DW-R10 is a special commercial grade dry wash ion exchange resin that can be used to remove impurites from Biodiesel after the glycerin
has settled and been removed. It works extremely well at removing soaps, catalyst, glycerin, and even water.
When used as recommended and in tandem with a demethylation system, it can allow you to remove the contaminant levels
in Biodiesel down to ASTM specifications.
DW-R10 Ion Exchange Resin consists of tough spherical beads that have an average particle size of 400 microns (dry), and a range of
350 microns to 500 microns. It weighs 7.6 pounds per gallon, or 56 pounds per cubic foot (dry).
Note! The individual beads will swell to more than twice their size when exposed to water,
methanol or glycerin. It is very important to size the dry wash towers properly so that there's
enough room for the beads to swell without rupturing or damaging the dry wash towers.
How It Works
DW-R10 resin is placed inside of a holding vessel.
Typically the vessel employed is tubular and is referred to as an Ion Exchange Dry Wash Tower.
The resin beads, when deposited in the column, form a "resin bed" at the base of the vessel. Unnwashed Biodiesel is
then pumped through the vessel and through the ion exchange resin beads.
As the Biodiesel flows through the DW-R10 resin beads, the impurities are removed and the Biodiesel is purified.
The DW-R10 resin purifies the Biodiesel by working at a molecular level through a process called ion exchange.
The DW-R10 resin literally exchanges sodium or potassium ions in the soap in the Biodiesel for hydrogen ions in the resin.
This means that it breaks the soaps apart and keeps part of the soap molecule and gives up part of a hydrogen molecule,
resulting in Biodiesel with extremely reduced soap levels.
The DW-R10 resin beads also act like a filter to filter out insoluable soaps, catalyst, glycerin, and water from the raw Biodiesel.
This means that DW-R10 dry wash resin can help you cleanse your raw Biodiesel extremely well! By flowing Biodiesel through the resin,
DW-R10 acts as an ion exchange tool to alter the soap molecules and also filters out the glycerin and other contaminants resulting
in much cleaner Biodiesel. After the DW-R10 has become saturated with soap and glycerin, it can also be cleansed through a
process called regeneration. This means it can be washed back out and used again several times before it's completely exhausted.
Where DW-R10 Is Used In The Biodiesel Production Process
DW-R10 ion exchange resin is used after the glycerin has been settled and removed from the Biodiesel.
The resin can then be used on the Biodiesel either before or after the excess methanol has been removed (demethylation).
If soap levels in the raw Biodiesel are greater than 250 ppm, the DW-R10 resin will reach its maximum saturation
of glycerin before it reaches the maximum capacity for catalyst and soap. In this case, DW-R10 should be used before
demethylation. Once the resin is fully saturated with glycerin, you can utilize a methanol wash to remove the glycerin
and soap from the DW-R10. The "dirty methanol", which contains soap and glycerin, can then be reused to make Biodiesel (see below for specifics).
By using the methanol wash procedure, you can restore the DW-R10 resin absorption capacity repeatedly until it's catalyst absorbing capacity
If soap levels in the raw Biodiesel are less than 250 PPM, the DW-R10 resin will be less likely to reach it's maximum
capacity for glycerin before it reaches the maximum capacity for catalyst & soap meaning that it will typically cleanse
much more raw Biodiesel before a methanol wash is needed. In this case, the DW-R10 resin can be used as a final polishing
step after the Biodiesel has been demethylated.
DW-R10 Resin Life Expectancy
There are a number of factors that affect B-100 contaminant levels.
These include the completion of upstream reactions, effective phase separation and feedstock quality.
For a well operated system, with an average of 1000 PPM of polar (glycerin + soap) contaminants,
you should expect to purify between 125 to 175 gallons of B-100 Biodiesel with each pound of DW-R10™ resin.
Beyond optimizing upstream reactions and separation, there are some other measures that you
can take to get the maximum production from your DW-R10™ media. First you can use a lead/lag
configuration to allow full exhaustion of the media without producing off-spec Biodiesel.
Second, you can utilize a methanol wash when your DW-R10™ is applied prior to demethylation.
Here's some example life expectancy estimates:
5 lbs - between 625 to 875 gallons
10 lbs - between 1250 to 1750 gallons
20 lbs - between 2500 to 3500 gallons
50 lbs - between 6250 to 8750 gallons
70 lbs - between 8750 to 12250 gallons
100 lbs - between 12500 to 17500 gallons
120 lbs - between 15000 to 21000 gallons
250 lbs - between 31250 to 43750 gallons
500 lbs - between 62500 to 87500 gallons
There should be no more than 2000 PPM (Parts Per Million) of total impurities
(glycerin, soap, unused catalyst and other trace impurities) in the Biodiesel to be dry washed but
less than 1000 ppm is highly recommended. Otherwise, the resulting Biodiesel can become too acidic.
If soap levels are higher than 1500 PPM, we recommend pre-treating the Biodiesel with a cellulose media product,
such as ArborPure prior to running it through DW-R10 Dry Wash Resin.
Biodiesel should flow over the DW-R10 resin as a maxium flow rate of four bed volumes per hour for systems
where the soap in the raw Biodiesel averages less than 500 PPM (<0.1%>. If soap levels in the incoming
Biodiesel are 500 PPM or greater, the flow rate should be set at a maximum of three bed volumes per hour.
These flow rates are for the lead column (if using a lead/lag setup).
Every tower is different in it's construction so flow rates will vary depending on the particular dry wash tower being used, but
here's some recommended flow rates when using our dry wash towers. The numbers represent maximum
recommended flow rates.
6" Tower - 9 Gallons Per Hour (0.15 GPM)
10" Tower - 25 Gallons Per Hour (0.42 GPM)
12" Tower - 50 Gallons Per Hour (0.83 GPM)
16" Tower - 150 Gallons Per Hour (2.5 GPM)
22" Tower - 300 Gallons Per Hour (5 GPM)
What Kind Of Pump Should I Use?
For our 6" towers, we recommend using either our Electric Adjustable Metering Pump
or our Air Powered Dry Wash Pump.
For our larger towers, we recommend using our Air Powered Dry Wash Pump.
This pump can be driven by an air compressor and can deliver flow rates up to 300 GPH (up to 5 GPM).
What Temperature Is Best To Run The Biodiesel Through DW-R10 Dry Wash Resin?
DW-R10 resins optimum Biodiesel temperature is between 100° F to 120° F. The recommended
minimum temperature is 90° F. DW-R10 can be used with Biodiesel as cold as 60° F, but the
flow rate must be lowered to prevent compacting of the resin. The Biodiesel can also be as hot
as 145° F, but shouldn't exceed 150° F so as to prevent methanol in the Biodiesel from
evaporating and potentially creating a dangerous situation.
Sizing Dry Wash Columns
It's important to choose the right dry wash column for the amount of resin you need.
The tower should be able to hold at least of 2.1 times the bed depth of DW-R10 that you plan to use as well as be
able to withstand any pressures generated by the swelling of the DW-R10 media.
The strainers in the bottom should be capable of filtering particles down to 177 microns (80 mesh). We also
recommend installing 10 micron filters on the entry & exit of the towers.
Recommended Resin Amounts For Our Dry Wash Towers
6" Tower @ 9 GPH: -20 lbs / 18" Bed Depth - Treats between 2500 to 3500 gallons
10" Tower @ 25 GPH: -65 lbs / 24" Bed Depth - Treats between 8125 to 11375 gallons
12" Tower @ 50 GPH: -110 lbs / 30" Bed Depth - Treats between 13750 to 19250 gallons
16" Tower @ 150 GPH: -250 lbs / 38" Bed Depth - Treats between 31250 to 43750 gallons
22" Tower @ 300 GPH: -500 lbs / 40" Bed Depth - Treats between 62500 to 87500 gallons
Additional design considerations not mandatory but nice to have include:
- A top fill port configured to allow easy access for media replacement
- A bottom access door to allow for media removal and/or strainer repair or replacement
- An air vent at the top to allow air removal from the system
- Sight glasses in the side of the vessel for larger installations to allow for monitoring of the bed.
Sizing Resin Bed Depth
The dry wash tower resin bed should be designed on a 1 to 3 aspect ratio.
For every width in diameter, the resin bed depth/height should be three times the diameter.
DW-R10 Ion Exchange Resin has a preferred bed depth of 24 to 30 inches.
A bed depth of up to 55 inches is acceptable for low flow applications.
More than 55 inches of bed depth will cause an excessive pressure drop and compact the resin. However,
it's important to note that DW-R10 can potentially swell 2.1 times it's dry bed depth when it becomes wet with glycerin,
methanol, or water. With this in mind, be sure to keep the bed depth small enough to allow adequate room for swelling or else
the swelling resin may rupture or damage your dry wash column. Also, columns that are too tall and narrow will be subject
to greater stresses as the media swells.
Number Of Columns Recommended
We recommend using two columns in series which creates a lead/lag setup. A third standby column is recommended
for systems that will be running continuously.
Having two columns in a series allows the lag column to catch any contaminants that get through when the lead column is exhausted.
This allows the lead column to be run to complete exhaustion. The lag column is then moved to the lead position.
The standby column is then put into the lag position while the exhausted column that was in the lead position is
rinsed with methanol to remove excess glycerin, or reloaded with fresh DW-R10™ media. Of course a well designed
manifold makes this process go smoothly.
Handling DW-R10 Media
Safety First! Be sure & closely review the MSDS sheet. Be sure that everyone handling the media wears personal protective equipment (PPE).
Remember that the beads act like ball bearings on hard surfaces. Be sure & sweep up any spilled material immediately! Be sure not to leave
the DW-R10 resin media exposed to air any longer than necessary. It will absorb humidity from the air.
Loading The Media Into Dry Wash Towers
1- Add clean Biodiesel to the dry wash tower until at least four inches covers the bottom strainer.
2- Add DW-R10 resin slowly at first to avoid damaging the strainer at the bottom of the vessel.
3- After the proper quantity of resin has been added to achieve the desired bed depth volume,
fill the vessel from the bottom slowly with Biodiesel until the tower is almost full.
Be sure to have a top vent open during this step as air will be displaced by the incoming Biodiesel.
4- Allow the tower with DW-R10 resin and Biodiesel to soak for at least 4 hours to allow any trapped air bubbles
5- After soaking, top off the tower with Biodiesel until it is all the way full.
6- Your dry wash tower is ready to use!
Getting The Most From DW-R10 Dry Wash Resin
Here's a few great questions with answers to ways to get the most out of DW-R10 Dry Wash Ion Exchange Resin.
What is the difference between exhausted resin and saturated resin?
1- Exhausted resin is resin that has all of the active exchange sites loaded with ions exchanged
from the process. The resin literally gives up hydrogen, which is replaced with ions (i.e. salts)
from your Biodiesel.
2- Saturated resin is resin that has adsorbed all of the glycerin and water that it can hold.
If the resin is exhausted, it will also lose some of its capacity to absorb water and glycerin.
3- Saturated resin can be regenerated with a methanol wash and reused. Exhausted resin cannot.
How do I tell when the DW-R™ resin is exhausted?
A simple conductivity test will let you know if your DW-R10 Ion Exchange Resin is exhausted.
To do this, pull a sample of Biodiesel coming out of your dry wash tower to be tested.
Mix one part Biodiesel to three parts of distilled (or deionized) water. Shake for 5 seconds
and then let them separate. Then measure the conductivity of the water phase.
If the conductivity of the water rises quickly, then the DW-R10 resin is exhausted.
You should also monitor the clarity of the Biodiesel. The turbidity will increase
when the DW-R10 ion exchange resin is exhausted.
How do I restore the capacity of my DW-R™ resin for removal of glycerin and water?
If the application point for DW-R™ is prior to demethylation, it can be washed with methanol
to restore absorption capacity (see below for details).
Can I wash the resin with methanol if I am using it for final polishing after demethylation?
This is not a good idea because the residual methanol will get pushed out of the resin and
end up in your finished Biodiesel.
Regenerating DW-R10 Dry Wash Resin
What are the recommended steps for regenerating DW-R10 with methanol?
1- Drain all of the Biodiesel from your dry wash tower.
2- Pump the DW-R™ ion exchange resin with two bed volumes of clean methanol at a rate of
one bed volume per hour. You will notice that the methanol is discolored by the glycerin.
3- Repeat the procedure with one more bed volume of methanol at a rate of one bed volume per hour.
4- Test the methanol coming out of the tower for soap levels. Soap levels should be nearly undetectable.
6- If soap levels are still high, repeat step 3 and 4.
7- Save the dirty methanol for use in making another batch of Biodiesel using transesterfication (base method).
8- After washing the DW-R10 resin with methanol, the resin bed should be filled from the bottom with Biodiesel
to remove air from the vessel.
9- The Biodiesel used to refill the dry wash tower will be contaminated with methanol and will require demethylization
before it's ready to be used.
10- The tower is now ready to be put back into service.
What Do I Do With The Methanol Afterwards?
Methanol used to clean out the resin can be re-used in your next Biodiesel reaction without any problems.
Arbor Fabricating recommends using 32% by volume instead of 20% methanol if this is the only methanol being
used in a Biodiesel reaction.
Removing DW-R10 Resin From Dry Wash Towers
It is a good practice to back flow one bed volume of Biodiesel to fluff the bed.
Next, drain out the Biodiesel, unbolt the tower and remove the DW-R10 ion exhange resin.
Dry Washing Equipment
We carry a full line of Dry Wash Towers that work great with DW-R10 Ion Exchange Resin.
Click on the images below to learn more.
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