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Publication Title | CFD Numerical Simulation of Hydrodynamics in a Rotor-Stator Reactor for Biodiesel Synthesis

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Journal of Applied Mathematics and Physics, 2015, 3, 997-1002

Published Online August 2015 in SciRes. http://www.scirp.org/journal/jamp http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/jamp.2015.38122

CFD Numerical Simulation of Hydrodynamics in a Rotor-Stator Reactor for Biodiesel Synthesis

Zhuqing Wen, Jerzy Petera

Faculty of Process and Environmental Engineering, Lodz University of Technology, Lodz, Poland Email: jieyan-0513@163.com

Received 11 June 2015; accepted 19 August 2015; published 26 August 2015

Abstract

In this paper a rotor-stator spinning disk reactor for intensified biodiesel synthesis is described and numerically simulated. The reactor consists of two flat disks, located coaxially and parallel to each other with a gap ranging from 0.1 mm to 0.2 mm between the disks. The upper disk is located on a rotating shaft while the lower disk is stationary. The feed liquids, triglycerides (TG) and me- thanol are introduced coaxially along the center line of rotating disk and stationary disk, respec- tively. Fluid hydrodynamics in the reactor for synthesis of biodiesel from TG and methanol in the presence of a sodium hydroxide catalyst are simulated, using convection-diffusion-reaction spe- cies transport model by the CFD software ANSYS© Fluent v. 13.0. The effects of upper disk’s spin- ning speed and gap size are evaluated.

Keywords

Rotor-Stator Reactor, Biodiesel Synthesis, ANSYS© Fluent, Hydrodynamics, Numerical Simulation

1. Introduction

Biodiesel production involves the transesterification of oil or fat feedstock with methyl alcohol under alkaline conditions in a liquid-liquid environment. Transesterification is a liquid-liquid two phase reaction. Reaction rate can be limited by mass transfer between the oils and alcohol because they are immiscible.

Rotor-stator spinning disk reactor (SDR) is one of the process intensification technology employing high gravity fields caused by centrifugation. In some existing solutions of SDR, a high gravity field-centrifugal force is created by rotation of a disk surface on which liquid is dispersed as a thin film. When a liquid is introduced onto the disk surface at or adjacent to the spin axis, the liquid flows radially outward under the centrifugal force in the form of a thin film. At up to approximately 1000 rpm, these films are less than 100 microns thick and so offer a short diffusion path length [1]. Unsteady film surface waves on the disk surface, coupled with the shear- ing action of the rotating surface, ensure that micro mixing and excellent mass and heat transfer are achieved [2].

The hydrodynamics inside SDR have important effects on conversion, mass and heat transfer rates. Flow

How to cite this paper: Wen, Z.Q. and Petera, J. (2015) CFD Numerical Simulation of Hydrodynamics in a Rotor-Stator Reactor for Biodiesel Synthesis. Journal of Applied Mathematics and Physics, 3, 997-1002. http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/jamp.2015.38122

Image | CFD Numerical Simulation of Hydrodynamics in a Rotor-Stator Reactor for Biodiesel Synthesis



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