Integrated biodiesel processes based on reactive separations powered by solid acid/base catalysts are available nowadays, offering significant advantages such as minimal capital investment and operating costs, as well as no catalyst-related waste streams and no soap formation. However, the controllability of the process is just as important as the capital and operating savings. In such processes the small number of degrees of freedom is a drawback which makes it difficult to set the reactants feed ratio correctly and consequently to avoid impurities in the products. This work considers the process control of biodiesel production by reactive absorption, the main result being an efficient control structure that ensures the excess of methanol that is necessary for the total conversion of the fatty acids and for prevention of the difficult separations is fulfilled, while maintaining high purity of the water by-product. Rigorous simulations were performed - using Aspen Plus and Aspen Dynamics as efficient computer aided process engineering tools - for a plant producing 10 ktpy biodiesel from waste vegetable oil with high free fatty acids content, using solid acids as green catalysts.
|Title of host publication||PRES 2010 - 13th International Conference on Process Integration, Modelling and Optimisation for Energy Saving and Pollution Reduction|
|Publisher||Italian Association of Chemical Engineering - AIDIC|
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 1 2010|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)