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Development of beds of hidrogel grafted with cellulose nanomaterials obtained by additive manufacturing for removal of water from biodiesel and diesel

Grant number: 21/08438-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2022
Effective date (End): November 30, 2025
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Chemical Engineering - Chemical Process Industries
Principal Investigator:Leonardo Vasconcelos Fregolente
Grantee:Letícia Arthus
Host Institution: Faculdade de Engenharia Química (FEQ). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


The growing increase in the biodiesel content in commercial diesel on a world scale, combined with the hydrophilicity characteristic of biodiesel due to its fatty acid ester structure, makes the concern about the quality of the final product with regard to the water content very relevant. Biodiesel is capable of absorbing up to 15 times more water than diesel at the same temperature. As a result of water contents higher than those permitted by law, the microbiological development with sludge formation can be highlighted, which can compromise the functioning of motor vehicle components and corrosion of equipment from the refinery to the consumer. Thus, this research project proposes the development of random packing bed of synthetic hydrogels grafted with cellulose nanomaterials (NCs), made by additive manufacturing, for removal of water in biodiesel, diesel and their blends with biodiesel. The aim is to obtain 3D hydrogel structures highly hydrophilic and macroporous with mechanical resistance compatible with the proposed application. The 3D printability of different formulations and the chemical crosslinking process of hydrogels will be evaluated to obtain mechanically stable structures. Batch tests will be conducted to characterize the materials regarding their water absorption capacity. From the selection of the best batch results, the random packing will be loaded into columns for continuous removal of free, emulsified and soluble water from biodiesel, diesel and their mixtures with biodiesel. Furthermore, a methodology for the regeneration of hydrogels will be developed for evaluation of the reusability of the random packing structures obtained. (AU)

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