Faculty Advisor

Timko, Michael T.


The depletion of fossil fuels is leading researchers to look at biofuels, such as butanol as renewable resources. Butanol is a more energy dense bio-alcohol than the commonly used ethanol, but its potential is limited by the ability to produce and recover it. Using supercritical carbon dioxide is a promising alternative to usual methods of bio-alcohol extraction, though the process is difficult to scale up. Understanding mass transfer behavior is important to scale-up. This project substantiates a prediction for the mass transfer coefficient kla by fitting correlations for kla to the predicted values. This comparison of model and correlations confirmed the accuracy of the model as a predictor of mass transfer coefficients in supercritical fluid extraction.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2018


Chemical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Chemical Engineering