Making Biodiesel has become a serious business around the world. It is not only large companies who have an interest in making it but also smaller ones and even individuals. With rising oil prices it is no wonder that there are now so many resources available on how to make Biodiesel. Our first example is using Rapeseed which is heated and pressed which leaves you with oil as a liquid as well as a solid mass. If you are a farmer than the solid mass is actually something that certain farm animals will have no problems eating and it can be collected and distributed to cows as an example. The oil that was produced can then be cleaned and one the ways could be using a gravity separation process where heavier particles will sink to the bottom of a tank while the lighter ones will go to the top. There is something now called the "biodiesel machine" which extracts glycerol and replaces it with methanol. The process involves reactors, heating tanks and separators. One of things to consider is that it requires energy to make energy and so the best systems are probably going to be those that have the greatest return of investment. There are people continually working on ways to produce Biodiesel with the most efficient method and return on investment.
Making Biodiesel for many is considered to be a Green activity because companies can take used oil e.g. cooking oil and turn it into something useful. This also requires companies who have the capability to collect the oil from different locations and bring it to a central locaton where it can be processed. The technology used to make the Biodiesel in this case has to be able to filter out things that are undesirable since the oil is coming from several locations and will not be of exactly the same type. The idea is to use everything that comes in i.e. not only biodiesel can be produced but the solids can be used for e.g as a fertilizer or a biomass energy feedstock. Water testing and fatty acid testing can be done either manually or electronically. The free fatty acids make the product soapy and so removal is important and water is normally considered to be an impurity in an oil being used for energy since it lowers it's overall heating value. The process involves alcohol and catalysts in combination with the oil and in a similar manner to the first media presentation the glycerin is replaced with methanol. The actual chemical name for a Biodiesel is a Methyl Ester and so it is easily understood why Methanol is important. Reactor Technology seems to be important in Biodiesel making as well as quality control which involved removals of solids, metals and things like free water.