The continuous increasing in biodiesel production by transesterification process is leading to an excess of glycerol production as a byproduct. The utilization of this huge amount of glycerol appears as a not easy solvable problem and thus several authors have proposed alternative ways. The integration of the main production process with a glycerol feed molten carbonate fuel cells bottoming cycle, to satisfy plant energy requirements, seems to be one of the most promising one. The proposed paper reports the main results obtained by authors in the framework of an investigation on a possible use of glycerol as energy sources for a real pilot plant for biodiesel production. An overall evaluation of worldwide biodiesel production plants was made and especially about the production capacity in European Union in the last decade. To make a more detailed study, authors were taken into account a real production plant. After a preliminary step, purported to plant mass and energy flows determination, authors considered the integration of a bottoming cycle based on: (i) steam reforming of glycerol for syn-gas production; (ii) molten carbonate fuel cells (MCFC) system supplied by syn-gas for heat and electricity production. A mathematical model, based on experimental data, has been developed to calculate mass and energy balances for the proposed plant lay-out as well as plant energy efficiency enhancement has been determined. Results have evidenced the feasibility of this process and demonstrated that plant integrated with bottoming cycle can reach a very high level of energy self-production.

MCFC integrated system in a biodiesel production process

GALVAGNO, ANTONIO;
2011

Abstract

The continuous increasing in biodiesel production by transesterification process is leading to an excess of glycerol production as a byproduct. The utilization of this huge amount of glycerol appears as a not easy solvable problem and thus several authors have proposed alternative ways. The integration of the main production process with a glycerol feed molten carbonate fuel cells bottoming cycle, to satisfy plant energy requirements, seems to be one of the most promising one. The proposed paper reports the main results obtained by authors in the framework of an investigation on a possible use of glycerol as energy sources for a real pilot plant for biodiesel production. An overall evaluation of worldwide biodiesel production plants was made and especially about the production capacity in European Union in the last decade. To make a more detailed study, authors were taken into account a real production plant. After a preliminary step, purported to plant mass and energy flows determination, authors considered the integration of a bottoming cycle based on: (i) steam reforming of glycerol for syn-gas production; (ii) molten carbonate fuel cells (MCFC) system supplied by syn-gas for heat and electricity production. A mathematical model, based on experimental data, has been developed to calculate mass and energy balances for the proposed plant lay-out as well as plant energy efficiency enhancement has been determined. Results have evidenced the feasibility of this process and demonstrated that plant integrated with bottoming cycle can reach a very high level of energy self-production.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11570/2512830
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