(736e) Modeling of Biodiesel Production in Liquid-Liquid Film Reactors Including Mass Transfer Effects

Authors: 
Noriega, M. A., Chemical and Biochemical Processes Research Group, Universidad Nacional de Colombia
Narvaez, P. C., Universidad Nacional de Colombia
Habert, A. C., Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
Biodiesel production in Liquid-Liquid Film Reactors (LLFR) has been investigated to increase mass transfer without dispersion between the oil and alcohol phases. The use of this type of reactor reduces separation time and increases process productivity. In this work, a model to predict continuous production of biodiesel in a co-current operated LLFR was developed and experimentally validated. This model includes the prediction of the methanol mass transfer from the alcohol phase to the interface. Experimental validation also assessed the effect of the packing surface area to reaction volume ratio (444 to 5333 m-1), vegetable oil (VO) flow rate (5 to 40 g min-1), and reactor length (0.25 to 1 m) on conversion and yield to fatty acid methyl esters (FAME), at constant temperature (55°C), catalyst concentration (1 wt. %) and molar ratio methanol to oil (6:1). The mathematical model accurately describes the reactor behavior. Conversion, yield and reactor productivity increase with packing quantity and VO flow rate. The highest conversion and yield obtained experimentally were 99.9% and 97.5% respectively with a productivity of 2.5 m3 Biodiesel m-3 h-1. This value resulted 8 times higher than the typical BSTR operation.