Sep 18

A step forward towards the achievement of biodiesel by supercritical technologies

The supercritical processes involved in the Life Superbiodiesel pilot plant have as their main objective the transesterification reaction, which is the name given to the chemical reaction between the fats (triglycerides) contained in the raw materials with a short chain alcohol type (generally methanol). Thanks to carrying out this process under supercritical conditions (high pressure and temperature), it is possible to improve the performance of the reaction, as well as reduce and even eliminate derived waste that requires subsequent treatment.

This reaction process carried out in the Life Superbiodiesel plant, needed a specific tuning adjusted to the specific singularity of the raw material used. This adjustment was carried out based on the active collaboration of some Spanish companies such as CEPSA, IMDEA Energía, ITQ-CSIC, UMU, and the design of the chemical reactor made by AIJU (the Spanish Instituto Tecnológico de Producto Infantil y Ocio)

As a result, the pilot plant has been fine-tuned, achieving a complete reaction, and obtaining the first biodiesel samples for their characterization, which will enable the potential of this biodiesel for use in diesel engines to be validated. In addition, in the developments performed at the laboratory-scale plant, the biodiesel achieved demonstrated the possibility of exceeding the applicable quality regulations. This important milestone, therefore, will allow this factor to be validated and will provide scientific evidence to policymakers at the event scheduled for April 2024, in order to adapt the standard to the new potential.