Continuous biodiesel production using ultrasound clamp on tubular reactor

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   Biodiesel is an alternative and renewable fuel to replace diesel fuel for diesel engine. Biodiesel is biodegradable thus creates less pollution to the environment than petroleum.

     The production involves using ultrasound clamp to enhance the immiscible liquid between the vegetable oil and alcohol to emulsify together in a short period of time. PSU researchers tested four reactors – plug flow reactor (PF), static mixer reactor (SM), ultrasound clamp on tubular reactor (US), and ultrasonic clamp on static composite pipe reactor (SM/US) – to produce methyl ester from refined palm oil (RPO). The target condition to achieve were potassium hydroxide (KOH) at 4,6,8,10, and 12 g/L, methanol content at 20 vol. %, and 20L/hr of RPO at 60C. The maximum purity of methyl ester  was achieved at 81.987 wt.% (PF), 95.700 wt.% (SM), 98.980 wt.% (US), and 97.670 wt.% (SM/US) at 900mm, 900 mm, 700 mm, and 900 mm, respectively. At fixed level of 12 g.L-1 KOH at frequency of 20kHz and 6400W (16x40W) power, a tubular reactor with ultrasound clamps (US reactor) was found to be the most efficient among all four reactors in biodiesel production. 

Awards:

  1. Bronze Prize at Seoul International Invention Fair 2017 in Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  2. The honor award of invention 2018 from National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT) in engineering and research industry category.

 

Asst. Prof. Dr. Krit Somnuk, Assoc. Prof. Gumpon Prateepchaikul, Mr. Tanong Prasit, and Mr. Dulyawat Panyoosoh

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Prince of Songkla University

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