Benefits and Applications of Circulation Heaters in Biodiesel Production

Circulation heaters

With technology advancing rapidly, new innovative biodiesel production methods are created. Many factors can enhance this phenomenon in the biodiesel industry, such as retrofitting existing biodiesel plant with the latest technology. This is exactly when you will find the need for circulation heaters.

Circulation heaters are widely used due to their numerous benefits and practical applications. So, if you are considering a water circulation heater or similar for diesel production, this article may provide the necessary information.

Let’s discuss the most prominent applications that allow companies to produce biofuels and the numerous benefits in our industry.

Circulation heaters

Applications of Circulation Heaters in Biodiesel Production

The primary reason for using circulation heaters for biodiesel production is their efficiency, safety, and easiest installation. Biomass is used in different forms and compositions to create biofuels which are then used to minimize the carbon footprint in many industries and machinery. Using them for vehicles such as buses, cars, and industry for power production are just some of the prime applications.

1. Importance of Circulation Heaters

Whenever you discuss circulation heaters in the industry, it comes synonymous with efficiency and easy operability because they require little time to install and maintain.

These are primarily designed with ANSI guidelines, so they can easily be used for different media, such as air or gasses, under pressurized conditions. Furthermore, due to high-quality sensors and loading mechanisms, their quick response provides the best heat distribution in the industry. The following are some scenarios where circulation heaters are sought after from other heaters, such as water circulation heaters.

  • Heat transfer in the industry for high-temperature applications such as freeze protection of gaseous media.
  • Using them for steam, air, or fuel oil heating.

2. The Use of Circulation Heaters

Now that we have discussed applications and critical importance factors, let’s have a look at their most common uses in the industry.

These heaters are most commonly used when pressurized liquid is concerned. One part of the circulation heaters, known as the pipe body, is inserted into the pressure vessel that comes in contact with the media. The pipe body is basically a screw-plug immersion heater design, and in some cases, it is a flanged heater. This mechanism helps the media to reach the desired temperature.

Different types of thermal control units are becoming more common based on the industry’s requirements, where they don’t want their equipment to overheat due to high-temperature working conditions.

In other scenarios where circulation can be used, you require preheated fuels with varying viscosity for biodiesel production. This pumping increases the temperature of your fluid in the biodiesel plant and allows the system to remain a closed-loop heat transfer.

Based on different sheath materials or pressure ratings, they can work between 0.5 – 560 kilowatts. You may need to consider watt densities and, in some cases, chamber materials for specialized fluids.

3. Challenges of Heating Biodiesels

Now when it comes to using circulation heaters for biodiesel production, some challenges come with them. The first issue is its caustic nature causing higher failure rates than others.

Furthermore, this caustic nature may also push the material of the heater or equipment to rust more quickly, causing the deterioration of the machinery. Finally, the flow becomes more difficult as there can be a buildup of different elements due to this caustic nature.

4. Addressing the Challenges of Preheating Biodiesel

After research and lab experimentation, there have been certain methods and procedures that allow for lower deterioration of biodiesel plants, and some of them we discuss here.

Changing Materials Circulation Heater

Most typically like, we have mentioned in our other articles that steel has been used to manufacture the sheath. This has been updated with 316 stainless steel as it is more resistant to biodiesel’s caustic nature allowing for lesser repairs.

Heating Watt Density

To counter the acidic nature of biodiesel for circulation heaters, higher watt densities for the sheath can be used though vegetable oils have been found to tolerate it. But in some cases, very high watt densities can overheat the material or carbonize it quickly. Most recently, they have reduced the watt density to 25, allowing life to increase many folds.

Increasing Flow in Biodiesel Applications

To enhance the flow of the biodiesel used in circulation heaters, there was a need to change the layout a little bit. Adding center pipe or baffles along with hairpins allowed us to achieve this goal which also helped reduce buildup.

5. Ethanol Production

In its most common forms, ethanol is a mixture used in alcohol for everyday consumption. Its percent value in beverages indicates its potency and generally falls between 2-40%. With its mix in combustion fuels, it has now been used in cars, busses, and other means of transport to mitigate the production of CO2 and CO to minimize our carbon footprint.

The process involves fermentation of biomass typically high in carbs, similar to how beers are brewed. If done on an industrial scale, it is called biodiesel production, helping, in the long run, to remove smog-causing emissions from our environment.

6. Biodiesel Production

If you produce biofuels by mixing one of 2 ingredients, such as alcohol or methanol, with biobased materials, such as animal fats, vegetable oils, or grease, you get biodiesel. The product from biodiesel plants can help us to use it in biodiesel engines which are a big part of the industry. It can easily be used as fuel for power production in biodiesel engines.

circulation heaters


Benefits of Circulation Heaters for Bio-fuels

Among many high-level benefits of using biofuels from biodiesel production, the following are some of the most talked about benefits if you are interested to know more about circulation heaters.

1. Efficiency

Higher efficiency in heat transfer due to their composition and ability to withstand higher temperature ranges. Furthermore, due to the quick changes in temperature profile from the advanced sensors and withstanding extreme temperatures, oil-based circulation heaters provide the best overall functionality than others.

2. Different Types

Electric Heaters – Utilizing these circulation heaters through the use of electricity is much appreciated due to their quick and sudden controls when needed instead of many others. This helps in creating a more secure environment when used for biodiesel plants for their production.

Oil Based Heaters – Because of their high-temperature tolerance, most circulation heaters use different oils in their pipes or mechanism to transfer heat in significant production plants. This tolerance is the prime reason they are mostly preferred over water circulation heaters.

Water Circulation Heaters – Circulation heaters are often used for processes such as dishwashing or process waters, especially in water tanks, where these heaters are most commonly known as water circulation heaters. These heaters are preferred if high temperatures aren’t required and you are using steam for superheaters in power production or chemical separation.

3. Smaller Size – Easier Maintenance

Another reason for their high preference is their size, as they can provide the same efficiency with much smaller sizes than conventional heaters or heating systems. This also helps keep the size smaller for easy installation and much easier to maintain for safety concerns.

4. Higher Pressure Ratings

As we have discussed in the application sections, there are many cases in biodiesel production where higher-pressure working conditions are required. These heaters can rate up to 2,500 PSI and work efficiently compared to others.

5. Heat Transfer Oils

Oil-based flow material allows them to be used in scenarios such as molding platens, most closed loop heat transfer systems, and sometimes in die where you need to heat sensitive materials.

Heat Transfer Oils

6. Corrosive Materials or Chemicals

Circulation heaters used for heating in biodiesel production are beneficial, even for corrosive materials or chemicals.

7. Size Facility Savings

They come in many sizes, but based on your requirements, they can be smaller yet provide maximum efficiency, which allows for saving space for other addendums.

8. Easy Installation

The installation is relatively easy, and maintenance can be periodical without changing too many parts. Plus, these types of heaters can also be flanged or plugged with screws in cases where the flow may need to be diverted.


Wrapping It Up!

We hope this has been an interesting as well as informational read for you if you are considering using circulation heaters for your biodiesel plants. This article discussed in detail what makes these heaters necessary for biodiesel production.

Furthermore, in the last section, we discussed in detail the amazing benefits of these small and efficient heaters that are commonly praised in the biodiesel industry.

If you want to know more about circulation heaters, you can visit the blog section of HASTECO Industries, where you can find all there is to know about them. HASTECO will provide you with the best quality machinery and heating systems while charging you a competitive price with their immense experience that shows in their manufacturing.

And i have another article is about application of circulation heater in improving water treatment efficiency. Click here to learn more.

Sales representive Luke


As the devoted CEO of Hasteco, I've spent countless years nurturing my passion for heating elements. Warmly inviting you to connect & collaborate for cozy, tailor-made solutions. Get in touch!

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