HartFord Global is at the forefront of the biodiesel consultancy and has comprehensive experience in the R&D of biodiesel production, as well as extensive knowledge of biodiesel production and usage.
Biodiesel is a diesel replacement fuel made from natural, renewable sources such used vegetable oils, waste or recycled oils and animal fats. Biodiesel is typically blended with petroleum diesel at a rate of 5-20%. This is commonly referred to as B5-B20 and can be used in nearly all diesel engines. These blends are compatible with most storage and distribution equipment.
Biodiesel is widely used in Europe, but to a lesser extent in other parts of the world. Most common are 5% and 10% v/v blends (B5 and B10) in fossil derived diesel. Generally, most diesel engines can use a biodiesel blend up to at least 20% v/v without problems, but many car producers only warrant the use of B5-B10 blends
First generation biodiesel is made by reacting acylglycerides with an alcohol, usually methanol, yielding fatty acid alkyl ester (fatty acid methyl ester, FAME, in case of methanol). Glycerol (also called glycerine) is also formed in the process, and can be used for a number of consumer and industrial applications.
Traditional biodiesel, i.e. fatty acid methyl ester (FAME), is produced from fatty acid triglycerides obtained from various plants, such as rape, palm and soy, or various wastes like vegetable oil (WVO) or animal fat. The process is based on a catalyzed reaction of fatty acid glycerides with methanol and is relatively inexpensive. The methanol used today in the production is mainly derived from fossil fuel production. As a result biodiesel is an 85-90% renewable fuel. Ethanol can be used instead of methanol (giving fatty acid ethyl ester, FAEE), but it is more expensive and complicated to use than methanol.
In the R&D stage of the project, HartFord Global designed and operated a small scale pilot production unit to obtain the necessary information for the process development. HartFord Global is also working on projects regarding conversion of glycerol to various compounds.