Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

First Advisor

Brian Dennis


Biodiesel has become an increasingly popular fossil fuel substitute in recent years. Constant attempts are being made to develop new technology that increases the efficiency and yield of biodiesel production units. Numerical simulation can play an integral role in evaluating new reactor designs or optimizing existing ones. Various attempts have been made to develop an accurate computational model that represents biodiesel production. Many computational models for transesterification are based on simplified kinetic models that do not include the effect of saponification. Furthermore, many models assume isothermal conditions and uniform spatial concentrations. Therefore, these models would not be appropriate for evaluating continuous flow reactors where significant thermal and concentrations exist. In this work a more complete computational model is presented that includes the effects of saponification, non-isothermal conditions, and spatially varying concentrations. The numerical model was used to evaluate a new reactor concept of a plug flow microreactor and a porous media reactor, or a reactor packed with porous metal foam and heated from the outside. The models show the more accurate results of the oil production from non-isothermal assumption. In addition, a model with porous media flow provides a great potential of improving the biodiesel production.


Simulation of biodiesel synthesis, Micro-reactor, Porous media reactor, Kinetic model of biodiesel synthesis


Aerospace Engineering | Engineering | Mechanical Engineering


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington