Turnkey Biodiesel Refineries

Biodiesel Refinery: 10 Steps to Success

SRS International understands the steps required to build and maintain a biodiesel plant. From site selection and permitting to producing ASTM D 6751 Fuel, SRS has the capability and the facilities to complete every aspect of your biodiesel plant construction.

  • Step 1: Plant Size Determination
  • Step 2: Selecting an Appropriate Site
  • Step 3: Permitting
  • Step 4: Biodiesel Plant Engineering
  • Step 5: Determining Your Biodiesel Equipment Needs
  • Step 6: Assistance in Plant Installation
  • Step 7: Quality and BQ-9000 Considerations
  • Step 8: Plant Start Up and Training
  • Step 9: Plant Management
  • Step 10: Planning for the Future
Step 1: Plant Size Determination

While we often dream of immense, sprawling biodiesel refineries, there are a number of practical considerations that can guide you toward selecting the "right" size biodiesel production facility, including :

  • Budget - how much of a budget do you have to work with? SRS can help design to cost to ensure the maximum value for your biodiesel investment.
  • Available land - how much land is available in your area? Because SRS is an engineering company, adjustments can be made to accommodate irregular tracts of land and other facility constraints to ensure maximum land utility.
  • Feedstock availability - where is your feedstock coming from and what modes of transportation are available? SRS can assist with logistics planning for optimizing both feedstock intake and off take of your finished product.
  • Demographics - selecting a site that is close to feedstock sources, customers, and transportation corridors will enhance your overall project's success.
  • Government incentives - There may be grants or low-cost financing available from State or Federal agencies that my enable to you expand your plans further than you thought possible.
Step 2: Selecting an Appropriate Site

Appropriate site selection is a critical success factor for any biodiesel project. Among the many considerations for determining where to place your biodiesel plant are :

  • Plant size - If you are planning a large biodiesel operation, you will need sufficient land for your biodiesel equipment, your tank farm, and intake and off take traffic.
  • Distance from my feedstock supplier(s)? How far must I or my suppliers travel to get feedstock to my facility? Locating your plant near feedstock suppliers can reduce transportation costs and increase your bottom line.
  • Distance from my customers - Locating your plant near your customers will again minimize transportation costs for your finished biodiesel.
  • Available Utilities - Availability of natural gas, electricity, sewage, etc. are critical to your plant's operation. Natural gas is the cheapest source of energy for operating steam boilers and or hot oil systems used for the plants heating requirements.
  • Other important considerations - Key success factors for choosing an ideal plant location include proximity to major trucking, rail, and shipping channels. Depending on the size of your operation, significant savings can be achieved by utilizing bulk supply channels. Cost per gallon for rail is less than half that of trucking, for example. Barge and tanker costs are even lower, so transporting feedstock and /or finished biodiesel by the largest method possible can result in significant savings in transportation costs.
Step 3: Permitting

SRS can provide customers with the support needed to expedite the permitting process in your area. SRS provides you complete sets of engineering drawings, mass energy balance data to streamline air permitting, and a wide range of support material that will accelerate your permit process. Click here to read more about permitting.

Step 4: Biodiesel Plant Engineering

SRS' multi-disciplinary engineering staff includes Electrical, Mechanical, Process, Chemical, Application, Civil, Project, Structural, and Control engineers. Our expertise enables us to turn our customer vision into a successful turnkey biodiesel refinery.

SRS International provides a huge advantage over other equipment providers :

  • Size - With over 40 engineers on staff, SRS has the ability to customize a solution to meet your project-specific requirements - there is no one size fits all with SRS.
  • Experience - Over 25 years experience in fractional distillation, process control, and factory automation are leveraged in every biodiesel component we make. We are not one of the many biodiesel start-ups struggling to make one "box" the solution for every customer's need.
  • One Stop Shop - As an Engineering Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), there are no middle men, no markups, no passing the buck. The people you meet at SRS are the ones that build your system, deliver your system, and support your system. This is why we guarantee in writing the performance of everything we make.
Step 5: Determining Your Biodiesel Equipment Needs

Because one size does not fit all, SRS application specialists and engineers meet with you to determine what equipment you need to achieve your business plan. Whether it's high-FFA pretreatment, high-purity methanol recovery, or a complete turnkey system, SRS analyzes all aspects of your requirements to ensure the equipment you select will perform in your environment.

Beyond just determining your equipment needs, SRS is committed to finding ways to make your plant profitable. We continually educate our customers on ways to create additional profit opportunities for their plant. One of the ways to create more profit is to incorporate a glycerin purification system to turn their crude glycerin into profitable technical grade glycerin. Find out more about turning your glycerin into profit

Please contact our sales department to get the information on degumming and dewaxing.

Step 6: Plant Installation

When it's time to actually install and commission your plant, the bulk of the work is already done. Because of the detailed engineering phase that SRS has already completed for your project, your equipment has already been built to exacting specifications for your facility. Delivered as skid-mounted components with single-point connections for utilities and feeds, actual installation times are measured in days not weeks or months.

SRS aids your installers :

  • Tank farm specification. SRS can provide support engineering to ensure the tanks are designed correctly and meet the codes for the application. In many cases it will save the customer money to acquire bulk components locally such as the tank farm, providing for sourcing local manufacturers (in cooperation with SRS) and save on both shipping and fabrication costs.
  • Onsite Engineering Support. Additionally SRS can provide onsite engineers to supervise local staff in preparing your facility for installation of the biodiesel equipment.
Step 7: Quality and BQ-9000 Considerations

SRS for 25 years has built its success on quality and this is evident in our biodiesel refineries. Our turnkey biodiesel solutions are engineered from the ground up with BQ-9000 in mind. Customers seeking BQ-9000 certification will be glad to find that our equipment, process control technology, and extensive documentation all contribute to you achieving BQ-9000 certification. We already guarantee ASTM compliant biodiesel, and SRS can provide step by step training for all plant staff, along with operating procedures and work instructions that can help your organization attain BQ-9000 certification.

With new cold soak filtration laws, much has changed in the way of ASTM fuel standards. In October 2008, the ASTM revised the ASTM D6751 standard, requiring all finished biodiesel to pass a cold soak filtration test. The test to determine cold soak properties is the ASTM D 7501. This is a standard test method for determination of fuel filter blocking potential of biodiesel (B100) blend stock by cold soak filtration test (CSFT) This new testing requirement was designed to improve the cold weather performance of biodiesel. SRS is well versed to handle your cold soak concerns with a biodiesel distillation system that is second to none.

Step 8: Plant Start-up and Training

SRS is committed to a successful plant start-up and operation. To achieve this, extensive resources are leveraged to ensure your plant is operational and your staff is properly trained following installation. First our engineers test and validate that every aspect of your biodiesel refinery is working as designed. Then our staff trains your team in every aspect of plant operation including start-up, shutdown, safety, and troubleshooting. Only after your team is properly trained do we turn over operation to your staff. After installation and training SRS can remote connect to your control system and provide additional support if needed - we see what you see so we are never more than a phone call away from supporting your every need.

Step 9: Plant Management

SRS also offers a comprehensive set of plant management services including onsite staffing and support should you need additional services after installation and training. Don't let lack of availability of qualified local staff hold up your project - SRS can provide short and long term placement of qualified staff from plant managers, lab technicians, and a wide range of engineering support. We can customize a solution that fits your needs.

Step 10: Planning for the Future

At SRS we understand that even small plants think big and change is a way of life. That is why we take current and future plans into consideration as we design your biodiesel refinery. Not only is SRS's technology expandable in size, we also enable you to expand your ability to process new and emerging feedstocks. Whether you have a killer opportunity to acquire a high-FFA feedstock, or are dealing with water, solids, or other special needs, offers a wide range of pretreatment capabilities to address nearly any feedstock opportunity you may have.

So let SRS International design a custom system for you that leverages your vision with our strengths.

Call us today to find out how you too can create a profitable biodiesel plant facility! (800) 497-5841


SRS International Corporation is a leader in biodiesel technology specializing in turnkey biodiesel refineries (turnkey biodiesel plants). SRS' team of biodiesel engineers understand what it takes to run a profitable biodiesel refinery (biodiesel plant). Whether you have an existing biodiesel refinery (biodiesel plant), or you are looking to build one, our team of experts is here to assist you every step of the way!











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