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DESIGN OF A MOBILE BIO DIESEL PRODUCTION PLANT
The main goal of this project is to design a mobile biodiesel production plant, which is capable of producing 3000 L of biodiesel per week. The design constraints specify that
the biodiesel production plant must be sized to fit into a standard truck-trailer with
dimensions 8 feet wide by 40 feet long by 9.5 feet tall. The plant is to be self-sufficient in
one form of energy (provided by the client), adaptable to different grades of waste
vegetable oil (WVO), environmentally friendly, and economically feasible.
This report presents the final design of the mobile plant in two-dimensional Process Flow
Diagrams (PFD’s) and three-dimensional AutoCAD renderings. The main reaction, the
pre-treatment, and the purification stages are described in detail and the proposed
process, including equipment design specifications, is introduced. The feasibility of this
design was evaluated through an environmental impact assessment and economic
analysis. Although the contents of wastewater are unsuitable for discharge, the economic
analysis, including wastewater disposal costs, proves the design to be economically
feasible. With the production rate of 156,000 L biodiesel annually, a profit of $20563
each year is realized.
For the continuation of this project, future groups are encouraged to collect data specific
to biodiesel and determine the demand for a such a mobile plant.
The purpose of this project is to design an economically feasible mobile biodiesel plant
capable of processing different grades of waste vegetable oil (WVO) to produce 3000 L
of biodiesel per week. The mobile biodiesel production unit will travel to locations such
as cruise ship ports and small communities, where the clients are participating in the
Biodiesel~In Motion program. The clients are provided with two tanks, one for WVO
collection and storage and the other for the biodiesel product. It is desired that the mobile
plant operate to meet the production requirements of 3000 L of biodiesel per week at the
end of a 40-hour work week, such that the plant requires two full-time operators. The
biodiesel produced can then be sold back to the client to fuel their diesel-engined
machinery. In addition, the only client requirements are that they must provide electrical
energy, water, and steam for the mobile plant process.
This final report details the plans and decisions that were made leading up to the
completion of the design of the mobile plant. Section 2.0 will present the main reaction
that was chosen to convert WVO to biodiesel, including the rationale and consequences
for this choice. The process which takes WVO through pre-treatment, reaction, and
finally, purification is described in Section 3.0 and illustrated in Process Flow Diagrams
and Piping and Instrumentation Diagrams attached in Appendix B. The equipment that
this process requires is sized and shown in Section 4.0. Section 5.0 discusses the
environmental impacts of this mobile plant. Finally, based on equipment cost estimates,
the feasibility of this mobile plant is evaluated in an economic analysis in Section 6.0.
Finally, recommendations have been proposed for the continuation of this project.
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