Biofuel Energy Efficiency

Two technologies that have grown in popularity in the 21st century are biofuels and nanotechnology based coatings, or “nanocoatings.” Both are designed to improve sustainability in various ways and help people reduce their carbon footprint and reliance on carbon based fuels. Nanocoatings can actually help improve biofuel energy efficiency.

When you use one to enhance the other, the sustainability becomes super powered! Such is the case when Syneffex™ thermal barrier coatings are used to insulate the fuel storage tanks, steam pipes, boilers, and transportation pipelines in the biofuel and biodiesel industry. They use less energy to keep their product at the right temperature – not too hot or too cold – and thus the sustainability and carbon footprint of the end product is remarkably improved.

insulation for biofuel facilities

The biofuel industry encompasses many different types of fuels that are meant to reduce people’s reliance on coal and oil. These include:

  • Biodiesel: Manufactured from vegetable oils (such as soybean and corn), animal fats, or recycled cooking grease.
  • Ethanol: Manufactured from starches of wheat, corn, sugarcane, molasses, potatoes, and other fruits.
  • Biogas: Manufactured from methane made from waste crops.
  • Algae Biofuels: Manufactured from algae based materials.

Much of the equipment used in biofuel production is similar to any other type of product manufacturing: Boilers, tanks, steam pipes, condensers, and other heat process equipment. This means that all this equipment can also benefit from our award-winning patented coatings that provide thermal insulation for energy savings and safe touch solutions and superior protection from corrosion, which is a costly issue in any industry.

Biofuel tanks and piping is also often outside, so a nanocoating insulation like Heat Shield™ EPX-H2O or Heat Shield™ High Heat, that can stand up to weathering without degrading is a huge bonus. No expensive exterior covering to install or remove due to moisture infiltration.

Insulation that Keeps the Temperature Just Right

Often when working with fuels, there is a particular temperature that you need to maintain in order to avoid evaporation (if the fuel gets too hot) or issues with delivery and becoming too thick (if the fuel gets too cold). Syneffex™ thermal barrier coatings can help in both cases, because they are a true insulator that reduces direct heat transfer, no matter which direction it’s going.

Heat always transfers to cold. So when you have a hot liquid and a cooler outside temperature, the insulation coating is reducing the heat transfer from the tank or pipe to the outside. Alternately, if it’s hotter outside than the temperature of your product, then an insulation coating helps to keep the product from getting too hot by reducing the heat transfer from the outside hotter air to the cooler inside of the pipe or tank. Our products help in all seasons and climates to reduce energy consumption and aid in keeping the best temperature.

The gel point of biodiesel depends on the oil or fat from which it was originally made. Biodiesel made from saturated fats tends to gel at higher temperatures than biodiesel from unsaturated fats.

In general, pure biodiesel made from vegetable oil can safely be stored at 45° to 50°F. In cold climates underground tanks can prevent gelling. Above ground tanks may need to be heated or insulated, depending on the location.

biofuel energy efficiency

Keeping Tanks and Pipes Insulated and Rust Free

Syneffex™ customer Smart Fuels Florida, LLC used our Translucent PT and High Heat coatings on their biodiesel fuel storage tanks and facility steam lines for the combination of insulation, corrosion prevention and energy savings. They also appreciated the easy application with a standard paint sprayer and the fact that the coatings stood up to weathering and are highly UV resistant.

Read case study here

Reducing Evaporation of Methanol

A large facility in the Middle East had an issue with corrosion and evaporation of methanol due to the heat in the region. Syneffex™ coatings helped them protect their methanol tanks from corrosion and keep the product cooler, eliminating their product loss due to heat evaporation. They check their tanks regularly for any corrosion issues and have been very pleased that there have been none detected since installation of the Syneffex™ insulation coatings.

Read case study here

Get A Quote and Install During Annual Maintenance

We make it easy to know what product to use and how many coats are required to reach your insulation goals. Just send us a Request for Specification and we’ll give you everything you need to make an informed decision and get the product you need delivered in time for any end of year maintenance windows.

You can also do more research at www.synavax.com.