Heartland develops new column design

By Ron Kotrba | March 23, 2010
Posted April 7, 2010

Heartland Biodiesel Supply has developed a new patent-pending purification column design to make handling and removal of purification media easier, safer and more efficient for biodiesel plant operators. The idea behind the new design came from the water treatment industry, said Jim Westphal, owner of Heartland Biodiesel Supply. "That's where ion exchange resin is used in the largest capacity," Westphal told Biodiesel Magazine.

The same column design can be used for Eco2pure or any ion exchange resin-the only difference being the flow direction in the columns. Heartland Biodiesel Supply designates columns to be used for Eco2Pure media as HBD DRY-CLN, and those to be used with ion exchange resins as HBD ION.

The columns are built on a three-way tilt axis for easy draining, whether Eco2Pure media or ion exchange resins are being removed, and can be securely held in place while the bottom hub system is removed in one step, eliminating the need for a crew of workers and heavy equipment to exchange spent media. It also reduces workers' contact time with the spent, hazardous material, which is laden with caustic, methanol and other chemicals.

Heartland Biodiesel Supply has incorporated its proprietary distribution system into this design, which can extend the life of purification media. Westphal said many system designs on the market result in fractured flow where some of the media in the column do not come into contact with the biodiesel being purified, but Heartland Biodiesel Supply's new columns create a plug flow that allows the fuel being purified to contact all of the media present in the columns, thereby extending the life of the media at a cost savings.

The columns also come equipped with dry connect fittings so there is no liquid loss during maintenance.

The columns can be custom-ordered and start at a flow rate of 1.5 gallons/minute for $1,695. A 3.7-gallon/minute column costs $2,695. Sizes and prices go up from there. The standard material is mild steel but stainless steel columns can be special ordered at a higher cost.
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