  ~   36.8 kg   [Soap = Salt of the fatty acids with the catalyst
Water:         2,0 %  ~     3.3 kg   these are about:
fatty acids: 14.8 % ~ 24.8 kg
total:        100,0 % ~  168.0 kg
    Catalyst:      7.1%  ~ 12.0 kg

Depending on the configuration of the installation, the fatty acids are esterized to biodiesel in a single step and the methanol recirculated.