Modeling and Simulation of Reaction Kinetics for Biodiesel Production

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Title: Modeling and Simulation of Reaction Kinetics for Biodiesel Production
Author: Turner, Timothy Lawrence
Advisors: William L. Roberts, Committee Co-Chair
Gregory D. Buckner, Committee Member
Richard R. Johnson, Committee Co-Chair
Abstract: Biodiesel has emerged as a viable substitute for petroleum diesel. The fuel can be made easily from either virgin or waste vegetable oil. A common means of production is base-catalyzed transesterification. After twenty-five years of study, the description of the reaction kinetics remains controversial. There are conflicting findings as to the order of reaction, and estimates of reaction rate constants vary widely. After analyzing the prior work on kinetics, this thesis gives support to a kinetic model based on careful examination of chemical mechanisms and of competing reactions. It then describes the extensions to the model that are needed in order to build a predictive model for biodiesel reactions. A computer simulation of the rate equations, with extensions for the effect of temperature, is used to analyze the implications of the model
Date: 2005-11-09
Degree: MS
Discipline: Mechanical Engineering

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