I D
× COMMENTARYCOVER STORYIN THE NEWSCHEMENTATOR + Show More BUSINESS NEWSTECHNICAL & PRACTICALFEATURE REPORTFACTS AT YOUR FINGERTIPSTECHNOLOGY PROFILESOLIDS PROCESSINGENGINEERING PRACTICEENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEREQUIPMENT & SERVICESFOCUS
Focus on Valves
    A new motorized control valve for the semiconductor…
NEW PRODUCTS + Show More

Comment Business & Economics

Shock waves step up biodiesel-fuel production

By Chemical Engineering |

Biodiesel fuel is typically produced by the transesterification of vegetable oil or animal fats in a batch operation that takes about 1-1/2 h. Hydro Dynamics, Inc. (HDI; Rome, Ga.; edlinks.chemengonline.com/6895-534) claims to have cut the residence time to 2–3 s in a continuous process that uses the company’s patented ShockWave Power Reactor (SPR). Until now, the SPR has been used mainly in mixing operations, says Daniel Armstead, HDI’s technical director. The first commercial application for continuous biodiesel-fuel production is in a grassroots plant recently started up by Memphis Biofuels LLC (Memphis, Tenn.). Armstead says the plant is producing 100 gal/min from a 3-gal SPR and has an annual capacity of 50-million gal. Memphis Biofuels feeds a mixture of vegetable oil, methanol and a base catalyst to the SPR, which has a cylinder that contains multiple cavities and rotates at about 3,600 rpm. The specific geometry of the cavities, combined with the rotational speed, causes tiny bubbles to form and collapse, generating shockwaves that heat and mix the liquids. Armstead explains that the shockwaves increase the surface area of the liquids, thereby achieving a higher mass-transfer rate.
Related Content
Biobutanol manufacturers merge
Green Biologics Ltd. (GBL; Abingdon, Oxfordshire, U.K.; www.greenbiologics.com), an industrial biotechnology company has merged with Butylfuel Inc., a U.S.-based renewable…

Chemical Engineering publishes FREE eletters that bring our original content to our readers in an easily accessible email format about once a week.
Subscribe Now
Metering gas in biogas plants
Wet process analyzer for FPD and solar cell manufacturing for semi-conductors
Fluidized bed drying and cooling for temperature-sensitive polymers and plastics
CoriolisMaster: The SmartSensor solution
The Big 6 flowmeter technologies: Where to use them and why

View More