Ultrasonic Reactors for Biodiesel Production

Hielscher makes ultrasonic mixing reactors for the production of biodiesel at any scale. The ultrasonic reactors are compact, easy to install and very efficient. Ultrasonic reactors improve the chemical reaction kinetics. This leads to a faster transesterification, higher conversion yield, and it saves excess methanol and catalyst.

The use of ultrasonic reactors for biodiesel production is recommended for production capacities above 0.25 tons of biodiesel per hour. Hielscher offers ultrasonic reactors with up to 16 tons/hour capacity (5100 gallons/hour) per reactor. You can combine multiple reactors to match your process capacity. You can add additional reactors later when you expand your production capacity. We will be glad to recommend the most suitable biodiesel reactor setup for your plant setup and for your process capacity.

Ultrasonic Biodiesel Reactors Reduce Costs and Boost Biodiesel Yield

Ultrasonic emulsification uses intense cavitational shear of ultrasonic homogenizers in ultrasonic inline reactorsExcess methanol and catalyst are significant cost factors in biodiesel production. Hielscher ultrasonic reactors use intense cavitational shear for the mixing of methanol with your feedstock. This gives you much smaller methanol droplets resulting in improved methanol and catalyst utilization. Therefore, less excess methanol and less catalyst are required. In addition to that, the cavitation influences the reaction kinetics, leading to faster and more complete transesterification.

Hielscher's Ultrasonic 32 MMGY Biodiesel Reactor

Small and Medium Scale Ultrasonic Biodiesel Reactors

Ultrasonic mixing reactors for the production of biodieselFor small and medium size biodiesel production systems of up to 9 tons/hour (2900 gallons/hour), Hielscher offers you the UIP500hdT (500 watts), UIP1000hdT (1000 watts), UIP1500hdT (1500 watts) or UIP2000hdT (2000 watts). These four ultrasonic inline 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.

tons/hour
gallons/hour
1x UIP500hdT
0.25 to 0.5
80 to 160
1x UIP1000hdT
0.5 to 1.0
160 to 320
1x UIP1500hdT
0.75 to 1.5
240 to 480
1x UIP2000hdT
1.0 to 2.0
320 to 640
2x UIP1500hdT
1.5 to 3.0
480 to 960
2x UIP2000hdT
2.0 to 4.0
640 to 1280
4x UIP1500hdT
3.0 to 6.0
960 to 1920
4x UIP2000hdT
4 to 8
1280 to 2560

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Full Scale Industrial Ultrasonic Biodiesel Reactors

Production of Biodiesel in Ultrasonic Inline ReactorFor industrial biodiesel production plants Hielscher offers the UIP4000hdT (4000 watts), UIP6000hdT (6000 watts), UIP10000hdT (10000 watts) and UIP16000hdT (16000 watts). These ultrasonic homogenizers with inline reactors are designed for the continuous production of biodiesel at high flow rates. All four ultrasonic homogenizers are available in stainless steel cabinets. The vertical installation requires minimal floor space for installation or retrofitting. Below you find recommended setups for typical industrial processing rates.

tons/hour
gallons/hour
3x UIP4000hdT
6.0 to 12.0
1920 to 3840
5x UIP4000hdT
10.0 to 20.0
3200 to 6400
3x UIP10000hdT
15.0 to 30.0
4800 to 9600
3x UIP16000hdT
24.0 to 48.0
7680 to 15360
5x UIP16000hdT
40.0 to 80.0
12800 to 25600

Inline Ultrasonic Mixing of Oil and Methanol

Ultrasonic mixing reactors replace tank agitators and other dynamic shear mixers. In general, the ultrasonic biodiesel reactors are installed to mix two feed streams: oil and methanol (with catalyst). For this, a crude pre-mix is pumped through the ultrasonic inline reactor, where the ultrasonic cavitation mixes and emulsifies both reagents within 2 to 10 seconds. This is an inline mixing process. When the mix exits the flow cell reactor, the glycerin will separate by gravity in less than 60 minutes. Alternatively, you can feed the sonicated mix into a centrifuge after a few minutes of reaction time. The inline mixing reduces the number and volume of tanks used compared to conventional batch processing. This improves capital utilization.

Flow-Chart of Continuous Biodiesel Processing Plant - Ultrasonic equipment integration to improve biodiesel technology.

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