(14d) Dynamic Modeling of Transesterification In a Simulated Moving Bed Chromatographic Reactor for Biodiesel Production

Xu, M. - Presenter, The University of Manchester
Sadhukhan, J. - Presenter, The University of Manchester
Wilson, K. - Presenter, University of York

Biodiesel production is a very promising subject due to the relevance that it is environmental-friendly and an alternative diesel fuel for fossil fuel. Nowadays, most industrial applications of biodiesel production are performed by the transesterification of renewable biological sources based on heterogeneous catalysts, which requires separate reaction and separation processes. And the conversion of the reaction is restricted due to its equilibrium limitation. Thus, in this work, a simulated moving bed chromatographic reactor (SMBR) has been applied for the first time into the transesterification of biodiesel production, which allows us to carry out a simultaneous reaction and separation process and drive the transesterification reaction beyond its equilibrium. A detailed dynamic modeling of reaction as well as continuous adsorptive separation based on the surface reacting kinetic phenomena integrating with particle-level transport phenomena has been established firstly for a SMBR process design and optimization. This research offers a heuristic insight into the improvement of industrial production of biodiesel. A case study of the transesterification of tributyrin with methanol over hydrotalcite catalysts has been demonstrated to establish the effectiveness of this methodology.

Keywords: biodiesel production, SMBR, chromatography, heterogeneous catalysts