The esterified product neutralization unit is designed to further reduce the quantity of FFA and water contained in the light phase coming from acid esterification (unit 6191) or batch/continuous glycerolysis (unit 6178B/C).
The unit works on the mixing of esterified product with crude glycerine and consecutive decantation in order to pass water and fatty acids as much as possible to glycerine phase.
The main advantage of Desmet Ballestra Esterified Product Neutralization is to improve the quality of esterified product. It will be recycled back to transesterification process in a higher amount than the allowable one.
This is achieved using the unreacted catalyst still in crude glycerine by means of saponification reaction which reduces FFA from typical 1,8% to max 0,4%.
Furthermore, water quantity is decreased from 1,5% to around 0,3% thanks to hygroscopic property of glycerine.