Development of Continuous Oscillatory Baffled Reactor Arrangement for Biodiesel Production from Jatropha oil
This research investigation involved the design and development of continuous oscillatory baffled reactor arrangement (COBRA) for biodiesel production from Jatropha oil using software. The software was developed using Visual Basic Programming Language for the preliminary design of the reactor. Some of the reactor geometrical configurations obtained from the software include; internal diameter, length and volume of the reactor which are 0.1 m, 3.1 m and 2.4x10-3 m3 respectively. Also, the volumetric flow rate and the total energy required for reactor operation were 1.34x10-5m3/s and 3.126x10-3W/m2 respectively. The total number of tanks in series in the reactor was determined to be 19. Hence, the reactor was constructed taking into consideration the engineering material selections after its detailed engineering design. The performance evaluation of the COBRA was carried out theoretically by comparing the Power density against length to diameter ratio for COBRA and Plug flow reactor. It was shown that length-to-diameter ratio was much smaller for the continuous oscillatory baffled reactor arrangement at similar power densities, meaning that an oscillatory flow reactor will be shorter by typically at least fifty times of magnitude than plug flow reactor. The dependence of the residence time distribution performance on the velocity ratio of COBRA was also investigated. The velocity ratio () increases from 1.0 to 8.0 as the number of tanks in series decreases from 85.0 to 10.0. It was shown that the number of tanks in series drops below 10. Better mixing in a continuous oscillatory baffled reactor was achieved when the velocity ratio was within the range of 2.0 to 8.0 and the number of tanks in series is above 10.
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