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Description
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.

How It Works
DW-R10 purifies Biodiesel by slowly running Biodiesel through a special
dry wash tower that holds the DW-R10 resin. As the Biodiesel flows through the resin, the impurities are removed. The DW-R10 resin works at Biodiesels 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. 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.

DW-R10 also acts like a filter to filter out insoluable soaps, catalyst, glycerin, and water from the raw Biodiesel. This means the DW-R10 dry wash resin can help you to 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 im much cleaner Biodiesel. DW-R10 also has the ability to be regenerated; which means that once it's loaded with soap and contaminants, it can be washed back out and used again through a process called regeneration.

Physical Properties
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.

When It's Used
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 loading 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 loaded 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 salt capacity is exhausted.

If soap levels in the raw Biodiesel is 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 and 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.

TECHNICAL NOTE
Biodiesel being dry washed with DW-R10 resin should have no more than 1200 PPM of soap in it. Otherwise, the resulting Biodiesel can become too acidic.

If soap levels are higher than 1200 PPM, we recommend pre-treating the Biodiesel prior to running it through DW-R10 Dry Wash Resin.

The fuel can be pre-treated one of several ways:
1- Run the Biodiesel through a cellulose fiber media such as ArborPure to knock down gross soap levels. In some cases, you can even plumb the two towers together.

2- Utilize the 5% Water Pre-Wash Method. This method is the easiest of the three and is extremely effective in helping remove gross glycerin, excess methanol, soaps, catalyst and other impurities.

3- Utilize the GL 1 Day Process. This method is based on the simple chemistry principle that Biodiesel is immiscible with all these impurities and will fall out if the un-reacted methanol is removed. Graham's process removes the methanol and then allows the impurities to settle out naturally over 24 hours. At this point the clear, clean Biodiesel can be sent through the resin for complete purification. Although this method when done properly (removing methanol content to < 0.15% and allowed to settle extensively) can produce ASTM fuel – it has been shown to be problematic for many home brewers, particularly if using a Potassium catalyst.

Flow Rates
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).

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.

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
DW-R10 has a preferred bed depth (thickness of resin bed in tower) 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 to escape.
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.

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.

From thermax page below
The Basics Of Dry Wash Resins
Arbor Biofuels Company puts it this way, "The ability of a resin to remove impurities works on the principle of ion exchange (or in laymen’s terms: atom replacement in a molecule). The reason this "exchange" benefits or purifies is because usually the atom(s) used to replace the unwanted atom(s) (or contamination) is Hydrogen or Hydroxide.

So you have water which is contaminated with some mineral and it's making the water taste funny; lets say Sodium. The Sodium then is replaced by Hydrogen - the Hydrogen will immediately bond with other molecules most likely producing water; and magically the Sodium is replaced with essentially more water...

A large surface area is imperative to this process because, in order for this to work effectively, the bead(s) has to "hold" millions of hydrogen atoms ready to be donated for the cause. Therefore, the total surface area of the bead has to be covered in "dangling" hydrogen’s (or that are loosely bonded - chemically).

In our case, the beads are typically coated with hydrogen from sulfuric acid. This is accomplished by taking specially formulated and manufactured plastic beads and soaking them in a bath of highly concentrated sulfuric acid. A portion of the sulfuric acid's molecule (sulfonic group) actually starts bonding to the exposed surface area of the bead. These bonded molecules provide the dangling Hydrogens (by the millions). After draining off the acid and drying the resin beads, the beads are now activated and you have a fully charged ion exchange resin.

How Do You Use Resin To Purify (Dry Wash) Biodiesel?
The resin beads are placed inside of a holding vessel and unwashed Biodiesel is flowed through the resin beads. Typically the vessel employed is tubular and is referred to as an Ion Exchange Resin Column. The resin beads, when deposited in the column, form a "resin bed" at the base of the vessel.

How Much Biodiesel Can The Resin Purify?
Arbor Biofuels Company indicates that 1 lb of Thermax can be expected to treat approximately 125 gallons of home brewed Biodiesel made from used cooking oil. They further indicated that to achieve these results, the resin should be used according to manufacturer's recommendations.

Examples of Thermax Recommendations
1- Depth of resin bed needs to be a minimum of 36"
2- Dry wash vessel's 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. For example, the 36" deep resin bed would have a maximum column diameter of 12".
3- Dry wash vessel should be capable of handling 50% resin bed expansion since the resin swells as it adsorbs the impurities out of the Biodiesel. For example, the 36" deep resin bed mentioned previously would need a resin vessel with a minimum height of 54"
4- 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 1000 ppm is highly recommended.

How Fast Should I Flow The Biodiesel Through The Towers?
Every tower is different in it's construction so flow rates will vary depending on the particular dry wash tower being used, but Arbor Biofuels Company recommends the following flow rates when using our
Dry Wash Towers:
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)

What Kind Of Pump Should I Use?
Arbor Biofuels Company recommends using a diaphragm style pump that can deliver a consistent flow through the towers for extended periods of time. Being able to adjust the flow rate is also crucial.
Example Pumps include Milton Roy Series, Liquid Metronics Incorporated (LMI), and Pulsafeeder
Click Here to learn more about diaphragm pumps

What Temperature Is Best To Run The Biodiesel Through The Thermax?
Thermax is rated to handle Biodiesel as cold as 70° F and as hot as 150° F. However, Arbor Biofuels has discovered that the best temperature to run Biodiesel through the resin is between 100° F to 110° F.

How Much Resin Should I Buy? (Example Sizing Requirements)
If you're producing 30 gallons a week, estimate roughly 50 weeks of production, that's 1500 gallons per year. To get enough resin to last a year, we'd recommend purchasing at least 20 lbs. While 20 lbs is a little more than may be needed, ABC recommends over shooting estimates to take into account times when you run "less than desirable" Biodiesel containing over 1000 PPM total impurities through the resin bed.

Again, every tower is different in it's construction so resin amounts used will vary depending on the particular dry wash tower being used, however, listed below are the amounts of resin shipped with our Dry Wash Towers

6" Tower - 16 lbs Resin - Treats up to 1,600 gallons
10" Tower - 70 lbs Resin - Treats up to 7,000 gallons
12" Tower - 120 lbs Resin - Treats up to 12,000 gallons




How Do I Test For Contaminants?

We carry 3 soap test kits for determining the amount of soaps and unused catalyst. If proper settling techniques are used, very little free glycerin or only the soluble glycerin will ever remain in your Biodiesel.

Do I Have To Remove The Un-reacted Methanol From The Biodiesel
Before It Is Dry Washed with Thermax T-45 BD Macro? (De-methylating)

ABC has found that the un-reacted methanol can cause contaminants to stay suspended in the Biodiesel. These initial levels of contamination may prematurely exhaust a resin bed's capacity. To help keep the system running properly, ABC recommends 3 different options for removing residual methanol still left in Biodiesel prior to it being dry washed (purified).

1- Utilize the 5% Water Pre-Wash Method. This method is the easiest of the three and is extremely effective in helping remove gross glycerin, excess methanol, soaps, catalyst and other impurities.

2- Utilize the GL 1 Day Process. This method is based on the simple chemistry principle that Biodiesel is immiscible with all these impurities and will fall out if the un-reacted methanol is removed. Graham's process removes the methanol and then allows the impurities to settle out naturally over 24 hours. At this point the clear, clean Biodiesel can be sent through the resin for complete purification. Although this method when done properly (removing methanol content to < 0.15% and allowed to settle extensively) can produce ASTM fuel – it has been shown to be problematic for many home brewers, particularly if using a Potassium catalyst.

3- If methanol removal is not performed a Centrifuge or settling the crude Biodiesel for as long as practical prior to running it through the resin bed can be performed. The Thermax resin has an immense capacity for removing soap relative to its capacity for absorbing glycerin – centrifuges and long settling times will help remove as much glycerin as possible and ensure its most economical use.

How Do I Maintain The Resin? (Resin Clean-out)
The most common way to maintain your resin is by flushing it with methanol. To do this, ABC recommends the resin column be filled with methanol until it completely covers the resin bed. After the column is filled with methanol let the resin bed soak overnight (12 hours). Then slowly pump methanol through the system until you've pumped approximately 5 vessel volumes through the column.

This "flooding with methanol" technique allows the glycerin and entrapped soaps that have been absorbed by the resin bed to be flushed out by re-dissolving them into methanol and moving them away from the resin beads.

Initially when flushing the impurities out of the resin bed, the outlet methanol will be dark brown or at least very cloudy with these impurities until the column is totally flushed. Once the beads are totally flushed, the methanol will be clear. At that point stop the flushing and allow all the remaining methanol in the column to drain out. It may be best to let the unit drain overnight to ensure as much methanol as possible to be removed.

See How To Maintain Thermax Dry Wash Resin Below:

Can't see the video? Click here!

How Do I Remove The Excess Methanol?
At this point the resin beads are still holding methanol and should be "dried" before reusing the resin. Arbor Biofuels Company recommends drying the resin beads by using one of these three options:

1- Flush With Biodiesel
The methanol in the resin bed can be flushed out by pumping Biodiesel through the column, however, the Biodiesel used to flush the column will need to be de-methylated before being used.

2- Remove Beads And Air Dry
The beads can be removed from the vessel and air dried. To do this, carefully remove the beads and place on a flat surface and allow to dry. Sunlight and a fan will greatly speed up this process. When the resin beads are dry they can be re-installed in the dry wash vessel and Biodiesel processing can begin again. CAUTION! If this method is used, be sure to air dry the resin beads in a well ventilated area to avoid excessive methanol fume buildup.

3- Air Purge The Beads
A dry air or gas purge system can be used to force dry the methanol out of the resin beads.

Learn More About Regenerating With Methanol
Thermax has published a document that outlines how methanol regeneration works and discusses the steps that should be followed to perform a methanol regeneration. Click Here to download the document.

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 Biofuels Company recommends using 32% by volume instead of 20% methanol if this is the only methanol being used in a Biodiesel reaction.

Because Thermax recommends specific size requirements for the towers that the T-45 BD Macro will be put into, we also sell a great ion exchange tower kit and two pre-built ion exchange towers. As different sized towers have different loading requirements, we're making our Thermax available in 20, 70, 100, and 120 lb increments.

Technical Resources
Using Thermax Covers how Thermax can be used in Biodiesel production
Thermax Website Thermax T-45 BD corporate website
Downloadable Brochure Covers basic properties of Thermax
Why Thermax Is Better Details why Thermax is better than Purolite or Amberlite
Why Dry Wash? Compares Thermax to Magnesol, Water Washing, and others
Methanol & Mono-glycerides Dealing with methanol content and unreacted Biodiesel
Operating Costs Typical operating costs of incorporating Thermax
Regenerating Thermax Instructions on how to regenerate Thermax.
Darkening Fuel Details on fuel darkening with Thermax.

Dry Washing Equipment
We now carry a full line of Dry Wash Towers that are fully compatible with Thermax.
Click on the images below to learn more.


Additional Resources
Frequently Asked Questions on Thermax Answers to common questions about using Thermax
Product Information Sheet Detailed information from Thermax
MSDS for Thermax T-45 BD MP Material Data Safety Sheet for Thermax
Thermax Biodiesel Website Information direclty from the manufacturer
Macro vs. Gel Read why Thermax is better!

Click Here to learn to learn even more about Thermax in this discussion style forum post.


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