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Biofuels: Transportation and Storage Challenges
Atom Alloys
August 22, 2022
2 Mins Read Time

Biofuels, derived from organic matter, especially plant matter, as you know are regarded as a potential energy source. While the current technology is well-equipped with several different methods of production of first, second and third-generation biofuels, the storage and transportation sector remains sadly underdeveloped. ATOM intends to change that.

STORAGE & TRANSPORTATION

Although, biofuels involve “safe” fuels, its production involves highly flammable chemicals and thus, poses risks of fire and explosion

In general, classical transesterification processes are performed using methanol(alcohol) and a basic catalyst in biofuel production. This usually involves a cascade of reactors for the conversion of vegetable oils and separation from polar phase (excess methanol, glycerin and fatty acids). Separation of methanol from FAMEs is done by gravitational separation, evaporation and condensation of methanol to be recycled.

In 2013, a biodiesel plant in Italy became the epicenter of an explosion and fire that killed three workers. And the explosion occurred in the storage tank which was supposed to contain fatty acids. However, upon investigation, it was discovered that this tank was contaminated by significant amount of methanol which lead to the fire and consequent explosion.

What is a way to mitigate this risk and continue with safe biofuel production?

The transesterification process takes place in the tank/reactor. This involves application of heat to highly flammable methanol, and thus makes the reactor/storage tank extremely prone to explosion. However, what if there was a method to completely mitigate this risk?

ATOMized reactor vessels/storage tanks are the solution that you are looking for.

CHALLENGES TO PLANT DESIGN & HOW CAN ATOM HELP?

The only way to avoid explosions due to the low flash point of methanol was by building small reactors which were not viable for the biofuel industry. However, this is now a story of the past. ATOM helps to build commercially viable large sized reactors with proper attention to plant design and responsible explosion resistant storage of biofuel. “Green” energies are often wrongly perceived as safer than petroleum-derived products. However, the raw materials to produce biodiesel require several treatments using highly inflammable materials as we saw above.

ATOM helps you take this process one step further by focusing on the heart of all explosions, the Reactor/ Process Storage tank. Based on the principles of thermal conductance, flame quenching and structured packaging, ATOM Explosion Prevention System is the safety solution you need!

ATOM Fuel Storage Unit is designed in such a way as to suppress deflagration and thus, prevent it from escalating to detonation and explosion.

Curious to learn more about our design and fabrication services for biofuel handling? Head to our site and connect with our team to know more!

 

ATOM is an internationally certified patented Explosion Prevention system that works across industries to deliver safety solutions for fuel storage, transportation and delivery. If you are seeking preventive solutions tailored to meet the industry’s complexities that secure your workplace and resources from fuel tank explosions, we can introduce you to high-quality solutions that are compliant with international regulation standards and will upgrade your fuel safety to the highest levels. To secure your fuel storage from explosion, get in touch with us today!

Don’t miss our latest updates. Follow us on #StaySafewithFuel

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