FFA Process

Artisan’s FFA Process
  • Our process can handle up to 30% FFA in the feed and reduce it to less than 1% in a single pass.
  • Our process is a green waterless process, reducing the generation of wastewater common in conventional deodorization processes.
  • There are no chemical additives or treatments in our process, reducing hazardous chemicals and wastes from your plant site.
  • Our process has an ROI of less than 6 months based on only a 5 cent difference in low-cost vs. rendered feed stock prices.
  • Our process will not degrade the product oils.
  • Our process recovers and economizes up to 5 MMBTU/h of heat duty throughout the process.
  • Our key unit operation has been in operation in the fats and oils industry for a better part of the last half century.

In this process, high FFA content crude feedstock is pumped through a feed/bottoms economizer and a trim heater to preheat the feed, while cooling the stripped product oil (bottoms) to its desired temperature. The preheated feed enters a vapor/liquid separator, operating under vacuum where a portion of the FFA as well as any moisture present is flashed off. The remaining liquid falls by gravity into the Artisan Rototherm® mechanically aided thin film evaporator where the centrifugal force generated by the spinning rotor maintains a thin film of material on the heated wall, evaporating essentially all the remaining FFA. The product discharges by gravity from the Rototherm into an insulated bottoms accumulator, from which it is pumped through the feed/bottoms economizer before entering the biodiesel process.

The Rototherm is designed with a counter–current liquid/vapor flow configuration to maximize mass transfer and minimize entrainment. Turbulence created by the rotor blades constantly renews the film, aiding in both heat and mass transfer, enabling nearly complete removal of the FFA, while preserving the quality of the stripped oil.

Heat to the Rototherm is provided by heat transfer oil. Nitrogen at very low rates is continuously sparged into the evaporator to aid in stripping. The FFA vapor from the Rototherm combines with the pre–flashed vapor, passes through a mesh entrainment separator in the vapor/liquid separator and enters the condensing system.

Feed Pretreatment – removal of FFA from low-grade animal fats

Most biodiesel processes require less than 1% free fatty acid (FFA) in the feedstock. The price of these feed materials, generally, vegetable oils, has skyrocketed with increasing demand. Using our Rototherm technology, Artisan developed an economical one–step process that yields a material with only 1% FFA from inexpensive low–grade feedstocks containing up to 25% FFA with no need for chemicals. The process also produces high quality fatty acids that can be sold or further esterified to produce biodiesel.

The capital equipment has a return on investment of six months based on a 5¢/lb price difference between low–grade feedstocks and rendered materials. For current feedstock pricing, follow this link: www.thejacobsen.com