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Continuous Flow Enzymatic Biodiesel Processing
Recorded: Thursday, February 12, 2015 | 2:00 PM CST

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Ron Kotrba
Biodiesel Magazine

Brent Chrabas
Quality Engineer
Viesel Fuel LLC

Frankie Mathis
Owner and CEO
Tactical Fabrication LLC
P.M. Nielsen
Senior Science Manager
Novozymes R&D Group-Bioenergy Opportunities

Enzymatic biodiesel production is gaining significant momentum as it allows producers to process lower-cost, lower-quality feedstocks into ASTM biodiesel. Thus far, the use of liquid enzymes has required batch reactions. Recent progress has been made, however, in continuous flow enzymatic production. In collaboration with Tactical Fabrication of Dublin, Georgia, and Novozymes of Denmark, a novel biodiesel production technology developed by Viesel Skunk Works LLC will soon be offered commercially. The system features a continuous flow enzymatic reaction process that also eliminates sulfur from biodiesel when low-grade feedstocks such as brown grease are used. The patent-pending technology by VSW is a design of several continuously stirred tank reactors (CSTRs). It provides for a complete reaction with the potential of using fewer enzymes than in single-step batch systems. The simpler design contains several CSTRs and skid-mounted injection pumps. Each CSTR can be easily switched to batch operation mode in the case of accidental interruption of continuous mode. Intensive caustic washing in the current enzymatic process for FFA removal is overcome by using resin columns to convert FFA to esters. Capital costs for a continuous flow system with single-use liquid enzymes are offset by acquiring enzymes as needed. Hear from the creators of this new technology about how continuous flow enzymatic processing works, what is required to retrofit your plant, and how it can help your biodiesel operation efficiently convert lower-cost feedstock to high-quality biodiesel, ultimately producing greater profit.