Is there a future for enzymatic biodiesel industrial production in microreactors?

Article

Budzaki, S., Miljic, G., Tisma, M., Sundaram, S. & Hessel, V. (2017). Is there a future for enzymatic biodiesel industrial production in microreactors?. Applied Energy, 201, 124–134-124–134.

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Abstract

 

The main problems of the conventional biodiesel production technology are high production costs and energy consumption, long residence time, and low efficiency. In order to overcome those problems and to improve the biodiesel production process from the ecological and economical points of view, intensive research activities on the development of new, sustainable technologies are undergone. Microreactors are known to increase the dispersion of two phases considerably as needed for the biodiesel reactants (alcohol and oil). This provides much higher interface area that by elimination of mass-transfer hindrance has shown to lead to shorter reaction time. On this background, this study gives (a) an overview of today’s industrial biodiesel production, (b) the vision of small-scaled, intensified (micro) flow reactors as integral element in translatable biodiesel factories, (c) the advantages and disadvantages of the lipase catalysed transesterification process in microreactors as chosen case of study, and (d) cost analysis of biodiesel production for the showcase estimating the performance of industrial-scale in enzyme packed-bed microreactors.