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Thermodynamical Parameter Estimation for Chemicals Found in the Reactional Mixtures in the Production of Biodiesel

Grant number: 08/06365-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2009
Effective date (End): April 30, 2012
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Chemical Engineering - Chemical Process Industries
Principal Investigator:Reginaldo Guirardello
Grantee:Carla de Cássia Rodrigues da Silva Rossi
Host Institution: Faculdade de Engenharia Química (FEQ). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


There is a growing interest in the search for clear and safe energy alternatives. This way, many technologies have been developed, and among these there is the biodiesel production from vegetable oil. The knowledge of the phase equilibrium of the substances which make up the reactional mixtures is essential for the correct conduction of the biodiesel production operation. The lack of such information can lead to the formation of heterogeneous phases making the contact among the components of the reactional mixtures difficult and increasing the resistances in mass transfer. For the solution obtained in the calculation of phase equilibrium to have a physical meaning, it is essential that the thermodynamic parameters used are reliable. In this context, the present work is aimed at calculating the interaction parameters of thermodynamic models of vegetable oil mixtures at high and low pressures which is of great interest for biodiesel production. The parameters calculation will be done using the maximum likelihood method applied to Gibbs free energy minimization employing optimization techniques which mathematically guarantee the global optimum. In phase equilibrium calculation, thermodynamic models of excess Gibbs free energy and cubic equations of state will be used. The proposed methodology will be implemented in GAMS software. The proposal presented here is part of a project which was recently approved by 'CAPES' entitled 'The Production of Biodiesel in Reactive Distillation Column'. The Laboratory of Chemical Processes Simulations of FEQ from 'Universidade Estadual de Campinas' is the leading institution of such project.

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