|Title of Invention||
PROCESS FOR PRODUCING BIODIESEL
|Abstract||An integrated process is described for producing biodiesel from oleaginous seeds, preferably castor bean seeds, comprising a transesterification reaction where the seeds themselves react with anhydrous ethyl alcohol in the presence of an alkaline catalyst. The resulting ethyl esters are then separated by decantation and neutralized and used as fuel for diesel engines, co-solvents for diesel and gasoline mixtures with anhydrous or hydrated ethyl alcohol. The solid fractions may be used as fertilizers, for feeding cattle and as a raw material for producing ethyl alcohol.|
|Full Text||following catalysts: sodium alkoxide, sodium or potassium hydroxide and titanium tetrahydropropoxide (basic catalysts) or the sulfuric, alkyl sulfonic or aryl sulfonic acids.
Other documents forward similar processes with modifications in the production steps of other kinds of biodiesel, none of them mentioning however the straight use of the oleaginous seeds as raw material for the transesterification reaction. These documents are US patents 5,525,126; US 6,015,440; US 6,174,501 and US 6,211,390.
Other patents, such as for example US patents 5,578,090; US 6,017,369 and US 6,129,773, teach and prove the technical viability of using several kinds of biodiesel, as such or in admixture with petroleum diesel as a fuel for vehicle or stationary engines.
In one way or another, and at different sophistication levels, the basic feature of these prior art processes is always a transesterification of vegetable oil or animal fat triglycerides, with lower primary alcohols, catalyzed by an acidic or basic, soluble or not, catalyst Product and by-product (esters and glycerin) refining is performed at different quality and purity grades, after the physical separation of the two liquid phases formed in the reactor after distilling the remaining excess alcohol.
It should be pointed out that in all the cited patents either the process is to be carried out on a high cost, purified or semi-purified vegetable oil, or it is carried out on a sort of waste or by-product having low oil content. This means most of the time a high cost/benefit ratio, since the starting raw material - vegetable oil - has a higher price than the final biodiesel product. Further, according to the state-of-the-art technique, the alcohol, either methyl or ethyl alcohol, even if partly recycled or recovered, must be supplied from external sources. That is why, in spite of the huge government interest of several countries on the biodiesel technology and production, still heavy subsidies are required for supplying biodiesel in gas stations. On the contrary, the process of the present application, by carrying the transesterification reaction on seeds and generating all the required reaction ethyl alcohol, besides other valuable co-products such as pure glycerin, agricultural fertilizers and cattle feed, dispenses with subsidizing and may be produced industrially at a reasonable cost without any burden to the economy.
Brazilian patent PI BR 8003739 teaches a process for extracting vegetable oils from seeds for obtaining a fuel using methyl or ethyl alcohol with the concomitant partial modification of oil into methyl or ethyl esters that are soluble in the corresponding alcohols. The so-obtained fuel is useful for diesel or similar engines. In spite of the reported transesterification reaction and the resulting fuel, the technique of the said Brazilian patent does not lead to a biodiesel product as specified in the above cited
Still further, since the filter cake is ricin-free, the present invention makes possible to use the residual filter cake as a constituent of cattle food.
Still, the present invention provides, by decantation, the separation of the obtained glycerin, which may be used as a raw material for related industries.
The present invention further provides an economically viable process for producing biocliesel that dispenses with any government subsidies to its commercialization.
The present invention provides therefore a sustainable process for producing biodiesel. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING
FIGURE 1 attached is a flowsheet that illustrates the process of the invention. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED MODES
The present process is directed to producing a biodiesel fuel straight from oleaginous seeds, by transesterifying the triglycerides present in oleaginous seeds, such as soybean, peanuts, sunflower, and colza, being specially adapted to castor bean seeds and anhydrous ethyl alcohol in the presence of an alkaline catalyst
The process may be carried out in a continuous or batch mode, or by alternating continuos and batch modes.
The seed on which is to be applied the transesterification process of the invention for producing biodiesel may be any trigiycerides-rich oleaginous seed, that is, a seed having between 15% and 70% by weight of esterifiable triglycerides based on the total seed weight
Seeds useful for the purposes of the invention are,, for example, those of sunflower, peanuts, colza or soybean. Particularly preferred is the castor bean seed, this being due to its easy production in lean soils, with the possibility of consortium cultures with sweet manioc or beans, and small scale, familiar cultures that dispense with agricultural intensive technology.
According to the present process, the seeds are made to contact an alcohol, preferably anhydrous alcohol, for example methyl alcohol or ethyl alcohol, in the amount of 4:1 to 0.5:1 parts, preferably of from 1.5:1 to 0.5:1 parts.
The optimum ratio of ethyl alcohol to seeds will be a function of the kind of seed, and the equipment used. Thus for an equipment that is not mechanically driven, it may be required to use more ethyl alcohol to render the mixture fluid and workable. In industrial facilities, less fluid mixtures may be used. In any case any excess alcohol is to
Upon leaving the sieves, the seed feed (11) is directly fed to a reactor (14). Then anhydrous alcohol from a storage tank (10) is poured on the seeds. The heterogeneous feed, of reactor (14) is then comminuted at ambient temperature. Catalyst (13) is then added to reactor (14) without any heating, and then heating of the reaction mass is started in order to promote the transesterification reaction until the 98 to 100% conversion of the triglycerides into fatty acid monoesters is attained.
Then the hot reaction mass is filtered (15) and the liquid phase (17) leaving the filter is pumped to a distiller (20) where ethanol remaining in the liquid phase is distilled (21) under atmospheric pressure. After the end of the condensed alcohol collection, the distiller liquid is transferred to a decanting tank (23) where it will stay for the required period of time to separate raw glycerin - lower phase - from ethyl esters - upper phase. After being collected, the glycerin phase (26) and the ester phase (27) are directed to distinct neutralization columns (30) and (31), one for each product, columns (30) and
(31) being filled with a slightly acidic ion exchange resin. Typical analyses of the two kinds of products obtained in the experiments are listed in Table 2 below.
After being recovered from the filter press (15) linings, the solid phase (16) is dried in a vacuum oven (19) at 45°C during ca. 16 h to recover the remaining ethanol (18) still retained in the mass. Then the obtained dried flour is sieved (22) in a set of vibrating sieves to separate the finest solids of granulometry lower than 20 mm, that is the carbohydrate fraction (24). This fraction (24) will then be submitted to a hydrolysis and fermentation process (28) so as to render possible that after the atmospheric distillation
(32) of the remaining residue in the fermenting tank, ethanol may be produced to make up the alcohol feed to the transesterification reactor (14), This step is not required when the flour is directed to cattle feeding.
As for the coarser fraction of the flour, chiefly made up of the seed hulls (25), such coarser fraction is milled in a ball mill (29) until it reaches the approximate granulometry of 20 mm. It is then added of mineral supplements required for .making up formulations (33) of fertilizers (37) suitable to be used in the castor bean culture itself.
The triglycerides transesterification reaction carried out on the very seeds that contain those triglycerides not only makes the process simpler, but also renders it more economically interesting since:
a) it lowers the raw material cost by dispensing with the use of vegetable oils that require a pre-processing to be extracted from the seeds and then refined;
b) a conventional fermentation process based on the carbohydrates present in the
fractions. The finer fraction having a granulometry lower than 20 mesh Tyler, weighed 300g and could be directed to a specific fermentation process to yield ethyl alcohol, or else to be stored and used as cattle feed.
The coarser fraction, having granulometry higher than 40 mesh Tyler, weighed 100g and after being milled in a ball mill until an average grain size of 20 mesh was directed to fertilizer formulation where it could be added of a few mineral supplements so as to turn it suitable for use in the castor bean seed culture itself. Intermediate fractions are continuously reprocessed.
Table 1 below lists the main features of the esters resulting from the Example.
Table 2 below lists results obtained after mixtures of 5 wt% and 10 wt% of the obtained esters with Diesel D, the metropolitan diesel produced in the Refineries owned by the Applicant, the features of which are also indicated in Table 2. It can be seen that by analogy with typical data for Diesel D itself, the biodiesel product of the invention may be used in admixture with Diesel D as a fuel in urban vehicles.
The advantages for the improvement of the town air quality are evidenced by the rise in the resulting certain number that makes possible the more complete fuel burning by buses and trucks engines, which ultimately lowers pollution.
There is further a corresponding reduction in sulfur content by dilution, with sulfur being also considered a serious pollutant resulting from the burning of conventional diesel oil.
It should also be emphasized that the presence in the molecule of the ethyl esters of castor bean oil (91% ethyl ricinoleate) of a hydroxyl group (14.7% oxygen) conveys to these products an extra polarity. This makes them able to work as co-solvents for stabilizing anhydrous or hydrated ethyl alcohol mixtures with diesel and gasoline at much higher levels than those obtained in present days.
A further advantage is obtained by considering that the presence of those esters in these ternary mixtures also increase the tolerance ability of same to water contamination, so that they resist for longer times to undesirable ethyl alcohol stratification generally occurring in biodiesel and gasoline storage tanks.
Data from Table 2 below lead to the conclusion that the features of both biodiesel compositions are similar to those of an ordinary metropolitan biodiesel, as diesel D.
Notes: (1) Technical Rules National Fuels Department - 02797 - Regulation 32, of August 04,1997.
: (2) 95% vol. diesel D and 5% vol. of the exemplary esters
(3) 90% vol. diesel D and 10% vol. of the exemplary esters
(4) Clear and free from impurities
A study carried out by the Applicant on the economical feasibility of the present process indicated that by accounting the cost of the raw material, that is, seeds, ethyl alcohol (practically no-cost since it is a co-product), catalyst and process costs, and on the other hand, the profits from the main product biodiesel, as well as co-products technical grade glycerin, cattle feed and fertilizer leads to a final price of the biodiesel around US$ 0.30 per liter, which is highly competitive.
1. A process for producing biodiesel, wherein said process comprises the following steps:
a) After processing and drying a feed of oleaginous seeds, preparing in a reactor an homogeneous suspension of oleaginous seeds and an anhydrous alcohol in an amount of 4:1 to 0.5:1, at ambient temperature, so as to obtain an emulsion;
b) Adding an alkaline alkoxide catalyst to the emulsion obtained in a), the amount of catalyst being of from 0.1 to 5 wt% based on the weight of seeds, and allowing the transesterification reaction to occur during 30 to 90 minutes at temperatures between 30 and 78°C, so as to obtain the desired alkyl esters at 98-100% conversion;
c) By filtration, separating the alkyl ester products, obtaining a liquid phase and a. solid phase;
d) From the liquid phase, withdrawing the alcohol by distillation and decanting the remaining phase, glycerin and the desired alkyl esters;
e) From the solid phase, drying and sieving, obtaining carbohydrates for fermentation or cattle feeding and hulls for fertilizer formulation.
2. A process according to claim 1, wherein the oleaginous seed is a sunflower, colza, soybean or peanut seed.
3. A process according to claim 1 , wherein the oleaginous seed is a castor bean seed.
4. A process according to claim 1, wherein the seed to alcohol ratio is 1.5:1 to 0.5:1.
5. A process according to claim 1 wherein the catalyst is sodium or potassium ethanoate used in the amount of 1.5wt%
6. A process according to claim 1, wherein the reaction is carried out at 45-55°C during 40-60 minutes.
7. A process according to claim 1 wherein the alcohol used in said process is completely recycled.
8. A process according to claim 1 wherein the alkyl ester reaction products are neutralized and formulated into biodiesei suitable for use as fuel.
9. A process according to claim 1 wherein the carbohydrates recovered from the solid phase are sieved to separate a fine fraction, having a granulometry up to 20 mesh Tyler, rich in carbohydrates (89.5 wt%) that is a source of ethyl alcohol by a conventional fermentation process.
10. A process according to claim 9, wherein the amount of ethyl alcohol obtained by the conventional fermentation process on the carbohydrates separated after the completion of the transesterification reaction is the amount required for performing the transesterification reaction.
11. A process according to claim 1, wherein the carbohydrates recovered from the solid phase and free from ricin when castor beans are used, are sieved to separate a fine fraction of up to 20 mesh Tyler granulometry, rich in carbohydrates (89.5 wt%)f said fraction being utilized as cattle feed.
12.A process according to claim 11, wherein the coarser fraction obtained by sieving the solid phase having granulometry higher than 40 mesh Tyler is milled until an average grain size of 20 mesh, directed to fertilizer formulation and recycled to the castor bean seed culture.
13. A process according to claim 1 wherein the alkyl esters reaction products are neutralized and formulated as co-solvents in diesel and gasoline admixtures with anhydrous or hydrated ethyl alcohol.
|Indian Patent Application Number||605/CHENP/2006|
|PG Journal Number||29/2010|
|Date of Filing||20-Feb-2006|
|Name of Patentee||PETROLEO BRASILEIRO S.A.-PETROBRAS|
|Applicant Address||Av. Republica do Chile, No 65, Rio de Janeiro, RJ.|
|PCT International Classification Number||C11C3/04|
|PCT International Application Number||PCT/GB03/03126|
|PCT International Filing date||2003-07-21|