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Satish Lele

Methanol from Glycerine
1. Process description: The crude glycerine from the transesterification reaction of oils is treated with pure hydrogen in order to get these products:
- dry methanol, 90-95% purity
- free fatty acids
- polyglycols
** The % of each product depends on the composition of the glycerol feedstock.
** FFA's and Methanol can be re-used in the same biodiesel manufacturing, and the polyglycols may be sold to the chemical industry, or burnt as fuel.

2. Steps of the process:
Load crude glycerine
Acid neutralization
FFA's extraction, keeping the 80% purified glycerine
Hydrogenation of the glycerine under controlled temperature and vacuum
Extraction of the gaseous methanol and condensing vapour by cooling water
Extraction of the glycols

3. Production capacity:
Module uses 2 x 2500 Liter vessels to process up to 10,000 liters of crude glycerine in 24 hours work shifts. It will produce around 35-40% of dry methanol, 25-30% of FFA's, and balance of polyglycols.
The operation can be done by two non skilled people per shift
Crude glycerine
Energy: 70 Wh/kg glycerine
Acid: 1 a 2,5% in volume
Catalyst: 0,01% per kg (reusable 5 times)
Water: 0,4 L/kg
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