Uprating biofuel using activated carbon in mobile filters.

Revalorización de biocombustible con carbón activo de filtros móviles.

Chemical products are subject to certain quality requirements, which is a good thing. It can happen occasionally that a production batch fails to meet the stipulated requirements and that a solution needs to be found for this off-spec batch.

There are numerous examples: decolourising recycled solvents, adsorbing dioxins from fish oil, eliminating organic fractions from sulphuric acid, decolourising glycerine, purifying amino acids etc.

As is so often the case, the saying 'time is money' holds true. The producer is in trouble with this batch:  it’s taking up storage space and is worth less than anticipated. The DESOTEC approach has an answer to both issues: our fleet of MOBICON® mobile filters enables us to deploy the right filter(s) rapidly and efficiently to uprate the product using activated carbon filtration.

We would like to put a recent example in the spotlight: decolourising biofuel. Ethanol produced from sugar beet is also used as a biofuel nowadays. This ethanol needs to be colourless. Our customer had already shipped a batch of this product, around 40,000 hl, to a tank storage facility in a French port. The batch was rejected there by the end-customer and a solution had to be found quickly.

DESOTEC guided this customer towards the answer: after having carried out lab and feasibility tests, a MOBICON® mobile filter together with some peripheral equipment was offered and deployed (such as connecting pipework and a dust filter). The customer was given guidance by a DESOTEC operator during the start-up.

The final result was perfect: all 40,000 hl were sold as biofuel! Just a fraction of the value of the product was lost by doing it this way.

Oh yes, the spent activated carbon was recycled in our factory in Roeselare.


At DESOTEC’s facilities, all used carbon is analysed so the right measures can be taken for handling and removing the saturated carbon out of the mobile filters. All molecules that were adsorbed on the activated carbon at the customers’ site, are desorbed inside DESOTEC’s reactivation furnaces. These contaminants are then fully destroyed, in accordance with National and European legislationby an incineration and neutralisation setup. The entire installation and it's emissions are under continuous on-line monitoring, which guarantees that only harmless water vapour is seen exiting the chimney.