Fat and oil for biofuel processing

With decades of experience refining fats and oils from plants and animals, Alfa Laval offers the market’s broadest portfolio of technologies for boosting the technical capabilities and commercial viability of biofuel processing operations. Our process lines are always optimized according to the demands of your market, and your local conditions. This is how we ensure you get the perfect solution for the most reliable – and profitable – performance in your processing.

Processing of fats and oils in biofuel production

First in biofuel processing

  • A complete range of solutions for pre-treatment processing steps in FAME biodiesel and HDRD production
  • Ability to configure for a range of feedstocks, ensuring the greatest processing flexibility
  • Consultation from leading industry experts, to help you design and optimize your process line
  • A truly global service network with a comprehensive offering that covers the entire lifecycle of your equipment
  • Continuous advancements to improve product quality, energy efficiency, and sustainability, while reducing your OPEX

45 million tonnes of vegetable oils and animal fats are used in the production of FAME biodiesel and HDRD every year. As much as 35 million of these tonnes consist of palm, soybean and rapeseed oils. Another 5-6 million tonnes of feedstock come from various waste streams such as used cooking oils. The remainder consists mostly of tallow, and the usage of this is increasing, in particular for HDRD-type renewable fuels.

In some cases, fats and oils can be burned directly after adjusting the fatty acid and impurity levels to generate electricity and heat. However, for use in diesel and jet engines, the biofuels need to adhere to strict property requirements for such fuels, requiring the transesterification or hydrotreating routes. Contact us today to learn how we can support your operation.


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Total solutions to meet your individual requirements

Alfa Laval pre-treatment lines are normally configured for multiple feedstocks to enable a wide range of processing capabilities, making them suitable for the downstream biofuel process. The main pre-treatment processing steps, combined in different ways for either chemical or physical refining, depending on the requirements, are:

  • Alkali neutralization for removing free fatty acids as soaps
  • Acid Degumming, which for some oils can be enhanced by enzymes
  • Adsorption (bleaching), in the case of fats and oils processing for HDRD biofuels
  • Deacidification, removal of fatty acids using steam stripping under vacuum
  • Process sections for chloride and polyethylene reduction, as required for some HDRD feedstocks

We always customize each process line according to your specific local conditions. This means we consider a range of factors when designing your solution, including: the type and qualities of feedstocks, utilities (such as power, steam, process water), effluent specifications, available plot space, as well as applicable codes and standards. We can also prepare your new line for future upgrades to make future expansions easy.

For HDRD pre-treatment specifically, additional process sections may be relevant for certain types of feedstocks. This may include chloride removal (corrosion prevention) or removing traces of polyethylene (for certain waste animal fats to prevent downstream fouling). Contact us for further details of such pre-treatment sections.

Total solutions to meet your individual requirements

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FAME Biodiesel pre-treatment systems

Alfa Laval is a leading partner to biodiesel producers around the world and offers a broad spectrum of solutions for pre-treatment of fats and oils used in biofuel production.

Learn more about our biodiesel pre-treatment solutions


HDRD pre-treatment systems

Alfa Laval’s HDRD pre-treatment systems allow producers to use a wide range of fats and oils, ensuring the feedstock is free from impurities and has a balanced level of free fatty acids.

Learn more about our HDRD pre-treatment solutions

Fat and oil processing

Refining solutions for edible oil

Alfa Laval offers a range of refining solutions for all types of edible oils. See how you can ensure high product quality and yield, as well as minimal product loss and low utility consumption, with our innovative solutions.

Learn more about edible oil refining


Renewable fuels production

Find out how smart design choices can help improve sustainability and profitability in plants producing renewable diesel.


Key components for biofuel processing