Title

Process Intensification of Biodiesel Production via Supercritical Transesterification

Presenter Information

Sean Tennyson

Department

Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Major

Chemical Engineering

Research Advisor

Smith, Joseph D.

Advisor's Department

Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Funding Source

Opportunities for Undergraduate Research Experience (OURE); Energy Research and Development Center

Abstract

Biofuels have gained lots of attention due to the rising interest in clean energy. Biodiesel is considered one of the most promising biofuels used in industry. Typically, biodiesel is produced using a base-catalyzed transesterification reaction with a feedstock of some vegetable oil or waste cooking oil (WCO). In this study, a more efficient and economical biodiesel production process is discussed. The process uses supercritical methanol and WCO as reagents in a transesterification reaction with no catalyst. To further improve the process, areas of opportunity for process intensification were investigated. From the process intensification study it was found that a membrane reactor combined with a purification step in the biodiesel production process will not only save space, but also time and money. This membrane reactor will greatly enhance the biodiesel production process and must be designed and put into practice to determine the effects it will have on the process.

Biography

Sean Tennyson is currently a junior in chemical engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology. Sean’s research interests include hybrid energy systems, biofuels, and life-cycle analyses. Sean leads a team of eight undergraduates conducting research on the production of biodiesel using supercritical methanol. Sean plans to obtain a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and then work in industry or attend graduate school.

Research Category

Engineering

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Document Type

Presentation

Location

St. Pat's B

Presentation Date

15 Apr 2015, 1:00 pm - 1:30 pm

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Apr 15th, 1:00 PM Apr 15th, 1:30 PM

Process Intensification of Biodiesel Production via Supercritical Transesterification

St. Pat's B

Biofuels have gained lots of attention due to the rising interest in clean energy. Biodiesel is considered one of the most promising biofuels used in industry. Typically, biodiesel is produced using a base-catalyzed transesterification reaction with a feedstock of some vegetable oil or waste cooking oil (WCO). In this study, a more efficient and economical biodiesel production process is discussed. The process uses supercritical methanol and WCO as reagents in a transesterification reaction with no catalyst. To further improve the process, areas of opportunity for process intensification were investigated. From the process intensification study it was found that a membrane reactor combined with a purification step in the biodiesel production process will not only save space, but also time and money. This membrane reactor will greatly enhance the biodiesel production process and must be designed and put into practice to determine the effects it will have on the process.