A New Landscape for Biofuels Blending

With every year of increasing fuel demand, attention is cast forward to assess the current landscape of the biofuels industry. Certainly 2022 has been no different, bringing with it a lowering supply of available petroleum products and a subsequent rise in both demand and price. This has resulted in the metaphorical tightening of metaphorical belt loops on a national scale.

As we move forward into the latter half of 2022, what does this mean for the overall impact on the biofuels industry and how can biofuels blenders best capitalize on the global uncertainty? Keep reading.

Political Climate Predicts Greater Biofuel Demand

Experts have expected to see an increasing demand in petroleum and fuel products this year, with the resurgence of many industries set back or in lower production processes due to COVID-19. However, national demand for biofuels has outpaced expectations due to unforeseen geopolitical developments from the last few months. The United States’ ban on Russian-sourced oil on March 8th has been felt across the nation, with significant price increases at the gas station and friction in fuel-heavy industries.

These factors have led to national interest in the increased production of biofuel. Since the ban was enacted, there have been increasing pressures to step up the production of both ethanol and biodiesel as a means to lower the price point Americans are seeing at every pump. This request has come from local farmers, whose supply of corn would be used to blend into billions of gallons of corn-based ethanol, soy-based diesel, and various other biofuels. This process has already seen a positive impact on the revenue of farmers and lesser dependency on energy imports since the Renewable Fuel Standard was introduced nearly 17 years ago, mandating a certain percentage of America’s fuel production to incorporate renewable blending.

While there are alternatives to a greater biofuel blending initiative in the later half of 2022, the consensus seems to be that none of them will be long-lasting options. For instance, a suspension of the federal gas tax would take valuable funds out of the nation’s infrastructure. A shift towards a higher emphasis in biofuel production would not only solve problems with the ban and price hikes of petroleum. Ultimately, signs point to an increase in US-based biofuels blending processes being the next logical step for national autonomy. Biofuels also further greener initiatives while lessening the harm usual mining places on the earth and atmosphere.

The Role of Heat Exchangers in Biofuels Blending

With an increasing focus in biofuels production, key players in the biofuels industry are solidifying next steps for the anticipated increase in demand. While guaranteeing the supply chain and external elements will be crucial for the production of this resource, technology must be monitored to ensure it is up to industry standards to facilitate biofuels blending. In fact, heat exchangers play a crucial role in the manufacturing of biofuels. Here’s how.

Traditionally, a heat exchanger’s primary use in biofuels blending is through the condensation of pure or mixed methanol for recovery and purification after the esterification and transesterification processes have been completed. This process is integral to biofuel’s renewable nature. When heat exchangers are designed for the process of biofuels blending, they are crafted carefully to meet rigorous thermal tolerances. Only under precise specifications and functionality requirements can biofuels be crafted.

Next Steps for Biofuels Blenders

With new biofuels processes and mandates comes a greater demand for intricate and trustworthy biofuel heating equipment. Generic heat exchangers and other technologies used for biofuels blending may be outdated or inappropriate for anticipated capacity or regulation. It is highly recommended that biofuels blenders perform a thorough assessment of their facilities in light of the increasing demand for nationally-sourced biofuel.

If you have any outdated parts or technologies, consider a repair or even a replacement. If you use thermal fluid heaters in the production of biofuel, consider learning about how serpentine coil technology can set your technology apart from the competition to capitalize on the increased demand.

Enerquip manufactures expert heat exchangers and thermal fluid heaters for many applications, including the renewable fuel industry. If you have a question or would like to discuss making changes to your facility, contact Enerquip to get started.

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