A company called Yellow Diesel B.V. says they have succeeded in producing biodiesel in a continuous fixed-bed micro plant based on heterogeneous catalysis, which provides pure biodiesel plus a cosmetics/food grade glycerol with much lower waste streams.
Their process eliminates all the aqueous waste streams that stem from using the conventional homogeneous acid/base catalyst technology. Combined with integrated process design, they claim the process saves up to 40% of the capital costs and 30% of the operating costs compared to a conventional plant.
Yellow Diesel has produced the biodiesel in its continuous micro plant, and is now scaling up the process to pilot-scale. They say this process can be adjusted to various types of feedstock, including low-quality oils, waste oils and fats.
The following sample shows the quality specifications of the biodiesel made from industrial-grade rapeseed oil, as determined by the independent laboratory NofaLab.
Analysis results YellowDiesel EN14214
Ester content 99.5% >96.5%
Density at 15ºC 0.8740 0.860–0.900
Flash point >120 ºC >120 ºC
Methanol content 0.02% <0.2%
Monoglyceride 0.57% <0.8%
Diglyceride 0.19% <0.2%
Triglyceride 0.15% <0.2%
The biodiesel specifications are better than required by the European norm EN14214. Yellow Diesel B.V. is a spin-off company of the UvA Holding B.V., the holding company of the University of Amsterdam.