Rohm and Haas releases new technology

By Anna Austin | January 15, 2009
Web exclusive posted Feb. 3, 2009, at 1:12 p.m. CST

Biodiesel technology producer Rohm and Haas Co. has launched a new feedstock purification technology that converts all free fatty acids into biodiesel, reducing costs and supporting a variety of feedstocks.

The AMBERSEP BD19, which requires a simple guard bed column reactor, can replace or supplement conventional degumming processes. "Conventional degumming processes remove foulants at high investment and energy costs, but the end result may still contain some levels of foulants," said Suzanne Carroll, global commercial manager for Rohm and Haas Biodiesel. "AMBERSEP BD19 can remove remaining foulants after degumming at a low cost, capital and energy polishing step. In cases where the overall impurity levels are not too high or the plant capacity does not justify the capital cost, the degumming step may be skipped altogether."

The technology can also extend the life of esterification catalysts. "The purification resin can extend the life of the catalyst by removing unwanted components from high fatty acid feedstocks prior to esterification," Carroll said. "The resin removes impurities such as phospholipids and proteins that do not react to create biodiesel, but may act as a physical foulant and create pressure drop problems in the reactor." She added that the AMBERSEP BD19 will also remove metal ions such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium, which accelerate aging of the catalyst.

"Impurities in feedstock will also cause quality and operability issues in the transesterification and separation processes," Carroll said. "Additionally, they will cause the transesterification catalyst to lose activity over time. It's recommended to remove these impurities prior to reaction for extended catalyst life, and improved operability and biodiesel quality."

To learn more about the AMBERLYST BD20, visit
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