EBDC Computer Controlled Biodiesel Process Unit
The Computer Controlled Biodiesel Process Unit, "EBDC", produces biodiesel fron vegetable oil and allows the user to analyze the process and all the variables involved.
The process carried out by the Computer Controlled Biodiesel Process Unit, "EBDC", consists on transforming the fatty acids contained in vegetable oils into a high energy content biofuel.
Basically, the process consists of two well-defined stages:
- Stage I: Mixing the products with the stirring technique. It consists on combining and stirring the raw materials required to make biodiesel (vegetable oil and a catalyst) under a homogenous heating provided by a computer controlled heating element. This stage is carried out in a reactor made of polyethylene that includes a temperature sensor and level switches to guarantee a safe operation. The stirring consists in recycling the product driven by a computer controlled pump.
- Stage II: Separating and washing the products obtained. A second stage fundamental after the reaction is the separation of the main product from the rest of by-products. It is usually done with a first two-phase decantation, thanks to the conical shape of the reactor, to remove the glycerin and a biodiesel washing through ion exchange resin.
Finally, the efficiency of the unit and the quality of the biodiesel can be assessed thanks to a load cell installed on the unit and a titration kit (pipettes, droppers, etc.).
This Computer Controlled Unit is supplied with the EDIBON Computer Control System (SCADA), and includes: The unit itself + a Control Interface Box + a Data Acquisition Board + Computer Control, Data Acquisition and Data Management Software Packages, for controlling the process and all parameters involved in the process.
Exercises and guided practices
GUIDED PRACTICAL EXERCISES INCLUDED IN THE MANUAL
- Study and performance of tests to determine the appropriate amount of catalyst to be used in the biodiesel generation process (titration).
- Familiarization with the operation of a biodiesel production unit during the products reaction, extraction and washing process.
- Study of the agitation and mixing level influence on the final quality of the obtained biodiesel.
- Study of the washing and purifying stage influence on the final quality of the obtained biodiesel.
- Study of the influence of temperature during the vegetable oils preheating and reaction stage on the final quality of the obtained biodiesel.
- Analysis and tests to determine the biodiesel quality.
- Sensors calibration.
MORE PRACTICAL EXERCISES TO BE DONE WITH THE UNIT
- Study of vegetable oils transesterification with an alcohol to produce biodiesel.
Other possibilities to be done with this Unit:
- Many students view results simultaneously. To view all results in real time in the classroom by means of a projector or an electronic whiteboard.
- Open Control, Multicontrol and Real Time Control. This unit allows intrinsically and/or extrinsically to change the span, gains, proportional, integral, derivative parameters, etc, in real time.
- The Computer Control System with SCADA and PID Control allow a real industrial simulation.
- This unit is totally safe as uses mechanical, electrical and electronic, and software safety devices.
- This unit can be used for doing applied research.
- This unit can be used for giving training courses to Industries even to other Technical Education Institutions.
- Control of the EBDC unit process through the control interface box without the computer.
- Visualization of all the sensors values used in the EBDC unit process.
- By using PLC-PI additional 19 more exercises can be done.
- Several other exercises can be done and designed by the user.