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Measurement, quality testing and thermodynamic modeling of the liquid-liquid equilibrium of the fatty acid ethyl ester (ethyl laurate) + ethanol + glycerol system at 101.3 kPa

Grant number: 22/02221-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2022
Effective date (End): May 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Chemical Engineering - Industrial Operations and Equipment for Chemical Engineering
Principal Investigator:Pedro Felipe Arce Castillo
Grantee:Júlia Lilian Pires
Host Institution: Escola de Engenharia de Lorena (EEL). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Lorena , SP, Brazil


Biodiesel is a biofuel, commonly produced through the process of transesterification or "alcoholysis". In this process, triglycerides react with short-chain alcohols (methanol or ethanol), producing a solution of fatty acid esters (biodiesel composed of ethyl laurate, for example) and glycerol. Esters of fatty acids and glycerol are partially miscible, forming two liquid phases during the separation of these products. Thus, it is necessary to determine experimentally the liquid-liquid equilibrium (LLE) data of these systems for a better understanding of the transesterification process, to improve the reaction rate, selectivity, simulation, and optimization of the reactor and the reaction mixture for separation of these products. This project aims to carry out the experimental measurement of the LLE data from systems formed by fatty acid ethyl esters (ethyl laurate) + ethanol + glycerol (298.15, 308.15, and 318.15 K). The quality test of the experimental data will be carried out with the method proposed by Marcilla The thermodynamic modeling will be done using the gamma-gamma approach based on the excess Gibbs free energy models, such as the NRTL (Non-Random Two-Liquids) model, to obtain the activity coefficients for both liquid phases. The experimental and thermodynamic modeling results will be analyzed through phase diagrams for ternary systems showing the binodal curve and tie-lines, as well as the prediction of the critical point. (AU)

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