Project Synopsis

Debottleneck the distillation section of a U.S. based biodiesel fuel production plant.

Project Summary


Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) was contracted by the client to debottleneck a methanol and glycerin distillation separation process in an existing U.S. based biodiesel plant. Primary refining consisted of removing methanol from the product oil stream and treating the diesel product in order to be compliant with the specification for glycerin content.

Project elements included: alternatives technical evaluation; consultation; process design; computer process simulation and heat and material balance; utilities requirements determination; and PFD preparation in debottlenecking the primary refining section of the plant.

PROCESS completed the following tasks in support of this effort:

  • Detailed heat exchanger designs: methanol condenser on the methanol flash column, reboiler and condenser for the second stage methanol separator
  • Redesign of the existing methanol stripper: changed feed location, added different feed nozzles, added different mist elimination, added packing, added reboiler and partial condenser
  • Initial design of glycerol separation column and downstream recovery system.

Industry Type

  • Alternative Fuels Production

Utilized Skills

  • Process debottlenecking
  • Distillation systems design.

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