Sep 21, 2012
Company provides training, equipmentBack
Natal|Bioman Energy|South Africa|Biodiesel Manufacturing Process|Biodiesel Processing|Feedstock Oil|Quality Feedstock Oil|Steel|Transport|Janice Whitehead|BIOFUELS
© Reuse this
The company notes that a significant challenge for the biofuels industry is that not enough quality biodiesel is being produced to meet the 2013 supply target of a 2% biofuels penetration into the current fuel pool, as was outlined in the Biofuels Industrial Strategy that was released by the former Department of Minerals and Energy in 2007.
The extensive use of biodiesel in South Africa is directly impacted on by unsustainable production owing to the high cost and the general unavailability of quality feedstock oil, says Bioman Energy owner Janice Whitehead.
“Until now, the biodiesel industry has been suffocated because of the inability to successfully overcome the barriers of acquiring start-up funding, quality feedstock supply, process training and implementation, as well as peer support.
“Having a sustainable supply of quality feedstock oil is the point of departure for any aspiring biodiesel entrepreneur,” she says.
Bioman focuses on engaging potential entrepreneurs and funders to assist it in overcoming these barriers, while providing quality equipment and training.
Whitehead believes that changing the thinking of business in general from purely a short-term financial gain focus to a longer- term value-added and cooperative business model focus will positively impact on the growth of the biofuels industry.
The training, which pertains specifically to South Africa and the rest of the SADC region, provides information on the latest policy and political decisions that will affect the biofuels sector.
Training highlights issues such as: the way in which biofuel will play a leading role in sustainable mobility in air, sea and land transport; the market and availability for second-generation and advanced biofuel; international trade and sustainability regulations, implementation and impact; trading ethanol and supply-chain challenges; the entrepreneur and the market; sustainability, and biodiesel production tips.
Whitehead says she has been approached to present individual and group training sessions to highlight, specifically, the value of the cooperative and the entrepreneurial models, as well as practical production troubleshooting.
The camp will use the biodiesel to fuel its generators and vehicles on the property.
The 2 000 ℓ/d biodiesel production project was a client-specification installation that used both Bioman and non-Bioman equipment.
The company supplied three settling tanks, dry wash columns with a 200 ℓ/h capacity and all of the equipment and parts.
In addition to Bioman’s scope of work, the client plans to add a methanol recovery unit of its own design between the two 2 000 ℓ settling tanks and the 1 850 ℓ dry wash supply tank.
The company was asked to incorporate a second-hand 2 000 ℓ stainless steel heating tank for use as a reaction or heating vessel.
Whitehead says Bioman may be contracted to assist with the start-up of the project, with the focus on the particular client’s process of using chicken fat as the feedstock oil.
The client will render the chicken fat downhill from the processing equipment, which will require the thicker-than-normal oil to be pumped about 40 m uphill to the biofuels plant.
The challenge of using chicken fat and most waste vegetable oils (WVOs) as feedstock oil is that WVOs contain a mixture of different oils that have different compositions and free fatty acid levels.
This means that some of the oils do not completely convert to biodiesel during processing, which is the most significant problem encountered by biodiesel producers, says Whitehead.
The biodiesel process comprises esterification, transesterification and dry wash processes.
The esterification process entails adding and mixing a small quantity of sulphuric acid and methanol with the low-heated feedstock oil for every litre of waste oil. The mixture is left to settle for a day.
In the transesterification process, a fixed amount of potassium hydroxide and the remainder of the 20% methanol-to-oil ratio is added to the feedstock oil.
The acid added in the first part of the process breaks down the different oils either to oil or to biodiesel, effectively allowing for a complete conversion to biodiesel.
After effective settling of the biodiesel, it is slowly pumped through a lead-lag system of resin-containing columns that absorb impurities, such as water, glycerol and remaining solid particles, from the biodiesel.Further, t
he dry wash process is less labour- and time-intensive and largely eliminates the traditional water wash process, which, in turn conserves water and negates the problem of contaminated water disposal.
Meanwhile, Bioman was contracted by the African Conservation Trust, in St Lucia, KwaZulu-Natal, in April, to upgrade its existing 50 ℓ/d biodiesel unit. It was responsible for the design, planning and supply of additional fittings, consisting of dry wash columns and a 200 ℓ tank that will be added to the existing biodiesel unit.
The company also supplied a 50 ℓ unit to the University of Johannesburg’s School of Mining, Metallurgy and Chemical Engineering in mid-2011 and is communicating with the Vaal University of Technology about the installation of a basic 50 ℓ unit.
Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
Other Biofuels News
To reduce the environmental impact of the printing process, a new biomass boiler will be installed at printing company Paarl Media’s Cape Town plant in December.
Engineering, management and specialist technical services group Aurecon, whose biomass-to-energy (B2E) project in Nkomazi, Mpumalanga, envisions the production of charcoal briquettes from sugar cane, is structuring propopals for funders to move the project from the...
Self-sustainable, small-scale biodiesel production is the most cost-effective way to get into the market, following confirmation by government that its 2013 target of 2% biofuels penetration into the current fuel pool will not be met, says Biodiesel processing and...
Recent Research Reports
Automotive 2014: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
The report provides insight into the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local construction demand, geographic diversification, competition within the sector, corporate activity, skills, safety, environmental considerations and the challenges...
Construction 2014: A review of South Africa's construction sector (PDF Report)
Construction data released during 2013 hints at a halt to the decline in the industry during the last few years, with some commentators averring that the industry could be poised for recovery. However, others have urged caution, noting that the prospects for a...
Electricity 2014: A Review of South Africa's Electricity Sector (PDF Report)
This report provides an overview of the state of electricity generation and transmission in South Africa and examines electricity planning, investment in generation capacity, electricity tariffs, the role of independent power producers and demand-focused initiatives,...
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
Road and Rail 2013: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2013 Report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move...
Liquid Fuels 2013 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Liquid Fuels report examines South Africa’s liquid fuels market, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing,...
This Week's Magazine
Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) is inviting expressions of interest from eligible firms for the supply and install automatic fire suppression systems in the cable tunnels at its Nkula B and Tedzani power stations, on the Shire river. Escom will...
Lubricant company Castrol will provide lubricants, brake and hydraulic fluids for use in the Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC). The 1 600 km/h car, which will attempt to break the land-speed record in 2015 through to 2016, is being constructed in Bristol, in the UK.
State-owned electricity producer Eskom and government are assessing ways to secure the financial resources necessary to enable the utility to resume power-saving schemes, as well as to contract with those municipalities and independent power producers (IPPs) able to...
Diversified industrial engineering group PSV’s subsidiary African Cryogenics is gearing up to increase its operating capacity through an investment into a 7 000 m2 manufacturing facility, which is under construction and expected to be completed at the end of this...
Freight and logistics service provider Grindrod has a R10-billion project pipeline planned for sub-Saharan Africa, says Grindrod CEO Alan Olivier. He says the capital expenditure for some of these projects has already been approved by the Grindrod board –...
Next ArticleBiomass project moving to bankability stage