Process Modelling of Microwave-assisted Fast Pyrolysis of Empty Fruit Bunch to Produce Biodiesel Production

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Poj Hansirisawat
Thongchai R. Srinophakun
Somboon Sukpancharoen


Every year, an empty fruit bunch (EFB) is extensively produced in Thailand, and this EFB has the potential to use it as the source of energy. A novel waste-to-energy technology of converting this agricultural waste into the value-added product has been studied. Microwave-assisted pyrolysis (MAP) is selected as the case study. However, to extend the study of represent model of the biodiesel production plant, the development of the mathematical equation of this plant was performed with the aid of Design-Expert V.12.0.8 (trial) software. The distillate to feed ratio of the distillation column, the temperature of a heat exchanger, and the pressure of a decanter drum is selected as the independent variables for determining the product yield and utility cost. The result showed that the characteristic equations which can be used as a representative model for the yield of biodiesel, the yield of gasoline, and utility cost were significant with a 95% confidence level. The R-squared value predicted by the model was found to be 0.95-1.00. The mathematical model can be used for the analysis of product yield and the operating cost. The target of optimization has been set for maximizing product yields and minimizing the utility cost of the plant. The result showed that at the optimum operating conditions of the set of constraints e.g. distillate-to-feed ratio, the temperature, the pressure were 0.9, 60 C, 21.83 bar, respectively. At this optimum point, the values of biodiesel yield, gasoline yield, and utility cost are 5,909.45 kg/hr., 4,169.92 kg/hr., and 514.23 USD/hr., respectively.


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Hansirisawat P, Srinophakun TR, Sukpancharoen S. Process Modelling of Microwave-assisted Fast Pyrolysis of Empty Fruit Bunch to Produce Biodiesel Production. J Appl Res Sci Tech [Internet]. 2020 Oct. 20 [cited 2023 Dec. 10];19(2):73-84. Available from:
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