Biodiesel Production in Batch Tank Reactor Equipped to Helical Ribbon-like Agitator

  •  Mehdi Hosseini    
  •  Ali Nikbakht    
  •  Meisam Tabatabaei    


Biodiesel as an alternative and renewable fuel could be applied in diesel engines in order to reduce air contamination and dependence to fossil fuels. So far, various processes were prepared for biodiesel production, but using transesterification method via base catalyst in batch reactors could result in a reasonable yield of biodiesel. At the present study, a batch tank reactor equipped to a helical ribbon-like agitator was designed and manufactured. Using this reactor, the production efficiency was considerably promoted and the required residence time was reduced. Experiments were conducted at 6:1 molar ratio of alcohol to refined soybean oil, operational temperature of 64?C, KOH concentration of 1%wt oil, and three levels of agitation speed; 600, 750, and 900 rpm. The agitator design and its helicon movement led to a uniform phase formation of insoluble alcohol and oil. Therefore, at 900 rpm stirring speed and after 20 min residence time, 97.3% conversion of triglycerides to methyl esters (biodiesel) could be achieved.

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