Earth Day is almost here and in recognition of its 46th birthday we are speaking to our efforts in the biodiesel industry. For over two decades now, Paratherm has incorporated biodiesel work into our daily activities. We have been an associate member of the National Biodiesel Board, and have also been featured in BIODIESEL MAGAZINE as the initiator of a mail survey of top-shape biodiesel plants in the U.S., as well as an article written by Dave Nilles – click here for more information.
Where and why did it all begin?
To briefly summarize, in the early 1990s a biodiesel plant was searching for a durable, food-grade medium that was stable for high-temperature heat transfer. The ultimate goal was to distill methanol off of the glycerine recovery—a recovery and purification step in the overall process. The company chose the Paratherm™ NF Heat Transfer Fluid—both for it’s non-toxic and food-grade properties, and thermal stability at the required high process temperatures.
During that time, Paratherm NF was already making a name for itself, being known for its use in food processing applications, and chemicals manufacturing. As we switched over to biodiesel we noticed an unexpected, but exciting characteristic – a less harsh smell. Biodiesel is less toxic and more considerate than regular diesel. Marc Archambault explains, “At the end of the day, you might crave french fries, but that’s better than having a splitting headache.”
Today, the fluid is used in numerous vegetable oil plants in replacement of steam or synthetic vapor-phase fluids. This distillation procedure is technically known as oil deodorization, because originally it was intended to remove off-flavors. The term now refers to a more sophisticated process that results in purer and more consistent edible oils for use in food production and home kitchens.
And these days, the feedstock streams for biodiesel and other biofuel manufacturing processes come from the same ultimate source. Used cooking oils, as well as raw vegetable oils and fats rendered from animal sources are all used for biofuel production.
What makes this heat transfer fluid attractive to the biodiesel industry?
Here’s the breakdown:
1. Paratherm NF has high temperature capability – allowing for 550° to 600° process temperature range, with a safety buffer to allow for temperature or operator glitches.
2. Paratherm NF carries NSF food-grade status – meaning it is non-toxic, easily recyclable and disposable.
3. This heat transfer fluid is readily available – stocked in 6 North-American regional warehouses, also available for emergencies on evenings and weekends. Need it by tonight or tomorrow morning? Paratherm can deliver!
4. Added technical support – questions about how your system works? Paratherm’s team of sales, tech support, and lab analysis engineers is on call to help with any hot oil questions.