Biofuel Production Workshop
In accordance with the mandate on which the Centre was established, the biodiesel workshop was built in 2013. It was designed and constructed for the sole aim of producing biodiesel from non-edible seed such as jatropha seed, rubber seeds etc.
Equipment and Materials Available
The dehulling machine is used in separating jatropha seeds from the fruit pods. The dehulling machine uses a principle based on provoking a slight pressure and friction on the fruits within the machine. It is an example of a mechanized dehuller which has the capacity of dehulling 1000kg of fresh fruit per hour.
The fruit shells comes out of the dehuller mixed with the nuts and the winnowing machine is now used in separating the shells from the nuts after dehulling. Seeds can be stored up to one year at room temperature.
Grinding Machine, Decortication machine and Biogas generator unit
The grinding machine and the decertification machine work in the same way; they are used in grinding the jatropha seeds to make oil extraction easier and faster. This could also be done manually. Seeds that are going to be stored are dried after grinding. The biogas generator unit is used in producing biogas after the production of Biodiesel.
Oil extractor unit-30kg per hour.
Different methods can be employed in oil extraction via mechanical extraction and solvent extraction. The Oil extractor is an example of mechanical extraction. In this method pressure is exacted on the seeds in order to remove the oil while in solvent extraction solvents are added to the already grinded nuts which further dissolves into oil. For a very efficient yield of oil extraction both methods are combined because the oil recovery from the mechanical extraction is limited to 90 – 95% of the oil present while from solvent extraction up to 99% of the oil in the seed can be extracted.
Degumming machine and Methanol Recovery unit
Degumming is necessary in bio diesel production because the machine is used to remove high gum content in the extracted oil which is bad for Biodiesel production. It increases refining loss because gums can initiate emulsification with some of the neutral oil. This process enhances the suitability of the jatropha oil. Degumming also helps to reduce phosphor. Degumming makes the jatropha oil less viscous and neutral resulting in better combustion in the cylinder.
The Methanol recovery unit is used when methanol is introduced during solvent extraction phase of the oil from the crushed nuts. The temperature of the extraction varies amongst the different types of methods used in oil extraction. The oil is then centrifuged, placed in a container and kept in water bath with controlled temperature.
100 litres-day Biodiesel reactor with glycerol recovery and control
The glycerol recovery unit is used if glycerol was introduced while extracting oil from crushed nuts. The temperature of the extraction varies amongst the different types of methods used in oil extraction. The oil is then centrifuged, placed in a container and kept in water bath with controlled temperature.
Biodiesel washing vessels with control
Used in holding the biodiesel during production.