Technology

“Oberösterreichische Biodiesel” GmbH has a processing capacity of approximately 100'000 tons of biodiesel per year and about 9'600 tons of pharmaceutical glycerin (99%).

The main raw materials are rapeseed oil or canola oil (100'000 tons per year) and methanol (about 10'000 tons per year). The plant can also process sunflower and soybean oil.

The main chemicals used in the production are:

 

Sodium methylate

Methanol

Sodium hydroxide

Hydrochloric acid

Phosphoric acid

Additives to improve the oxidation stability and to decrease the cold filter plugging point (CFPP) of the biodiesel fuel.

Rohol Rev


The major phases of the production process are as follows:
  • Feedstock pretreatment - heated crude oil is treated first with phosphoric acid and then with sodium hydroxide to remove free fatty acids and phosphorous compounds. Intense centrifugation afterwards separates the refined oil from the non-oil material.
  • Transesterification – this is the chemical process during which the triglycerides (of which the oil consists) react with methanol in the presence of an alkaline catalyst, to form Fatty Acid Methyl Esters (or biodiesel) and raw glycerin. Finally, the Fatty Acid Methyl Esters (the biodiesel) are separated from the raw glycerin.

  • Product purification - the raw glycerin (with purity 80-85%) is further refined to a pharmaceutical glycerin with purity of 99%.