18-09: Biodiesel production using reactive distillation process: comparative study

Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Napoleon Ballroom C-D, 3rd fl (Sheraton New Orleans)
Nivea de Lima Da Silva, Edgar Leonardo Martinez, Luisa Fernanda Rios, T.S.S. Dantas, M.R. Wolf Maciel and R. Maciel Filho, School of Chemical Engineering, State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Campinas, Brazil
Biodiesel production using reactive distillation process: comparative study

School of Chemical Engineer, State University of Campinas (UNICAMP),  P.O. Box 6066, 13081-970, Campinas, SP, Brazil.

The term “biodiesel” defines a fuel comprised of mono-alkyl esters of long-chain fatty acids derived from vegetable oil or animal fats, designated “B100” as formulated in the biodiesel standard ASTM D6751.

 This work presents the biodiesel production from soybean oils with bioethanol from sugar cane (also called here ethanol) in presence of sodium hydroxide as catalyst. The purpose of the present work is to present an efficient process using reactive distillation columns applied to biodiesel production. Reactive distillation is the simultaneous implementation of reaction and separation within a single unit of column. Two systems were used in order to present the most efficient process. The main equipments of the first system were a pre-reactor (plug flow reactor - PFR) and reactive distillation column with ten plates and the main equipments of the second system were a pre-reactor (batch stirred tank reactor - BSTR) and a packed reactive distillation column filled with glass rings.

The experimental design was used to optimize the process variables of biodiesel production and the best ester (biodiesel) conversion was 99.84 wt.% after 6 minutes of reaction, obtained with tray reactive distillation column.

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