The industrial scale production of biodiesel, the most common biofuel, requires innovative solutions to become more and more competitive with a reduced environmental impact. Microalgae are the most promising feedstock for biodiesel production since they are grown on non-arable areas and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions as well. The oil extraction is the competitiveness bottleneck, largely impacting the overall process cost. Oil extraction using ionic liquids is considered a promising technique, which has the chance to become a benchmark for large scale applications. In this paper a novel process simulation of ionic liquid operation is developed, implemented by Aspen Hysys V7.3®. The chosen ionic liquid is Butyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride, a green solvent; since it is a non-conventional compound, a method to compute its properties through a thermodynamic model is provided. Moreover, a process scheme has been set up and simulated, composed of a lysis reactor, in which the ionic liquid is added for oil extraction, and a three phase separator, with recycle lines and several heat exchangers for heat recovery. Mass and energy balances have been carried out. The main results allowed to calculate the recovered oil as a function of the ionic liquid to dry biomass weight ratio (with assuming a bio-oil extraction yield of 100) and as expected, the bio-oil recovery yield increased at decreasing temperature. However, a complete recovery is not feasible, due to the physical constraints in the thermodynamic model hypotheses. Albeit some simplifying hypotheses for the thermodynamic properties, the novelty of this work is that it reports results of a process simulation, providing indication for industrial technological implementation coming from a professional tool for process simulation and control.

Biodiesel production from microalgae: ionic liquid process simulation

Piemonte V;Di Paola L;Iaquaniello G;
2016-01-01

Abstract

The industrial scale production of biodiesel, the most common biofuel, requires innovative solutions to become more and more competitive with a reduced environmental impact. Microalgae are the most promising feedstock for biodiesel production since they are grown on non-arable areas and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions as well. The oil extraction is the competitiveness bottleneck, largely impacting the overall process cost. Oil extraction using ionic liquids is considered a promising technique, which has the chance to become a benchmark for large scale applications. In this paper a novel process simulation of ionic liquid operation is developed, implemented by Aspen Hysys V7.3®. The chosen ionic liquid is Butyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride, a green solvent; since it is a non-conventional compound, a method to compute its properties through a thermodynamic model is provided. Moreover, a process scheme has been set up and simulated, composed of a lysis reactor, in which the ionic liquid is added for oil extraction, and a three phase separator, with recycle lines and several heat exchangers for heat recovery. Mass and energy balances have been carried out. The main results allowed to calculate the recovered oil as a function of the ionic liquid to dry biomass weight ratio (with assuming a bio-oil extraction yield of 100) and as expected, the bio-oil recovery yield increased at decreasing temperature. However, a complete recovery is not feasible, due to the physical constraints in the thermodynamic model hypotheses. Albeit some simplifying hypotheses for the thermodynamic properties, the novelty of this work is that it reports results of a process simulation, providing indication for industrial technological implementation coming from a professional tool for process simulation and control.
Ionic liquids, Green solvents, Process intensification, Biodiesel, Microalgae, Process simulation
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12610/4172
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