The Product - Enzymatic Biodiesel System
The Story - New Earth Fabrication, in partnership with Micronodal Energy was commissioned by Organic Fuels of Puerto Rico to fabricate an enzymatic biofuels system.
The Process - Biodiesel has traditionally been made by transesterification of vegetable oils, which requires significant amounts of methanol (or other alcohol) and caustic base. Now, however, there is an efficient enzyme-based method of producing Biodiesel.
The Result - Biodiesel produced using the enzyme method can tolerate higher levels of moisture, lower quality feedstocks, and uses significantly less methanol. The byproducts are also higher quality with this method. We'd be happy to talk with you about an enzyme-based Biodiesel system.
Flash Evaporator System
The Product - A flash evaporation system designed to remove methanol from glycerin.
The Story - Sometimes you get asked to do a project you can really sink your teeth into. This is one of those cases. When Tawana of WarHorse Solutions,
www.bekindsolutions.com, approached us to build a system to remove residual methanol from the biodiesel glycerin being used in her soap products, we knew immediately this project was a good fit for us.
The Process - We drew up the plans, purchased the raw materials and went to work. We rolled the sheets of stainless steel first and fashioned them into a 500 gallon tank. Then we fabricated a flat plate heat exchanger and heat exchange coil and welded them into the tank. We sourced a quality gear pump with stainless steel components to move the glycerin and plumbed it up. We installed a reflux column, a tube and shell condenser, and a vacuum pump; then we were ready to turn the unit on.
The Result - it works like a champ!
POLK COUNTY SCHOOLS
CLEAN-TECH BIODIESEL TRAILER
- Delivered September 2012
A Note from Tawana:
On Sept, 27 Polk County High School got its newly modified biodiesel processor and seed press educational unit delivered by New Earth Fabricators, located in Seagrove, NC.
Our school staff first saw the skilled work of New Earth at Piedmont Biofuels, where their craftsmanship and handiwork are all over the place--straight, shiny stainless steel had been molded into beautiful works of technological art. Once we saw their work in progress, we knew who we wanted to hire to get our school project moving forward--New Earth Fabricators.
Our school board and superintendent recently purchased a cool biodiesel mobile unit that needed some new upgrades to prepare it for a new home at Polk County High School in Columbus, NC.
PROJECTS IN DEPTH
Shown below are some of our projects with indepth descriptions.
Click on any image to view a larger slideshow showing the entire image.
ENZYMATIC RIBBON CUTTING - 06-22-2012
On June 22nd, Piedmont Biofuels held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new FaESTER enzymatic Biodiesel refinery. New Earth Fabricators was the selected sub-contractor for all phases of the build.
Joe Jobe, CEO of the National Biodiesel Board; North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan; Larry Shirley with the North Carolina Department of Commerce; Steven Burke, CEO of the Biofuels Center of North Carolina; Rachel Burton, NBB 2011 Biodiesel Researcher of the Year and a Novozymes representative.
Most biodiesel is produced through transesterification using sodium methoxide. FaESTER enzymatic uses enzymes, not chemicals, for catalysis.
NCDA OXFORD BIODIESEL PLANT - 05-03-2012
The Oxford Biodiesel Plant is on North Carolina's Biofuels Campus and is owned and operated by the NC Department of Agriculture. It processes waste oil from events such as the State Fair as well as oil from oilseed crops grown on the Research Station into biodiesel. The biodiesel is used in NCDA vehicles and agricultural equipment on research stations, including the Biofuels Campus.
New Earth Fabricators was the selected sub-contractor for all phases of the build.
The Method of Operation - Glycerin is pumped into the vessel where it is heated by hot water being pumped through the heat exchanger. Once glycerin temp reaches 140F, the pump is engaged at low speed to circulate the glycerin for increased heat transfer rate. When temperature reaches 160F, the VFD-controlled pump is ramped up to higher speed to increase the glycerin flow rate and discharge pressure. At this time, the vacuum pump is also engaged to reduce the ambient vessel pressure. The glycerin is pumped at pressure through a specially made spray head with directional nozzles onto a flat plate heat exchanger where mechanical shear coupled with instantaneous heat transfer induces the methanol to quickly evaporate and leave the glycerin. The methanol vapor is then drawn by the vacuum pump through the reflux column and into a condenser where, after returning to liquid form, it’s piped into a storage tank.
The Facts - Our flash distillation system for removing methanol from glycerin is a robust, low maintenance unit that works. We designed the system so that the same pump that circulates the glycerin in the unit is used to pump the glycerin in for loading and out for unloading. The pump, as installed, can even be used to transfer glycerin from a tanker to a storage tank without flowing liquid into the unit. With a few additions, the system also has the capability of being completely automated. We use stainless steel for our vessels and plumbing and most of the piping has welded connections. Our units don’t leak!
We've just added biofuels chemistry to our state high school science curriculum and wanted the unit for support and research projects. New Earth Fabricators have a reputation as custom welders and designers who specialize in "the green industrial revolution." Often, the projects they tackle do not come with blueprints or a long history of operation; in fact, they often build from scratch or modify for research projects or new technology.
So, no guessing who Polk Co. Schools hired to upgrade and revamp our new biodiesel educational unit. Through lots of emails between us, them and David Thornton from Clemson University, Joseph and Rick dismantled our unit and rebuilt it to meet our school's needs. Joseph, New Earth president, responded to all our many questions with timely and detailed information. They also took the initiative to add a few changes that made it more user-friendly. Surprisingly, we even got school colors included in the paint job--they were conscientious enough to ask us. When the unit showed up, Joseph and Rick answered questions fully and with patience, even though they had a long ride back home. It's obvious these guys are into what they do and they're good at it. Our money was well-spent with experts who are shaping new technology and helping us shape new science curriculum. We hope to get their help on other projects soon.
Tawana Weicker, teacher
Polk County High School
Read more about the project here:
City of Raleigh
Status - Production began 05/01/15...Production complete 11/05/ 2015
The Product - Mobile Biodiesel Production system.
The Story - The City of Raleigh, NC grows several thousand acres of soybeans and sunflowers on land where the treated wastewater and composted solids are applied. We are building them a robust, mobile, self-contained Biodiesel Processor that will enable the city to extract the oil from their seed crops and convert it to Biodiesel for use in some of the city fleet. Look for the unit at the Ag expo and the State Fair in 2016.
Painting the Fabbed-up Hopper Base
The hopper base has been cut and welded together, so we're putting on the paint.
Epiphany Craft Malt
The Status - Production began in June, 2015 Was substantially complete November 2016
The Product - Maltery
The Story - We support local products, farmers and entrepreneurs. We also like good beer. That's why we are glad to be involved in this project. Epiphany Craft Malt asked us to help get their malt roasting up and running in Durham. We're happy to be on board!
Read more about the project here:
The Status - Project began in January 2016 and completed in May 2016
The Product - Stainless steel filter carts and frames
The Story - One of our specialties is custom-built stainless steel carts and frames which serve as a platform upon which our customers mount the instrumentation and hardware their ultimate product requires
Bad Axe Biofuels
The Status - Project begun in September 2016
Complete- November 2016
The Product - Biodiesel Plant
The Story - We have quite a bit of experience building biodiesel plants and equipment. We were tasked with constructing an enzyme-based biodiesel production plant for a customer in Michigan.
Starting Pipe Runs
A biodiesel plant has lots of pipes, valves, instruments, etc. that have to be put togetehr
Manufacture and Insert Coil
We fabricated a 1.5" stainless steel heat exchange coil for heating the tank
The Status - Project begun December 2015
Complete- January 2016
The Product - A product mixing system for an environmentally-friendly insecticide and herbicide company
The Story - We were asked to design and construct a system that would be used for combining and heating ingredients in proprietary formulas. High volume mixing was required.