Process Integration and Feedstock Optimisation of a Two-Step Biodiesel Production Process from Jatropha Curcas Using Aspen Plus

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Chemical Product and Process Modeling (De Gruyter)


Jatropha curcas oil (JCO) has been recognized as a viable non-edible feedstock for biodiesel production with the focus of achieving lesser reliance on fossil fuels. The aim of this work is to integrate and simulate the production of biodiesel from Jatropha curcas oil by a two-step process; a hydrolysis step and a trans-esterification step. The challenge is then to optimise the feedstock ratios to obtain the minimal water and methanol consumption to give optimal biodiesel yield. For this purpose, steady-state simulation model of a two-step production process of biodiesel from Jatropha curcas oil was prepared using ASPEN Plus V8.8. The response surface methodology (RSM) based on a central composite design (CCD) was used to design optimisation experiments for the research work. From the ANOVA, methanol/oil ratio of the trans-esterification step was found to have a significant effect on the biodiesel yield compared to the water/oil ratio of the hydrolysis step. The linear model developed was shown to be a good predictor of feedstock ratios for biodiesel yield. The surface plot revealed that both feedstock ratios do not show a significant combinatorial effect on each other. Numerical optimisation gave the optimum values of the feedstock ratios as a methanol/oil ratio of 2.667 and a water/oil ratio of 1. The optimisation results also indicated a predicted optimum biodiesel yield of 10.0938 kg/hr.



Process Integration, Biodiesel, central composite design, Simulation, ASPEN Plus, Jatropha curcas oil