Computer simulation of biodiesel production by hydro-esterification

G. D. Machado, T. L. de Souza, D. A G Aranda, F. L P Pessoa, M. Castier, V. F. Cabral, L. Cardozo-Filho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


The conventional production method of biodiesel by transesterification in two stages, chemical reaction and product separation, has several disadvantages. Compared to it, biodiesel production by hydro-esterification from fatty matter has many advantages but available technology still requires distinct steps for reaction and separation. This work presents computational simulations of a multi-step process of soybean oil biodiesel production by hydro-esterification. The hydrolysis step uses a packed bed reactor and the esterification step utilizes a reactive distillation column. Reactive distillation combines the reaction and separation steps in the same piece of equipment. Several chemical processes employ this intensification technique but its application to esterification processes is recent. The simulation results show that the methodology used is consistent and sensitivity analyses suggest that conversions close to 99% are possible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-45
Number of pages9
JournalChemical Engineering and Processing: Process Intensification
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016



  • Biodiesel
  • Computer simulation
  • Hydro-esterification
  • Reactive distillation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

Cite this

Machado, G. D., de Souza, T. L., Aranda, D. A. G., Pessoa, F. L. P., Castier, M., Cabral, V. F., & Cardozo-Filho, L. (2016). Computer simulation of biodiesel production by hydro-esterification. Chemical Engineering and Processing: Process Intensification, 103, 37-45.