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Re: Biodiesel plant p2 opportunities



Tue June 21, 2005

Hello Tony

Scott gave you an excellent reference, the DOE/NREL article on
the life cycle energy balance. If you are looking for more
background on Biodiesel processing, I would recommend our NHSTA
handout:
http://www.unh.edu/p2/biodiesel/media/NHSTA-handout.doc

I am glad to see that you are looking for ways to improve the
efficiency and implement P2. The main areas to focus on are
methanol recovery (which most large commercial plants already do,
to varying degrees of success), eliminating the need for
Biodiesel washing, or treating the wash water (which will
primarily have soaps, glycerides, and some catalyst in it).

Janet clearly explained the hazards of using heated methanol. The
accident that was referred to happened because the user had an
incredibly poorly designed system. It is extremely important to
use an enclosed processor and to use a liquid pump for mixing the
oil/methoxide. If the person uses an open processor then it will
cause the methanol vapors to spread all over the building. In
addition, if the person uses mechanical stirrers (instead of a
circulating pump), with motors prone to sparking, you end up with
a highly undesirable situation of methanol vapors and sparks.
That is, I believe, what happened in the MA home grown plant.

Have a nice day.
Ihab Farag 1-603-862-2313

Ihab H. Farag, Sc.D., P.E.                  + ihab.farag@unh.edu  or
Hamel Professor of Innovation & Technology  + ihf@hypatia.unh.edu
Chemical Engineering Department             + Off: +1-603-862-2313
University of New Hampshire                 + home:+1-603-868-5603
33 College Rd (255 Kingsbury Hall)          + Fax: +1-603-862-3747
Durham, NH  03824-3591, USA                 +
homepage:
    http://www.unh.edu/p2/ihf

N.H. Pollution Prevention Partnership homepage:
    http://www.unh.edu/p2/nhppp

UNH Biodiesel Group homepage:
    http://www.unh.edu/p2/biodiesel

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