(164e) Laboratory-Scale Research of Non-Catalyzed Super-Critical Alcohol Process for Continues Biodiesel Production

Hassan, A., Missouri University of Science and Technology
This work investigates the non-catalyzed super-critical methanol (SCM) process for continues biodiesel production. The lab-scale setup was designed and used for biodiesel production in the temperature range of 523-648 K and 1200-5500 psi with an oil-to-methanol molar ratio ranging from 1:5 to 1:45. The experiments were performed in the coiled plug flow tubular reactor. The volumetric flow rate of the methanol/oil ranged from 0.1-10 ml/min. This work examines a new reactor technology involving preheating and pre-mixing of the methanol/oil mixture to reduce setup cost and increase biodiesel yield under the same reaction conditions. Work performed showed that FAME’s yield increased rapidly with temperature and pressure above the methanol critical points (i.e., 513 K & 1153 psi). The best methyl-ester yield using this reaction technology was 91% at 590 K temperature and 5100 psi with an oil-to-methanol ratio of 39 and a 15 minutes residence time. This work also examined using an alternative two-step microwave transesterification process which included acid and base catalysts described in an earlier paper.


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