Mathematical and Numerical Modeling of Algaloils Transesterification
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Biodiesel from algal oils is close to petroleum-based diesel thanks to its physico-chemical characteristics, its use in diesel engines, without the need for a major modification. This paper deals with a mathematical modeling and a numerical simulation of the transesterification reaction of lipids extracted from micro-algae in order to produce a biodiesel. A numerical model has been developed in order to simulate the consumption of reagents, the evolution of reaction intermediates and the formation of products. The model is based on the Euler and Runge-Kutta methods. The system of equation established from the different reactions that take place during the trans-esterification has been solved using a numerical code written in FORTRAN. The simulation gives the evolution of the relative concentrations of reactants, intermediates and products of the reaction as a function of time. The proposed mathematical model has predicted the trend of concentration of compounds transesterification in a microreactor very well and it has been used for further process optimization The duration of the reagent consumption and product formation reactions is shorter when equation resolution is done by the Runge-Kutta method. The results obtained by the latter are close to the ones that can be found in literature.
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