The process carried out by the Biodiesel Process Unit, "EBDB", consists on transforming the fatty acids contained in vegetable oils into a high energy content biofuel.
Basically, the process consists of two well-defined stages:
- Stage I: Mixing the products with the stirring technique. It consists on combining and stirring the raw materials required to make biodiesel (vegetable oil and a catalyst) under a homogenous heating provided by a heating element. This stage is carried out in a reactor made of polyethylene that includes a temperature sensor. The stirring consists in recycling the product driven by a pump.
- Stage II: Separating and washing the products obtained. A second stage fundamental after the reaction is the separation of the main product from the rest of by-products. It is usually done with a first two-phase decantation, thanks to the conical shape of the reactor, to remove the glycerin and a biodiesel washing through ion exchange resin.
Finally, the efficiency of the unit and the quality of the biodiesel can be assessed thanks to a balance and a titration kit (pipettes, droppers, etc.).