Diesel is arguably the backbone of the global economy, from trucks, to ships, to electric generators, diesel makes the world run. Until recently, fuels for diesel engines could only be refined from crude oil. However, recent advances have now enabled the production of renewable diesel, also known as green diesel, that is made from renewable sources.
By hydrotreating fatty acids sourced from sustainable sources such as oil crops and animal tallow, refiners can create a renewable fuel that can be used in existing engines without the need for the engine to be modified. The fuel is both stable and non-corrosive unlike earlier green options such as biodiesel.
However, the tradeoff with these new, clean fuel sources is that the hydrotreating operations required to produce renewable diesel are significantly more challenging than hydrotreating traditional crude oil products. In particular, there are significantly higher levels of oxygen that must be removed from the fuel during this unit operation. This combined with the multiple pathways that the hydrotreating can occur under, makes this operation uniquely challenging.
Fortunately, the design team at Applied Analytics have worked to develop solutions that meet and exceed the requirements for this operation. AAI’s Microspec MCP-200 process analyzer utilizes non-dispersive infrared technology to quantify the levels of CO, CO2, and moisture inside any process. This, coupled with the APG-710, enables plant operators to have a complete picture of the hydrotreating reactions.