In this work, it was investigated the time evolution of thermal profile inside a liquefaction vessel and how the temperature and time of reaction influenced liquefaction yield. Liquefaction was performed in two different ways: (1) Experimental Analysis; (2) Numerical 3-D model, using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). Liquefaction was performed using lemon bagasse samples, glycerol and sulphuric acid, as catalyst. Temperature and liquefaction Yield (LY) were measured for different time of reaction (30, 60 and 90 minutes). From experimental data, LY were higher than 70 wt% for 90 minutes reaction. The increase in the temperature inside the reactor occurred due to the conduction and natural convection phenomena. Although the jacketed vessel was fed with steam at 125°C, working conditions allowed the heating of the mixture to less than 100°C. CFD thermal profile was in accordance with experimental data. They showed it was necessary 60 minutes to achieve a steady state of heating in the mixture inside this liquefaction vessel. From CFD transient simulations, it was observed some oscillations and detachment from experimental data, which may be due to changes in fluids properties along the process. Despite this consideration CFD could satisfactory analyse heat transfer in this liquefaction process.
Part of the book: Biotechnological Applications of Biomass