Simulation and optimization of the performance of fatty acids of camelina oil for the production of fatty acid methyl esters in a reactive distillation reactor.
2nd International Scientific Conference of Al-Ayen University
There are lots of challenges facing the chemical processing industry, most of which are relevant to environmental concerns, energy, and capital costs. Reactive distillation is a chemical unit operation in which chemical reaction and product separation occur simultaneously in one unit resulted in reducing the number of downstream steps, energy savings, and greenhouse gases. In the current work, process flow sheets for industrial routes for conversion of camelina oil fatty acids to fatty acid methyl esters (biodiesel) in presence of acid catalyst is modeled in Aspen HYSYS for the purpose to scale up the esters production. The effect of the operating and design parameters of the reactive distillation unit (15 stages) including alcohol to oil ratio, reaction temperature, reactants feed stage, a number of column stages and type of alcohol on esters yield is optimized in addition to design the production plant. The simulation results showed that optimum ester yield is obtained for linoleic acid and palmitic components using methanol, 6:1 alcohol to oil ratio, reaction temperature 60oC and feeding the oil and the alcohol at stage number 3 and 5 respectively, and adding more stages in the reactive distillation reactor improves the system performance.