Production of biodiesel and other biofuels with LEWA pumps

Biofuels are made from renewable energy sources, which are inexhaustible by human standards.

Biodiesel, bioethanol and pure vegetable oils are already being used today in large volumes. The production of synthetic fuels from biomass is being tested in the first pilot systems.

Already at an early stage LEWA supplied several pumps for this development of 2nd generation biofuels to research companies.


LEWA pumps are used in a wide variety of processes for the production of biodiesel and other biofuels.

Depending on the particular application, different pumps that optimally meet the respective requirements are used:

  • Conventional process for producing biodiesel with LEWA ecosmart pumps for metering of additives (up to 300 l/h, up to 80 bar, ambient temperature)
  • Alternative process for producing synthetic fuels with LEWA ecoflow or LEWA triplex as high-temperature process pump for increasing reactor pressure (15 m³/h, up to 250 bar, up to 350 °C)
  • Esterification of organic fats or oils with methanol in the high-pressure process with LEWA triplex, process pump as feed pump for oil or methanol, (100 to 2400 l/h, up to 250 bar, up to 100°C)
  • Thermal decomposition of organic waste with a LEWA metering pump as feed pump for biomass (100 l/h, up to 320 bar), ambient temperature and a recirculation pump (250 bar, 350 °C)
  • Newly developed synthesis process for the Bioliq® pilot system at KIT Karlsruhe with various LEWA metering pumps and high-temperature pumps

Areas of application

LEWA pumps in various processes for biofuel production:


Process description


Conventional process for biodiesel production: Esterification of vegetable oils with methanol.

Low pressure 1st generation

Alternative process for synthetic fuel production: 
Gasification of carbon-containing raw materials for the production of synthetic gas (CO+H2), which is subsequently converted into a long-chained fuel using Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. In the last process step (hydrocracking), the desired BTL fuel (synfuel) is generated at temperatures < 200°C and a process pressure up to 90 bar. 

For more information about this, visit:

High pressure 2nd generation

Similar process (conventional)
Esterification of organic fats or oils with methanol in a high-pressure process.

High pressure 2nd generation

Thermal decomposition of organic waste for the production of crude oil with a low boiling point as well as gas with a high hydrogen content.

High pressure 2nd or 3rd generation


The use of biofuels offers significant advantages in comparison to fossil energy sources:

  • Environmentally friendly by reducing CO2 emissions in accordance with the Kyoto Protocol
  • Excess capacities of industrial agriculture can be used sensibly
  • Political independence from oil states, global availability of the raw material
  • Can be used with current and future engine technology, because production of a synthetic fuel can be "customized"

Biofuel production 1st generation:

Vegetable-oil-based fuels

Source Fuels Targets
Oil-bearing plants from agriculture production:
  • Rapeseed
  • Sunflowers
  • Soybeans
  • False flax, etc.
  • Natural vegetable oils
  • Biodiesel
  • Long-term security of the economic benefit from betterment by exemption from the mineral oil tax
  • Creation of optimum conditions for cultivation of raw materials
  • Market share increase
  • Increased blending guidelines

Biofuel production 1st generation:


Source Fuels Targets
Renewable resources
  • Grain
  • Corn
  • Sugar beets
  • Potatoes
  • Sugar cane (abroad), etc.
  • Ethanol
  • Ethanol/gasoline
  • blends
  • ETBE*
* See legend
  • Long-term security of the economic benefit from reduction of the mineral oil tax
  • Creation of optimum conditions for cultivation of raw materials and a system for source verification management and quality assurance
  • Successful introduction into the fuel market by blending with fossil fuels

Biofuel production 2nd generation:

Synthetic fuels (synfuels):

Source Fuels Targets
Gasification of renewable resources, biogenic and renewable residual materials:
  • Wood
  • Straw
  • Dried digestate
  • Residual materials from management of waste and residual materials
  • Gaseous synfuels containing methane and hydrogen
  • Liquid synfuels as a substitute for gasoline and diesel
  • Methanol
  • Long-term security of the economic benefit from reduction of the mineral oil tax
  • Creation of optimum conditions for cultivation of raw materials
  • Creation of a system for source verification management and quality assurance
  • Successful introduction into the fuel market by blending with fossil fuels

Biofuel production 3rd generation:


Source Fuels Targets
From biomass through thermochemical and microbiological processes as well as from electrolysis, powered by photovoltaic systems and wind power plants.  
  • H2-CH4mixture for fuel cell
  • Long-term security of the economic benefit from reduction of the mineral oil tax
  • Creation of optimum conditions for use of resources
  • Creation of a system for source verification management and quality assurance
  • Successful long-term introduction into the fuel market


Term Description

Renewable fuels and propellants

Designer fuels
Biomass to liquid
Gas to liquid
Coal to liquid
Compressed natural gas
Liquefied petroleum/propane gas
Ethanol tertiary butyl ether
Fatty acid methyl ester
Raps methyl ester
Diagramm for biofuel production


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