Springboard intro's methanol recovery, soap-casting equipment

By Ron Kotrba | November 11, 2014

Chico, Calif.-based biodiesel equipment manufacturer Springboard Biodiesel recently introduced its GL95/MC12/BD380 trio to recover more than 99 percent of excess methanol mixed in with the glycerin that’s produced when making biodiesel. The equipment also removes and recovers excess methanol from biodiesel. The company states that after the methanol is recovered at 98 percent purity from the glycerin, the equipment ejects a quickly cooling block of glycerin soap.

“In the biodiesel production world, some groups struggle to manage their glycerin disposal, others struggle to meet ASTM-grade when using a drywash system,” said Springboard Biodiesel CEO Mark Roberts. “Recognizing this, we have turned their struggle into an opportunity with the elegant and automated GL95/MC12/BD380 trio. Not only will a biodiesel producer recover the vast majority of the extra methanol used in the reactions, but the equipment will also cast the remaining material into a large block of soap and glycerin, giving a small scale producer more options for revenue.”

The equipment is operated from a touchscreen pad mounted on the side of a shared condenser (The MC12) and is, according to Springboard, universally compatible with any biodiesel processing equipment.

“A lot of people say they can demethylate glycerin, but can they do it safely, reliably and at this high purity with an automated touch screen?” Roberts asked. “We have done some fairly exhaustive research into what other products are available on the market that perform the functions of the G-95. We have not yet found anything that works at this capacity, with this level of construction and is automated, for anything less than three times the price.”

While Springboard Biodiesel has been manufacturing biodiesel processors for several years, its first biodiesel production facility—a closed loop local system—was officially opened in May. “We think we may have the lowest carbon footprint of any similar biodiesel facility in California, and possibly further than that,” said Matt Roberts, vice president of marketing for Springboard Biodiesel. “All of our glycerin is reused, and all of our excess methanol is recaptured and repurposed.” 


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