Faculty Advisor

Bergendahl, John

Faculty Advisor

O'Shaughnessy, James C.

Faculty Advisor

Sisson, R. D.

Abstract

Biodiesel use and production has gained recent popularity for its economic and environmental benefits. Although biodiesel may not completely replace conventional fossil fuels, [a] surplus of soybean crops in the United States and research developments for the processing of waste vegetable oil from restaurant waste streams has positioned biodiesel as a viable supplement to allow more time for the development of alternative sources of energy. Currently biodiesel is produced with limited local availability, and methods of production have been incapable of providing a significant source of the fuel, which in turn raises its cost of production. Issues concerning biodiesel use and production are addressed in this report, and an experimental analysis on the transesterification process method of biodiesel production is used as a basis for a pilot scale design of a continuous flow B1OO-grade biodiesel refining process. The design of the process was conceptualized for the use of waste vegetable oil as feedstock and a valuable byproduct recovery system as a means to lower production costs. A cost estimate for the lifecycle of the refinery's operation is also provided as a means to illustrate the viability of the proposed design.

Publisher

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

January 2005

Major

Mechanical Engineering

Major

Manufacturing Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project

Accessibility

Restricted-WPI community only

Advisor Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering

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