Multiscale modelling of heterogeneously catalysed transesterification reaction process: an overview

Thomas J. Davison, Chinedu Okoli, Karen Wilson, Adam F. Lee, Adam Harvey, Julia Woodford, Jhuma Sadhukhan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Biodiesel is fast becoming one of the key transport fuels as the world endeavours to reduce its carbon footprint and find viable alternatives to oil derived fuels. Research in the field is currently focusing on more efficient ways to produce biodiesel, with the most promising avenue of research looking into the use of heterogeneous catalysis. This article presents a framework for kinetic reaction and diffusive transport modelling of the heterogeneously catalysed transesterification of triglycerides into fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs), unveiled by a model system of tributyrin transesterification in the presence of MgO catalysts. In particular, the paper makes recommendations on multicomponent diffusion calculations such as the diffusion coefficients and molar fluxes from infinite dilution diffusion coefficients using the Wilke and Chang correlation, intrinsic reaction kinetic studies using the Eley-Rideal kinetic mechanism with methanol adsorption as the rate determining steps and multiscale reaction-diffusion process simulation between catalytic porous and bulk reactor scales.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6226-6240
Number of pages15
JournalRSC advances
Issue number18
Early online date21 Dec 2012
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2013

Bibliographical note

Financial support from EPSRC (EP/F063563/1) of the UK for undertaking this research is gratefully acknowledged. Adam F. Lee thanks the EPSRC for the award of a Leadership Fellowship (EP/G007594/2).


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