Glycerin and Biodiesel Demethylation

Glycerin and biodiesel demethylation group, aka The GL95/MC12/BD380 from Springboard Biodiesel

Biodiesel and Glycerin Demethylation, Methanol Recovery, and Soap Casting

Springboard Biodiesel continues to develop and manufacture innovative equipment for "small-scale" biodiesel producers. Above is the latest version of the j, aka The GL95/MC12/BD380.This equipment will enable an operator to safely recover nearly all of the excess methanol in the glycerin by-product and cast soap out of the remaining material. It will also drop the methanol content in dry-washed biodiesel well-below the range of what is required to legally sell your biodiesel (ASTM specifications for methanol content).This trio is universal and will work with any biodiesel processing equipment (we recommend the BioPro™ and SpringPro™).

  • The MC12 (center) is a shared demethylating condenser that safely converts the methanol vapors coming from both machines into liquid methanol that is approximately 97 to 98% pure. The remaining percentage is water. All three machines are controlled from a touch screen pad on the MC12. An automated program leads an operator through every step of the process.
  • The GL95 (left) is dedicated to separating and safely recovering nearly all of the methanol from the glycerin by-product. Once that step is accomplished, it then casts large blocks of quickly cooling soap, which are wheeled out from under the machine in soap carts. The GL95 is a batch processing device and will handle 25 gallons at a time in as little as 8 hours.
  • The BD380 (right) is dedicated to separating methanol from biodiesel. This is a continuous flow device and will automatically shut off as soon as the source of biodiesel runs out. Biodiesel can be drawn into the machine from any container or from any drywash system (we recommend the SpringPro™ T76).

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Touch screen of MC12 component of glycerin demethylation system from Springboard Biodiesel
Touchscreen on MC12

Glycerin Treatment Advantages - GL95& MC12

Glycerin handling: The main biodiesel by-product we commonly call glycerin, or biodiesel bottoms, is actually a mix of glycerin, methanol, soap, salts, and oils. This glycerin, in its normal liquid form, can be challenging to dispose of and messy to handle. The GL95 turns this challenge into an opportunity.

Methanol recovery
: The glycerin by-product left over from the biodiesel reaction will contain methanol, approximately 23% by volume. This methanol is fully dissolved and cannot be separated by settling. The GL95 & MC12 separate the residual methanol from the glycerin by employing heat, evaporation, agitation, and vacuum. The vaporized methanol is then condensed back into liquid “wet” methanol that is approximately 97% pure. This methanol is valuable. It cannot be used immediately to make more biodiesel without first having the residual water removed. (Ask us about our Lamathen methanol purifier!)

Saponification: After the methanol has been removed, the GL95 uses a lye and water solution to convert the remaining oils of the glycerin into soap. The resulting blocks are easy to handle and often qualify for simple disposal as solid waste. Alternatively, saponification can be by-passed leaving a thinner liquid soap mixture which can be used as a composting accelerant.

Biodiesel Treatment Advantages – BD380 & MC12

Compliance and methanol recovery: Biodiesel that is treated by a drywash system like the SpringPro T76 will have more methanol present in it than is required by the specifications of the ASTM-D6751 standards. Though this additional methanol rarely impacts the performance of a diesel engine, a business cannot legally sell this biodiesel without meeting this standard. By removing and recapturing your methanol from your biodiesel in the BD380, you will drop this additional methanol out of your biodiesel coming closer or achieving that goal while simultaneously recovering the wasted methanol as a separate liquid.

* Springboard Biodiesel also makes the Lamothen methanol purifier which will bring the methanol to a purity of 99.8 percent, a level that will enable reuse of the methanol in the biodiesel production process.Contact Springboard Biodiesel directly if you are interested in pricing or have questions regarding the Glycerin and Biodiesel Demethylation Group.