On-site SMO production systems offered

By Bryan Sims
Posted Sept. 20, 2010

Golden, Colo.-based SelectIon Technologies Inc. is now offering a new product solution within its ion-transport technology called NaSelect; an on-site and on-demand sodium methylate production system available to the biodiesel industry.

The company said its NaSelect systems can generate high-purity sodium methylate efficiently and inexpensively at desired concentration in methanol, enabling on-site and on-demand production, eliminating the need for costly and hazardous transportation and storage, according to general manager Bill Christie. Sodium methylate is traditionally produced by chemical plants using high-temperature, energy-intensive processes after which the product requires storage, transportation and additional storage at the end-use location.

Another advantage of the sodium methylate produced by the NaSelect systems, said Christie, is that it can cut down water content. High moisture content can decrease yield from the transesterification process and create the formation of unwanted soaps. Sodium methylate produced by NaSelect systems contains less than 100 ppm of water.

"[Biodiesel] producers that take sodium hydroxide and methanol can have problems with the moisture content," Christie said. "The only water would be what comes in your incoming methanol."

SelectIon's NaSelect sodium methylate systems can be integrated into small and large-scale biodiesel plants in the form of individual modules with minimal modifications while in operation, Christie said, adding that one large-scale biodiesel plant has already installed its system with more expressing interest.

"This would be ideal if producers turn off production for weeks or months at a time so they don't have to have sodium methylate stored on site for extended periods during those times," Christie said. "It's completely scalable from the smallest to the largest plant."

Owned by technical ceramics giant, CoorsTek, SelectIon is the world's first company to offer ion transport and ion separation technologies for a broad range of industrial applications using custom ceramic membranes. The company announced its official opening Sept. 14.
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