Modeling and Simulation of Reactive Distillation column for the Production of Biodiesel with the Effect of Liquid hold-up; MATLAB
Mahmood Doost Mohammadi
Biodiesel, which is regarded as a promising alternative to a conventional petroleum-based diesel fuel, can be produced from transesterification of vegetable oils and alcohol in conventional batch and continuous reactors. Since the transesterification is an equilibrium-limited reaction, a large excess of reactants is usually used to increase the production of biodiesel, thereby requiring more expensive separation of unreacted raw materials. This study proposed the use of a reactive distillation for transesterification of soybean oil and methanol catalyzed by sodium hydroxide to produce biodiesel. In modeling, the overall mass balance equations and partial vapor-liquid equilibrium relations with kinetic used. Comparison of the predicted composition of the product components and temperature profiles along the tower with the experimental data reported in the literature, show that the proposed model is acceptable. The simulation results show that the reactive distillation tower case (which has 12 trays balance), the feed ratio of methanol to oil ratio of about 4 to 5.4, and the reflux ratio is approximately 6 adequate amounts comparatively.