To reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and work towards sustainability, the European Commission has introduced the Fit-for-55 package.
This is a set of European policies implemented to help the transition of Europe to climate neutrality by 2050. These policies aim to reduce Europe’s greenhouse emissions by at least 55%, as well as strengthen European partnership and unity on climate action with their enduring commitment to sustainability.
These policies look to increase the use of renewable fuel sources such as HVO, which is a second-generation biofuel derived from lipids and oils. The measures are intended to ensure that the energy future of Europe consists of renewable fuel sources instead of fossil oils and gases.
Feedstock for hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) production includes used cooking oil (UCO), animal fat, tallow, leftovers from food processing, vegetable oils and other similar substances.
Pre-processing consists in the pre-treatment and filtering of a feedstock in order for it to undergo further processing.
This pre-processing involves gathering the raw materials, heating, filtering and sometimes blending them to create a consistent composition. Depending on the composition of the feedstock, cristilisation and bleaching are part of the process.
Filtration equipment such as vertical and horizontal pressure filter leaves systems, and the Amafilter® Cricketfilter® fully automated filter system are hugely important to filter the bleaching earth, crystallised plastic like PE and unwanted particles or contaminants from the flow of product.
By using filtration technology throughout the various stages of the feedstock process, larger batch sizes can be produced with greater quality and without damaging equipment or creating blockages . Furthermore, with the use of filtration technology, consistency within batches is maintained, up-holding safety standards and eliminating accidental contamination.
HVO has already proven its sustainability strategy efficiency as it is a renewable fuel able to reduce our unsustainable dependency on fossil fuels and recycle potential waste streams. HVO, a derivative of vegetable oil, emits up to 90% lower greenhouse gas emissions than diesel fuel.
As a result, HVO is gaining widespread recognition as a leading biofuel and is being viewed by the European member states as key in assisting them to meet the 2018 Renewable Energy Directive, which requires 32% of the energy consumed within the European Union to be renewable by 2030.
The importance of the pre-treatment process
Cleaning and filtering of feedstock materials like vegetable oils, UCO and high-grade animal fat is an essential step towards achieving good feedstock quality.
Such feedstocks can be pre-treated quite easily with an efficient filtration system. Benefits of pre-treating feedstocks before they are processed into products include improved cycle times, higher process yields and better product quality.
When it comes to filtration technology and equipment, feedstock quality has a major influence on the performance of the system and, therefore, selecting the correct pressure filter system is essential.
Some feedstock material can contain large inorganic particles, numerous fine solids or crystallised PE, which are difficult to be filtered out. The right filtration solution is essential to achieve optimal process efficiencies and a high quality end product.
Feedstock can also increase wear and tear on the machinery as well as slow down productivity due to blockages in pipes or filter elements.
Clean feedstock, filtered by the right filter system for that application, is crucial for stable and reliable industrial production processes.
One of the most important steps to guarantee the quality of the product is the pre-treatment process and filtering the feed. During this filtering process, impurities and microparticles are removed and particle size is decreased for better filtration.
For instance, HVO production highly depends on the pre-treatment of feedstocks before they reach the hydrogenation phase due to the complexity involved in producing this raw material.
Filtration equipment allows businesses to boost feedstock efficiency while keeping costs in check as well as guarantee that only top quality products reach production lines.
Pre-treatment filtration expertise
When it comes to the pre-treatment of HVO, many processes and equipment providers come from the edible oil and animal fats industries as these are very similar to the food industry.
The expertise used in finding the right filtration solution through extensive testing and/or piloting of the feedstock will determine how successful the pre-treatment process itself will be.
Amafilter® has an extensive product portfolio suitable for the pre-treatment process of renewable fuel and it works closely with end-users and engineering companies to find the perfect filtration solutions that delivers a reliable, sustainable and safe pre-treatment filtration process no matter what the biomass.
For more information: Visit: amafiltration.com
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