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Design and analysis of Bio-diesel extraction processes

Gioffri, Adam (2015) Design and analysis of Bio-diesel extraction processes. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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The need for alternative fuel sources is an ever growing concern for the resources sector. With finite resources rapidly being consumed and pollution levels rising, alternative fuel sources are necessary to not only alleviate the demand on fossil fuels, but also decrease the amount of pollutants released into the atmosphere. This document will outline the research, design and analysis that were conducted to derive a new continuous solvent extraction process to facilitate the removal of lipids from used food sources for use in the production of biodiesel. The process of solvent extraction is a well-known process, however it is desired to research and develop a process to replace the traditional hexane solvent extraction method. The new method would employ the use of dimethyl ether (DME) as the solvent. From previous experimentation it can be seen that on an experimental scale, DME gave higher yields under similar conditions than the traditional hexane process. The major issue with the use of DME in this design is that under standard conditions it takes the form of a vapour. This means that the vapour must be cooled and compressed before it can be used as a liquid in the extraction process. The main purpose of this thesis is to determine the economic feasibility, as well as the physical viability of this process. This document outlines the ideas and concepts that were researched, concluding them in a literature review, as well as an in depth description of the simulations that were created to test the designed system. The final part of this document analyses the results that were collected from this simulation and the economic analysis of the system. The results that were collected throughout the project suggest that DME solvent extraction could be a viable alternative to the traditional hexane extraction process.

Publication Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Information Technology
Supervisor: Bahri, Parisa and DeBoer, Karne
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