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International Journal of Chemical Engineering
Volume 2016, Article ID 7843081, 8 pages
Research Article

Biodiesel Production by Reactive Flash: A Numerical Simulation

1Centro Conjunto de Investigación en Química Sustentable UAEMex-UNAM, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México, Carretera Toluca-Atlacomulco Km 14.5, Unidad San Cayetano, 50200 Toluca, MEX, Mexico
2Department of Chemical Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), 7034 Trondheim, Norway
3Universidad del Mar, Ciudad Universitaria SN, Puerto Ángel, 70902 San Pedro Pochutla, OAX, Mexico

Received 26 December 2015; Revised 11 March 2016; Accepted 4 April 2016

Academic Editor: Deepak Kunzru

Copyright © 2016 Alejandro Regalado-Méndez et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Reactive flash (RF) in biodiesel production has been studied in order to investigate steady-state multiplicities, singularities, and effect of biodiesel quality when the RF system approaches to bubble point. The RF was modeled by an index-2 system of differential algebraic equations, the vapor split () was computed by modified Rachford-Rice equation and modified Raoult’s law computed bubble point, and the continuation analysis was tracked on MATCONT. Results of this study show the existence of turning points, leading to a unique bubble point manifold, , which is a globally stable flashing operation. Also, the results of the simulation in MATLAB® of the dynamic behavior of the RF show that conversion of triglycerides reaches 97% for a residence time of 5.8 minutes and a methanol to triglyceride molar flow ratio of 5 : 1.