Novel Process Simulation of Biodiesel Production from Crude Castor Oil
Vo, Nhan T.
Duong, Yen H. P.
Le, Tan Minh
Ta, Khoa D.
Le, Phung Thi Kim
Tran, Viet Tan

How to Cite

Vo N.T., Duong Y.H.P., Le T.M., Ta K.D., Le P.T.K., Tran V.T., 2021, Novel Process Simulation of Biodiesel Production from Crude Castor Oil, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 83, 295-300.


A continuous process flowsheet for biodiesel production from crude castor oil and methanol was developed on Aspen HYSYS simulation environment. It consists of an acid-catalysed sub-process for pre-treatment of the crude feedstock and a base-catalysed one for trans-esterification of treated oil. Reactions involved were defined using kinetic parameters obtained from lab-scale experiments for increased realism, and reactor setup was decided based on basic technological and economical assessments. Specifications of other unit operations and flows were obtained from different approximation methods, literature adaptation and trade-off consideration. Input and output quality controls were achieved via simple adjustments with tight tolerances. The use of crude feedstock reduced the cost of raw material while expanding the scale of the process, which managed to produce 8000 tons of biodiesel having purity of over 99 % a year. Specifically, the process could remove up to 90.83 % amount of free fatty acids in the crude oil and convert up to 93.82 % of oil to biodiesel.