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RE: Biodiesel plant p2 opportunities



Title: Message
In a recent post to P2TECH, Tony Cooper (toco461@ecy.wa.gov ) asked (in part):
 
> I am going to be P2 point on a biodiesel manufacturing plant that is in the pre-design stage right now. 
> To get a jump on this, I was wondering if anyone has had experience with biodiesel manufacturers, BD plant design, and pollution prevention opportunities.
 
Tony -- I would recommend reading, if you haven't already, Section 5 of the report "Life Cycle Inventory of Biodiesel and Petroleum Diesel for Use in an Urban Bus", a 1998 report published by NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) and based on work sponsored jointly by USDA and US DOE.  It is available online at:   http://www.nrel.gov/docs/legosti/fy98/24089.pdf  The report provides a detailed examination of the process chemistry of biodiesel processes, including the results of process modeling to examine mass/energy balance issues and sensitivity to various design parameters.  It doesn't specifically address P2 opportunities but will provide you with a good foundation for understanding the process.
 
Because the basic chemistry of biodiesel manufacture is pretty simple, and generally has high yields on a step-by-step basis, I'm guessing that most of the potential P2 opportunities lie in sound energy efficiency implementation, operational policies, and "design for maintenance" steps (e.g., making sure process vessels are designed to minimize the wastes produced during periodic cleaning -- we (ChemAlliance) discuss some of these design strategies in http://www.chemalliance.org/Columns/Improving/P2_Options_for_Chem_Manufacturers.asp.
 
There are also substantial amounts of residuals/byproducts/wastes from the conversion process, most of which have some commercial value but you'll want to make sure that these are indeed being used beneficially.
 
I'd also remind you that as you get closer to the process and identify specific areas of concern, it's probably worth your time to check out the ChemAlliance virtual plant tour (http://www.chemalliance.org/Handbook/plant/index.asp).  We have recently added an enhanced search function to the database of more than 400 p2 case studies in the chemical process industries, to make it easier to find examples of specific strategies.
 
hope this helps.  If it does, don't forget to fill out our Customer Survey (http://www.assistancecenters.net/schem/), which will be online until August. 

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Scott Butner
Director, ChemAlliance
c/o Pacific NW National Laboratory
PO Box 999
Richland, WA  99352
Voice: (509)-372-4946/Fax: (509) 375-2443
Website: http://www.chemalliance.org/
E-mail: scott.butner@pnl.gov
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