VFT's Fiber Reactor technology provides a continuous process for the transesterification of triglycerides to biodiesel. Fiber Reactors are capable of producing ASTM-certified biodiesel from both methyl esters (FAME) and ethyl esters (FAEE). Virtually any feedstock can be converted in this process (e.g. used cooking oil, distillers corn oil, algae oil, chicken fat, rapeseed/canola). The process using a Fiber Reactor operates at low pressure and temperature resulting in a safer, lower energy option compared to existing processes.
VFT's biodiesel technology was featured on the front cover of the 2020 Winter Biodiesel Magazine with a spotlight article about the technology on Page 32.
Advantages of FAEE
When co-locating a biodiesel facility with an ethanol plant, the process leverages existing materials and infrastructure from the plant, providing a low carbon score biodiesel while also limiting capital expenditures. Historically, FAME has dominated the biodiesel market due to the difficulties of FAEE production. However, the Fiber Reactor is able to overcome these limitations while also creating a biodiesel with better cloud point, cetane number and cold soak filterability.
Fiber Reactors can be used for each step in the biodiesel production process:
Pre-Treatment: De-gum, de-wax and remove Free Fatty Acids (FFAs) from feedstocks
Water Wash: Efficient removal of impurities and unreacted alcohol
Transesterification: 99% conversion in a single pass through the reactor
CI Score Comparison
The below charts represent VFT's Carbon Intensity (CI) score for the production of FAEE and FAME compared to similar approved pathways. The chart on the left is VFT's FAEE process using DCO feedstock and produced in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The chart on the right is VFT's FAME process using UCO as the feedstock and produced in Austin, Texas. The CI score was calculated by Life Cycle Associates during their evaluation of VFT's potential pathway. In both cases, VFT's process received a significantly lower CI score than the industry average, meaning more credits for every gallon of biodiesel produced using Fiber Reactors.