A countercurrent liquid/liquid phase biodiesel reactor achieved 99% triglyceride to methyl ester conversion at the same time as separating 90% of the produced glycerin. However, a low inverse sensitivity of the conversion to the glycerin separation efficiency led to biodiesel that did not meet ASTM quality standards in previous work. A distributed methanol injection strategy is demonstrated herein to improve reactor performance, yielding ASTM quality biodiesel and 90% separation efficiencies. Preliminary data on feed rate changes yields counterintuitive results where conversion increases as feed rate increases. A model that assumes equilibrium between the reacting oil phase and the settling glycerol phase simulates the experimental results and provides insight into the reactor behavior.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Fuel Technology
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Organic Chemistry