275331 Fiber Reactor Engineering Design Package for Ultra-High Efficiency Biodiesel Manufacturing

Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Hall B (Convention Center )
Raul Rivas-Villarreal, Chemical Engineering, Texas A&M University - Kingsville, Kingsville, TX, Patrick L. Mills, Dept of Chemical & Natural Gas Engineering, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Kingsville, TX and John Massingill Jr., Advanced Materials and Processes, San Marcos, TX

An engineering design package based upon a combination of experimental measurements, data analysis, and reactor modeling tools is described to facilitate development of a new process technology for ultra-high efficiency biodiesel manufacturing. The process design is centered around a new reactor concept called the Fiber Reactor™, which is a novel contactor for conducting reactions involving two partially miscible liquid phases that offers one to two orders-of-magnitude improvement in liquid-liquid mass transfer rates when compared to conventional reactors, such as stirred tanks. This effort is part of a research subproject within the NSF-funded TAMUK CREST on Sustainable Technologies for Environment (STE). The main goal of the STE effort is to develop innovative products by stressing processing of both natural and recycled materials while reducing pollution in a variety of applications through improved process technology. The proposed research on the Fiber Reactor™ is encompassed by the mission and goals of the CREST since the reactor is a key component of sustainable biodiesel processes.

The poster will summarize recent research results whose outcomes enable further understanding of the Fiber Reactor™ by investigating underpinnings of the engineering technology for application to biodiesel transesterification chemistry. Emphasis is placed on developing key reactor scale-up parameters through a combination of experiments, reaction engineering principles, and engineering correlations. These three elements are combined to create a fiber reactor model that is useful for design and scale-up of biodiesel transesterification chemistry from the lab-scale (up to 1-inch OD) to demonstration-scale (ca. 1 m OD) systems. Particular Fiber Reactor™ parameters of interest include fluid pressure drop, fluid flow patterns, fluid flow regimes, liquid-fiber interfacial areas, mass transfer coefficients, heat transfer coefficients, and fiber particulars (material of construction, layout, size, geometry, and surface/wetting properties). Validation of the model-predicted results is also provided using experimental data generated using ½-in OD and 1-inch OD fiber reactor systems.

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See more of this Session: Poster Session: Sustainability and Sustainable Biorefineries
See more of this Group/Topical: Sustainable Engineering Forum