The critical technologies for biodiesel processing are heating, separation, and mixing. Alfa Laval supplies high-speed separators, heat exchangers and fluid handling solutions within all three technologies for the different steps in biodiesel production.
Moreover, Alfa Laval can supply the complete biodiesel pre-treatment installation needed. As a leading manufacturer of centrifugal separation systems, Alfa Laval has a specially designed separator range for biodiesel processing.
Transesterification, the heart of the biodiesel process, calls for the efficient separation of glycerin from biodiesel. With the BD range of separators for biodiesel, Alfa Laval offers the renewable energy sector a tailored match. The complete range of separators consists of five models with different centrifuge capacities. The range provides separation with minimum product loss during discharge and low energy and utility consumption.
The BD centrifuges come with a complete control unit, flameproof electric motor, inlet and outlet connections, auxiliary equipment, a spare parts kit, and a set of tools.
The separator consists of a frame with a base that contains a horizontal drive shaft, worm gear, a lubricating oil bath, and a hollow vertical bowl spindle.
The bowl is fixed on top of the spindle, inside the space formed by the upper part of the frame, the solids collecting cover, and the frame hood. The hood carries the liquid discharge system.
All parts in contact with the process liquid are made of stainless steel. The bowl is a solid ejecting disc type, with an automatic hydraulic operating system for “shooting”.
How it works
The BD centrifuge is a three-phase centrifuge system purpose-built for removing both water and solids from the oil. This type of centrifuge is also widely known as a purifier and it consists of a bowl that rotates around a vertical axis.
Inside the bowl is a stack of conical discs where the separation takes place.
Rotating this bowl at high speed means that the effect of gravity on solids and liquids of different mass is replaced by a controllable centrifugal force, which can have an effect corresponding to thousands of times that of gravity. When subject to such forces, the solid particles and water – which are denser – are pressed outwards against the rotating bowl wall.
The BD centrifuge is based on a unique, semi-hermetic design concept. The hermetic, bottom-fed inlet ensures a gentle, non-destructive acceleration of the feedstock up to full bowl speed.