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Design and operation of reactive distillation for biodiesel production case study

Nor Aini, Md Rudin (2012) Design and operation of reactive distillation for biodiesel production case study. Faculty of Chemical & Natural Resource Engineering, Universiti Malaysia Pahang.


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Nowadays,the demand for the diesel fuel increase rapidly due to the increase of vehicles all over the world. Experts believed that the diesel fuel sources will be lasted for several decades only.Biodiesel has been discovered as potential fuel since biodiesel oil has some similarities to replace diesel fuel.There are many of the oil-bearing crops identified to be sources for biodiesel fuel but only soybean,palm,sunflower,cottonseed,peanut oil and safflower considered as well (Goering et al., 1982; Pryor et al., 1982)However,recently Jatropha Curcas oil was found to be potential source of biodiesel since it is non-edible oil and contains a high percentage of oil in the seed compared to the other non-edible oil. There are three methods to produce biodiesel,which are (1) base catalyzed transesterification, (2)acid catalyzed esterification,and(3)enzymatic catalysis (Kiss,2009)The commonly used in industry is the base catalyst trans-esterification due to lower cost of production.However,this method will form soap as the by product and need a further step to obtain biodiesel. Therefore in the present study,esterification of oleic acid catalyzed by zinc acetate using subcritical methanol is used which taken from previous study done Song et al.,2009.In this study,reactive distillation will be used to produce the biodiesel where the reaction and separation will be taken part in the same unit operation. Since reactive distillation (RD) is a new technology,a simulation study should be carried out to predict the optimum condition to produce biodiesel by using reactive distillation.In this study, Aspen Plus simulation tool was used to investigate the optimum design and operation for RD column in biodiesel production.Equilibrium stage model was used where RADFRAC unit model used to present RD column and UNIQUAC as the property method.This study investigated the optimum value for distillate to feed ratio (F/D),molar ratio and reboiler duty which can affected the biodiesel yield in the process. From the simulation,the high of yield of biodiesel can be produced at distillate to feed ratio 0.5,acid to alcohol ratio (molar ratio) 1:4 and reboiler duty at 6000kW which achieved conversion of 99.99%.

Item Type: Undergraduates Project Papers
Uncontrolled Keywords: Distillation Biodiesel fuels
Subjects: T Technology > TP Chemical technology
Faculty/Division: Faculty of Chemical & Natural Resources Engineering
Depositing User: Shamsor Masra Othman
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2013 03:11
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2015 09:18
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