Energy, Vol.79, 273-287, 2015
Process intensification in biodiesel production with energy reduction by pinch analysis
The overall process of biodiesel synthesis from vegetable oil and methanol is spontaneous according to Gibbs energy values. Therefore, a classical process scheme consisting of reactor followed by distillation columns train is grouped in a single hybrid reactive extraction column. Minimum energy consumption is calculated using Pinch Analysis, taking into account the minimum energy thermodynamically required by process units, e.g. distillation. Process Integration decreases dramatically the minimum energy requirements. Using Pinch Analysis, a useful tool is provided to calculate the minimum energy requirements of alternative processes, the effect of inclusion of the distillation column is to be underlined. The intensified process provides biodiesel and glycerol valorisation with very low energy consumption. A conceptual design of hybrid reactive extraction column useful for several input oils and fats is proposed, considering first pure triglycerides as raw materials and then complex mixtures of triglycerides as in real oil compositions. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords:Energy efficiency;Energy conservation;Heat engine;Pinch analysis;Short chain fatty acids;Biodiesel additives