Hielscher – Ultrasound Technology

Ultrasonic Mixing for Biodiesel Production

Hielscher offers ultrasonic mixing reactors for the production of biodiesel at any scale. The ultrasonic mixing improves mass transfer and reaction kinetics leading to faster transesterification and higher yield. It saves excess methanol and catalyst.

Ultrasonic reactors are recommended for production capacities of 0.25ton (80 gal) per hour or more. Hielscher offers ultrasonic reactors of an individual capacity of up to 16ton/hr (5100 gal/hr). In general you should consider using three to five units in parallel to accommodate variations in production rates.

Lower Material Costs and Boost Biodiesel Yield

Ultrasonic emulsification uses cavitational shear of ultrasonic homogenizersExcess methanol and catalyst are significant cost factors in biodiesel production. Hielscher ultrasonic reactors add cavitational shear to the mixing process. This gives you much smaller methanol droplets resulting in improved methanol and catalyst utilization. Therefore, less methanol and catalyst are required. In addition to that, the cavitation influences the reaction kinetics, leading to faster and more complete transesterification.

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Small and Medium Scale Biodiesel Reactors

Ultrasonic mixing reactors for the production of biodieselFor small and medium size biodiesel production of up to 9ton/hr (2900 gal/hr), Hielscher offers you the UIP500hd, UIP1000hd and UIP1500hd. These three ultrasonic reactors are very compact, easy to integrate or retro-fit. They are built for heavy duty operation in harsh environments. Below you will find recommended reactor setups for a range of production rates.

ton/hrgal/hr
1x UIP500hd
0.25 to 0.5
80 to 160
1x UIP1000hd
0.5 to 1.0
160 to 320
1x UIP1500hd
0.75 to 1.5
240 to 480
2x UIP1000hd
1.0 to 2.0
320 to 640
2x UIP1500hd
1.5 to 3.0
480 to 960
4x UIP1500hd
3.0 to 6.0
960 to 1920
6x UIP1500hd
4.5 to 9.0
1440 to 2880

Full Scale Industrial Biodiesel Reactors

For industrial processing biodiesel production plants Hielscher offers the UIP4000, UIP10000 and UIP16000. These ultrasonic processors are designed for the continuous processing of high flow rates. The UIP4000 and UIP10000 can be integrated into standard sea freight containers. Alternatively, all three processors are available in stainless steel cabinets. The upright installation requires minimal space. Below you find recommended setups for typical industrial processing rates.

ton/hrgal/hr
3x UIP4000
6.0 to 12.0
1920 to 3840
5x UIP4000
10.0 to 20.0
3200 to 6400
3x UIP10000
15.0 to 30.0
4800 to 9600
3x UIP16000
24.0 to 48.0
7680 to 15360
5x UIP16000
40.0 to 80.0
12800 to 25600

Inline Ultrasonic Mixing of Oil and Methanol

Flow-Chart of Continuous Biodiesel Processing Plant - Ultrasonic equipment integration to improve biodiesel technology.Ultrasonic mixing reactors replace tank agitators and other dynamic shear mixers. The ultrasonic reactors are generally installed to mix two feed streams. Oil and methanol (with catalyst). For this, a crude pre-mix is pumped into the ultrasonic reactor, where the ultrasonic cavitation mixes and emulsifies both reagents within 5 to 15 seconds. This is an inline mixing process. When the mix exits the flow cell reactor, the glycerin will separate by gravity within less than 60 minutes. Alternatively, you can feed the mix into a centrifuge after several minutes of residence / reaction time. The inline mixing reduces the number and volume of tanks used for conventional batch processing. This improves capital utilization.

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