Harborlite® for energy & environment

Our Harborlite range is a formulation of naturally occurring perlite that can reduce impurities in biodiesel production or be used as a cryogenic insulator.
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A perlite solution for biodiesel purification and cryogenic insulation

In the past, biodiesel producers have faced a challenge – while traditional filtration methods tend to work well, any impurities can cause the batches to fail testing standards due to sterol glucosides (SG) remaining in solution. Even at low concentration, SGs catalyze the formation of waxy particles in the biodiesel, increasing cold soak times.

Our solution is Harborlite® 900S-SG perlite, made from the mineral perlite. Replacing existing biodiesel filtration systems with one using Harborlite 900S-SG perlite as a drop-in filter aid can significantly enhance the quality of biodiesel with superior SG removal even when temperatures are not conducive to bringing SG impurities out of solution.

Biodiesel plants using soy or canola oil feedstocks to make biodiesel can benefit from using Harborlite 900S-SG perlite by enabling the cold soak process to be held at higher temperatures versus conventional filter aids (up to 20 degrees Fahrenheit with similar SG removal in tests). The reduction in chilling temperatures can help to save on energy costs and reduce times in the chilling process, leading to higher throughput where chill times are a constraint. In the process where there is no cold soak chilling step, flexibility is added by allowing removal of sterol glucosides at much higher temperatures during summer months than conventional means with filter aids leading to higher first pass quality and reduces need for blending off.

Our Harborlite 900S-SG range forms a thick permeable filter cake with low bulk density but high void volume and porosity. It’s relatively inert in most solvents, has a neutral pH value, is hydrophilic and has low crystalline silica. 

It’s also a highly useful solution for cryogenic insulation. Liquefied gasses have boiling points as low as -452°F (-269°C), creating a demand for storage facilities capable of economically reducing evaporation losses. Widely used for insulation because of its low thermal conductivity, cost, ease of handling, non-flammability and low moisture retention, perlite performs well in insulating cryogenic and low temperature storage tanks, air separation units, cold boxes, nitrogen, oxygen, argon and LNG storage facilities, and in food processing.

Cryogenic insulation
Our Harborlite product is ideally suited to cryogenic insulation applications

Imerys offers full mobile cryogenic services to customers worldwide. Get in touch with our teams in your area to find out how Harborlite perlite can improve your processes and products.

Key benefits

Forms a thick permeable filter cake
Low bulk density
High void volume and porosity
Relatively inert in most solvents
Neutral pH
Low crystalline silica
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