BIODIESEL PRODUCTION USING SUPPORTED 12-TUNGSTOPHOSPHORIC ACID AS SOLID ACID CATALYSTS
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Biodiesel has achieved worldwide recognition for many years due to its renewability, lubricating property, and environmental benefits. The abstract represents a summary of all the chapters of the thesis. The research chapters are defined as research phases in the abstract. The thesis starts with an introduction followed by literature review. In the literature review, all the necessary data were collected reviewing the literature. Then an artificial neural network model (ANN) was built based on the published research data to capture the general trends or to make predictions. Both catalyst properties and reaction conditions were trended and predicted using the network model. The review study revealed that esterification and transesterification required catalysts with slightly different properties. In the first phase of the study, biodiesel production using 12-Tungstophosphric acid (TPA) supported on SBA-15 as a solid acid catalyst was studied. In this phase of the study, a large number of 0-35% TPA on SBA-15 catalysts were synthesized by impregnation method and the effects of various operating conditions such as–catalyst wt.% and methanol to oil molar ratio on the transesterification of model feedstock Triolein were studied. A 25% TPA loading was found to be the optimum. A 4.15 wt.% catalysts (based on Triolein) and 39:1 methanol to Triolein molar ratio was found to be the optimum reaction parameter combination, when the reaction temperature was kept fixed at 200C, stirring speed of 600 rpm and 10 h reaction time. The biodiesel yield obtained using this condition was 97.2%. In the second phase of the study, a 12-Tungstophosphoric acid (TPA) was supported by using organic functional group (i.e. 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES)) and was incorporated into the SBA-15 structure. A 45 wt.% TPA incorporated SBA-15 produced an ester with biodiesel yield of 97.3 wt.%, when 3 wt.% catalyst (based on the green seed canola (GSC) oil) and 25.8:1 methanol GSC oil molar ratio were used at 2000C for reaction time of 6.2 h. In the third phase, process sustainability (i.e. process economics, process safety, energy efficiency, environmental impact assessment) studies were conducted based on the results obtained in phase three. Based on the study, it was concluded that heterogeneous acid catalyzed process had higher profitability as compared to the homogeneous acid catalyzed process. Additionally, it was obtained that heterogeneous acid catalyzed process was safe, more energy efficient and more environment friendly than homogenous process. In the fourth phase, the catalytic activity of Tungsten oxide (WO3) and TPA supported (by impregnation) on H-Y, H-β and H-ZSM-5 zeolite catalysts were tested for biodiesel production from Green Seed Canola (GSC) oil. In this phase iii of the study, TPA/H-Y and TPA/H- zeolite were proved to be effective catalysts for esterification and transesterification, respectively. A 55% TPA/H- showed balanced catalytic activity for both esterification and transesterification. It yielded 99.3 wt.% ester, when 3.3 wt.% catalyst (based on GSC oil) and 21.3:1 methanol to GSC oil molar ratio were used at 200C, reaction pressure of 4.14 MPa and reaction time of 6.5 h. Additionally, this catalyst (55% TPA/H-) was experimented for etherification of pure glycerol, and maximum conversion of glycerol (100%) was achieved in 5 h at 120C, 1 MPa, 1:5 molar ratio (glycerol: (tert-butanol) TBA), 2.5% (w/v) catalyst loading. Later, these conditions were used to produce glycerol ether successfully from the glycerol derived after transesterification of green seed canola oil. A mixture of GSC derived biodiesel, and glycerol ether was defined as biofuels. In the fifth phase, catalytic activity of H-Y supported TPA (using different impregnation methods) was studied in details further for esterification of free fatty acid (FFA) of GSC oil. From the optimization study, 97.2% FFA (present in the GSC oil) conversion was achieved using 13.3 wt.% catalyst, 26:1 methanol to FFA molar ratio at 120C reaction temperature and 7.5 h of reaction time. In the sixth- and final phase, techno-economic and ecological impacts were compared between biodiesel and combined biofuel production processes based on the results obtained in phase four. Based on the study, it was concluded that, biodiesel production process had higher profitability as compared to that for combined biofuel production process. Additionally, biodiesel production process was more energy efficient than combined biofuel production process. However, combined biofuel production process was more environment-friendly as compared to that for biodiesel production process.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
DepartmentChemical and Biological Engineering
SupervisorDalai, Ajay K.
CommitteeSoltan, Jafar; Niu, Catherine; Evitts, Richard; Foley, Stephen; Tezel, Handan
Copyright DateDecember 2014
Biodiesel, Process Design, Process Simulation, Proces Development