Techno-economic assessment of Biodiesel production from palm oil by supercritical transesterification
Caballero Ashley S1, Daza Laura1, Cardona Carlos A1**.
1 Universidad Nacional de Colombia sede Manizales, Instituto de Biotecnología y Agroindustria, (+57) (6) 879400 ext 55354.
** Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
The palm oil is one commercial oil with high production in the world that is obtained from the mesocarp of palm fruit. The crops come from warm climatic zones, that in the last years has been increased the production for further transformation in biofuels. The replacement of conventional fuels leads to the production of biodiesel which is obtained from vegetable or animal oil; The use of fuels produced from renovable raw materials has advantages in environmental terms as reducing CO and SOx emissions. The aim of this work is to study the biodiesel production in supercritical conditions from palm oil.
The process was made in a reactor using supercritical CO2 as solvent and ethanol to increase yields facing a ratio 5:1 alcohol-oil. The operating conditions were 50°C and 180 atm using enzyme as catalyst (lipase Candida spp) . The biodiesel obtained was characterized by chemical methods (acid value, iodine value, corrosion of the copper foil, flash point, cloud point) and physical methods (density, refractive index, kinematic viscosity, water content).
The process to obtain biodiesel was evaluated using commercial software Aspen Plus V8.2 for generating the mass and energy balances, while the economic assessment was performed using the commercial software Aspen Process Economic Analyzer V8.2. Environmental assessment to determine the potential environmental impact was made using Waste Reduction Algorithm (WAR) per kilogram of product.
As a result, the experimental evaluation showed that it is possible to obtain high quality biodiesel pressures close to 180 atm and temperatures between 30-50°C using lipases. The simulation demonstrated economic feasibility for biodiesel production scales of 2800kg/h. It is noteworthy that these results can be improved markedly if an energy recovery cycle in the supercritical scheme is involved.
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