Developing the reaction kinetics for a biodiesel reactor

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Colleges, School and Institutes


The aim of this paper was to investigate the kinetics of the biodiesel reaction in order to find out how best to reach 96.5% methyl ester. The purity of the biodiesel product was examined using gas chromatography to the EN14214 FAME standard and real-time optical microscopy was used to observe the reaction. The problem was the reaction doesn’t reach completion and the mechanism is not understood. It was observed that droplet size had a major influence on reaction end point and that the reaction was mass-transfer limited. This observation was confirmed by developing a mass-transfer based reaction model using the data from the batch reactor which agreed with results from other researchers. The model predicted better conversion with more mixing intensity. The results show that significant improvements could be made to the conventional FAME process.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2324-2327
Number of pages4
JournalBioresource Technology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2009


  • Biodiesel, Reaction, Transesterification, Theory, Reactor