Vol 7, No 8 (2016) > Chemical Engineering >

Computational Fluid Dynamic Application in Scale-up of a Stirred-batch Reactor for Degumming Crude Palm Oil

Yuswan Muharam, Aditya Kurniawan


Abstract: The research aims to
scale up a small-scale stirred batch reactor to a large-scale stirred batch
reactor in order to degum crude palm oil for use as a raw material in biodiesel
production. The scale-up is based on the similarity of fluid Reynolds numbers
in the two differently sized reactors. To achieve this aim, computational fluid
dynamic modeling and simulations of the two reactors were performed. A small-scale
palm oil degumming process was carried out in a 250 cc autoclave reactor using
a magnetic stirrer at 500 rpm. The simulation results of this small reactor
yielded a fluid Reynolds number in the range of 5 to 3,482. The large-scale
reactor proposed in this research is 1.25 m3 in volume and is
equipped with two impellers: a pitched blade impeller and a Rushton turbine
impeller. The pitched blade impeller is placed over the Rushton turbine
impeller. They are rotated at 100 rpm. Under this setting and operation, the
resulting fluid Reynolds number was in the range of 486 to 202,000. This result
indicates that the large-scale reactor was able to reproduce the reaction
performance obtained in the small-scale reactor.
Keywords: Batch reactor; Biodiesel; Computational fluid dynamics; Degumming; Scale up

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