On Site Sodium Methylate Production For Transesterification

Schematic of a functional, modular Sodium Methylate Production Unit

sodium methylate production schematic

Sodium Methoxide produce using Ceramatec's NaSelect Membranes

sodium methoxide produce

Revolutionary process using NaSelect membrane makes Sodium Methoxide efficiently, inexpensively, at a desired concentration in methanol, on-site, and on-demand with very low concentration of impurities. Alkali Alcoholates synthesis (Li, K, Na based).

This novel technology will benefit biofuels, Pharmaceutical, and other industries that use Sodium Methoxide (SMO).

Onsite storage of Sodium Methoxide presents a safety hazard with stringent requirements for nitrogen blanketing for moisture control and basins for waste spill containment. Our approach is to provide Sodium Methoxide on an as needed basis.

The Sodium Methoxide produced by Ceramatec method has less than 100 ppm of water (compared to industry standard of 500ppm). This is important, because presence of moisture in Sodium Methoxide reduces the yield from transesterification and results in the formation of soaps. Soaps make separation of glycerin byproduct from biofuels more difficult, and thus, increasing processing costs.


  1. Since NaSelect membrane is permeable to sodium only, lower-cost impure sodium hydroxide streams can be utilized. This scalable process will reduce the cost of biodiesel manufacture, and allow on-site production of the catalyst, thereby further reducing transportation costs, avoiding inventory and shelf-life costs, and reducing safety hazards.
  2. A “one-step process” or “zero inventory option” is envisaged by integrating the on-site Sodium Methoxide generation with the downstream biodiesel process.
  3. Pharmaceutical grade Sodium Methoxide is produced by the electrochemical process
  4. It can be economically integrated into small and large biodiesel plants ranging from 100 lbs/ day to 1 MM lbs/day on a 100% solids basis.

Potential Applications:

  1. Onsite production of Sodium Methoxide for biofuel (Biodiesel) synthesis
  2. Sodium Methoxide for use in organic syntheses as a catalyst, condensation medium, and reduction agent
  3. Use in transesterification reactions for plastics, textiles, and metals
  4. Use of Sodium Methoxide based additives
  5. Use in fragrances to make intermediate product
  6. Synthesis of Alkali Alcoholates.