Control strategies for a biodiesel process by reactive absorption

Costin Sorin Bildea, Anton Alexandru Kiss

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


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.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPRES 2010 - 13th International Conference on Process Integration, Modelling and Optimisation for Energy Saving and Pollution Reduction
PublisherItalian Association of Chemical Engineering - AIDIC
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9788895608051
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)

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