Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Future Work

This was a very relevant project to today’s society. Although biodiesel is not currently competitive economically (especially due to all the costs involved in making the technology needed to produce it), this would be a great project to continue. In the future, groups should ensure that their catalyst is functioning properly before using it. The method for testing the catalyst is very complex and would have to be done by an outside source, but it would be worth it to know that the catalyst is not poisoned. Also, if there were still problems in the lab, the use of ultrasonics for dynamic mixing would be a good possibility. Loyola has access to an ultrasonic cleaner which could agitate the reaction mechanically in order to promote mixing and enhance results if needed.

Additionally, it would be essential to do further research regarding the CFD-ACE+ software to ensure that everything is scaled properly. We were satisfied with the results that we obtained from the simulations; however, there was no way of telling for sure that those results were accurate. Therefore, once the laboratory tests are successful, comparisons should be made between the simulations and the experimental results. At least five simulations should be run with a given set of parameters and five laboratory tests should be run with those same parameters to test for compatibility. Once results begin to agree, new values may be acquired to optimize a commercial scale design. Lastly, to help make this project more cost-effective and beneficial, it would be a good idea to look into less expensive feed stocks, or even waste materials from kitchens. Often times restaurants dispose of a lot of cooking oils, but if a way could be figured out to purify these waste oils and then use them to produce biodiesel, that would be a great step in the right direction. Clearly, there are many ways to improve upon this project and we would like to see it carried out by future groups.

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