Biodiesel distillation plant

Thanks to the minimum residence time and versatility, this allows the working with products which have high boiling points in variable feed composition additionally to moderate viscosity.


One of the main objectives of the sector is distillation, since it allows compliance with quality standards.  If raw materials used originate from: used oil, animal fats or physical refining by-products, all having high contents of free fatty acids (FFA), it is then mandatory to add an esterification phase alongside the distillation to the traditional process of biodiesel procurement.

Zean has extensive references in this sector. Most of the distillation takes place in a falling film evaporator in conjunction with an agitated thin film distiller or column depending on the treatment throughput and the quality specifications required by the client.  The installation operates at high vacuum in order to avoid product thermal degradation or decomposition.

Process Engineering / Pilot Plants

Zean has ample references in this field, including physical properties of the products to establish theoretical simulations, also having both pilot and laboratory plants to establish operating parameters taking into account our client’s specific necessities.

Installation Diagram

Thin film technology is used allowing the distillation of products at high boiling points in conjunction with low product residency time inside of the equipment, increasing product yield and lowering thermal decomposition in light hydrocarbons that can affect the quality of the final product.

The advantages of the installation

Widely contrasted technology with adaptable capacity to flow rates from 0.4 ton/hr to 16 ton/hr, with high operating vacuum.

The primary equipment, FALLING FILM, is comprised of a vertical tubular beam, an equitable product delivery system is designed at the top in each of the tubes.

The product descends the tubes through gravity, since the tubes are indirectly in contact with the heated part, they are heated in such a way that the volatile component, methyl ester in this case, is distilled. The methyl ester or distilled Biodiesels (FAME) and inert gases are driven to the condenser and later to the vacuum unit / group.