Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Mathematical and Numerical Modeling of Algaloils Transesterification

(*) Corresponding author

Authors' affiliations



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.
Copyright © 2021 Praise Worthy Prize - All rights reserved.


Transesterification; Algal Oils; Biodiesel; Numerical Model; Range-Kutta Method; Euler Method; Chemical Kinetics

Full Text:



J. Sheehan, V. Camobreco, J. Duffield, M. Graboski, H. Shapouri, Life cycle inventory of biodiesel and petroleum diesel for use in an urban bus, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Report No. SR-580-24089, Golden, Colorado, (1998).

R. Richard, Ethanoictransesterification of vegetable oil in microreactors: transposition from batch to continuous, Thesis, University of Toulouse, (2011).

Richmond, A (2004). Handbook of Microalgal Culture: Biotechnology and Applied Phycology. Blackwell Publishing Ltd. eBook Collection ( EBSCOhost), EBSCOhost (accessed February 23, 2012).

P.Julie, TURQUOISE BOOK Algae, sectors of the future, (2010).

Chisti, Y.(2007). Biodiesel from microalgae. Biotechnology Advances. Elsevier, 294-306.

Orjuela, S., Pabon, J., Fonseca, M., Experimental Assessment of Emissions in Low Displacement Diesel Engines Operating with Biodiesel Blends of Palm and Sunflower Oil, (2021) International Journal on Engineering Applications (IREA), 9 (3), pp. 128-136.

Meher LC, Vidya Sagar D, Naik SN. Technical aspects of biodiesel production by transesterification-a review. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 2006;10:248-68.

Dalrymple, F.H.(2012). A preliminary estimation of the algal feedstock production potential of Tampa Bay utilizing CO2 emissions and wastewater effluent. Journal of aquatic biosystems.

Woertz, I., Feffer, A., Lundquist, T., & Nelson, Y. (2009). Algae Grown on Dairy and Municipal Wastewater for Simultaneous Nutrient Removal and Lipid Production for Biofuel Feedstock. Journal of Environmental Engineering, 1115-1122.

Woertz, I. (2007). Lipid Productivity of Algae Grown on Dairy Wastewater as a Possible Feedstock for Biodiesel. San Luis Obispo: Cal Poly

Zhu, L., Zong, M., &H.Wu. (2008). Efficient lipid production with Trichosporonfermentans and its use for biodiesel preparation. Bioresource Technology , 7881-7885.

Metzger P, Largeau C. Botryococcusbraunii: a rich source for hydrocarbons and related ether lipids. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 2005;66:486-96

Metting FB. Biodiversity and application of microalgae. J Ind Microbiol 1996;17:477-89.

Suen, Y., Hubbard, J. S., Holzer, G., &Tornabene, T. G. (1987). Total Lipid Production of the Green Alga Nannochloropsis Sp.Q11 Under Different Nitrogen Regimes. Journal of Phycology, 289-296.

LTapanes, N. C., Aranda, D. A., Carneiro, J. W., &Antunes, O. A. (2007). Transesterification of Jatrophacurcas oil glycerides: Theoretical and experimental studies of biodiesel reaction. Fuel, 2286-2295.

Carreretto C, Macor A, Mirandola A, Stoppato A, Tonon S. Biodiesel as Alternative Fuel: Experimental Analysis and Energetic Evaluations. Energy. 29, 2195. (2004).

El Kaihal, A., Kifani-Sahban, F., Wahby, I., Gueraoui, K., Mahboub, M., Mohcine, A., Men-La-Yakhaf, S., Mathematical and Numerical Modeling of Microalgae Growth, (2019) International Review of Mechanical Engineering (IREME), 13 (1), pp. 38-46.

Suchit Deshmukh, Ritunesh Kumara, Kiran Balab, Microalgae biodiesel: A review on oil extraction, fatty acid composition, properties and effect on engine performance and emissions, Fuel Processing Technology Volume 191, Pages 232-247, August (2019)

Mansureh Kialashaki, Mahmood A. Mahdavi, Reza Gheshlaghi, Improved transesterification conditions for production of clean fuel from municipal wastewater microalgae feedstock, Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 241, 20, 118388, December (2019).

V. C. Akubude, K. N. Nwaigwe, E. Dintwa, Production of biodiesel from microalgae via nanocatalyzedtransesterification process: A review, Materials Science for Energy Technologies Volume 2, Issue 2, Pages 216-225, August (2019).

Sérgio Jesus, Gabriela F. Ferreira, Larissa S. Moreira, Rubens Maciel Filho, Biodiesel production from microalgae by direct transesterification using green solvents, Elsevier, Renewable Energy, Volume 160, Pages 1283-1294, November (2020).

Rathinasamy Karpagam, Kalimuthu Jawaharraj, Ramasamy Gnanam, Review on integrated biofuel production from microalgal biomass through the outset of transesterification route: a cascade approach for sustainable bioenergy, Elsevier, Science of The Total Environment Volume 766, 20, 144236April (2021).

Violeta Makareviciene, Milda Gumbyte, Egle Sendzikiene, Simultaneous extraction of microalgae Ankistrodesmus sp. oil and enzymatic transesterification with ethanol in the mineral diesel medium, Food and Bioproducts ProcessingVolume 116, Pages 89-97, July (2019).

Ramachandran Sivaramakrishnan, Aran Incharoensakdi, Microalgae as feedstock for biodiesel production under ultrasound treatment-A review, Elsevier Bioresource Technology, Volume 250, Pages 877-887, February (2018).

M. Lanza, W.B. Neto, E. Batista, Liquid-liquid equilibrium data for reactional systems of ethanolysis at 298.3 K, Journal of Chemical and Engineering Data, Vol. 53, n° 1, (2007).

A.A. Kiss, A.C. Dimian, G. Rothenberg, Solid acid catalysts for biodiesel production-towards sustainable energy, Advanced Synthesis and Catalysis, Vol. 348, n° 1-2, (2006).

M. Mofijur, M. G. Rasul, N. M. S. Hassan, M. N. Nabi, Recent Development in the Production of Third Generation Biodiesel from Microalgae, Elsevier, Energy Procedia, Volume 156, Pages 53-58,January 2019.

Y. Zhang, et al., Biodiesel production from waste cooking oil: 1. Process design and technological assessment, Journal of Bioresource Technology, 89(1), 1 (2003).

JV.Gerpan, Biodiesel processing and production. Fuel Process Technol; 86: 1097-107, (2006).

K. Komers, F. Skopal, R. Stloukal, J. Machek, Kinetics and mechanism of the KOH-catalyzed methanolysis of rapeseed oil for biodiesel production, Eur. J. Lipid Sci. Technol. 104 728-737, (2002).<728::AID-EJLT728>3.0.CO;2-J

M. P. Dorado, E. Ballesteros, M. Mittelbach and F. J. López, Kinetic Parameters Affecting the Alkali-Catalyzed Transesterification Process of Used Olive Oil. Energy & Fuels; 18(5), 1457-1462, (2004).

G. Knothe, Analytical methods used in the production and fuel quality assessment of biodiesel, Trans. ASAE 44, 193-200, (2000).

G. Kumar, D. Kumar, S. Singh, S. Kothari, S. Bhatt, C. Singh; Continuous low cost transesterification process for the production of coconut biodiesel. Energies; 3:43-560, (2010).

P. K. Srivastava and M. Verma, Methyl ester of karanja oil as an alternative renewable source energy. Fuel; 87(8-9), 1673-1677, (2009).

A. Demirbas, Biodiesel from waste cooking oil via base-catalytic and supercritical methanol transesterification. Energy Convers Manage; 50: 923-7, (2009).

M. K. Lam, K. T. Lee, and A. R. Mohamed, Homogeneous, heterogeneous and enzymatic catalysis for transesterification of high free fatty acid oil (waste cooking oil) to biodiesel: A review, Journal of Biotechnology Advances, 28(4), 500,(2010).

Ana V. Marjanović, Olivera S. Stamenković, Zoran B. Todorović, Miodrag L. Lazić, Vlada B. Veljković, Kinetics of the base-catalyzed sunflower oil ethanolysis, Fuel, Volume 89, Issue 3, 2010, Pages 665-671, ISSN 0016-2361.

Gemma V, Mercedes M, Aracil J. Integrated Biodiesel Production: A Comparision of Different Homogeneous Catalysts System. Bioresource Technology. 92: 297. (2004).

D. Darnoko, M. Cheryan, Kinetics of palm oil transesterification in a batch reactor, J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc. 77 1263-1267, (2000).

B. H. Freedman, R. O. Buttefield, E. H. Pryde, Transesterification kinetics of soybean oil, J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc. 63 1375-1380, (1986).

Poljansek, I., Likozar, B., Influence of mass transfer and kinetics on biodiesel production process. Mass transfer in multiphase systems and its applications. M El-Amin. Ljubljana, InTech, 433-458. (2011).

U. Schuchardt, R. Sercheli and R. M. Vargas. Transesterification of vegetable oils: a review. Journal of the Brazilian Chemical Society; 9, 199-210, (1998).

H. Noureddini, D. Zhu, Kinetics of transesterification of soybean oil, J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc. 74 1457-1463, (1997).

Kumar R. Experimental Studies, Modeling and Simulation of Linseed Oil Transesterification of Biodiesel Production. M. Tech. dissertation Thesis. IIT Kanpur, India. (April 2019).

R. Butterfield, Kinetic rate constants determined by a digital computer. Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society; 46(9), 429-431, (1969).

A.Srivastava, Triglycerides-based diesel fuels, Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 4 111-133, (2000)

Mohcine, A., Gueraoui, K., Mzred, A., Zeggwagh, G., Men-La-Yakhaf, S., Mathematic and Numerical Modeling of Biogas Production in the Bioreactive Plant for Valorizing Domestic Waste, (2017) International Review of Mechanical Engineering (IREME), 11 (4), pp. 249-255.

Mahboub, M., Gueraoui, K., Men-la-yakhaf, S., Taibi, M., Driouich, M., Mohcine, A., Aberdane, I., Mathematical and Numerical Modeling for Energy Valorization of Sugarcane, (2018) International Review of Civil Engineering (IRECE), 9 (5), pp. 194-201.

Mahboub, M., Gueraoui, K., Debenest, G., Numerical Modeling of Mass Loss and Temperature Profiles in the Thermal Decomposition of Bagasse in a Fixed Rectangular Oven, (2019) International Review of Mechanical Engineering (IREME), 13 (4), pp. 275-284.

Mahboub, M., Gueraoui, K., Taibi, M., Aberdane, I., Kifani-Sahban, F., Men-La-Yakhaf, S., El Marouani, M., Thermal Treatment of Morocco Sugarcane Bagasse Under Inert Atmosphere, (2018) International Review of Mechanical Engineering (IREME), 12 (10), pp. 860-868.

S. Farajzadeh Bibalan, S. M. Sadrameli, Kinetic Modeling of Sunflower Oil Methanolysis Considering Effects of Interfacial Area of Reaction System, Iranian Journal of Chemical Engineering Vol. 9, No. 1, IAChE(Winter), 2012.

Romain Richard, Sophie Thiebaud-Roux, Laurent E. Prat. Modelling the kinetics of transesterificationreaction of sunflower oil with ethanol in microreactors. Chemical Engineering Science, Elsevier, 2013, vol. 87, pp. 258-269.

Gemma Vicente, Mercedes Martı'nez, and Jose' Aracil, Kinetics of Brassica carinata Oil Methanolysis, Energy Fuels 2006, 20, 4, 1722-1726.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Please send any question about this web site to
Copyright © 2005-2023 Praise Worthy Prize