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Abstract

Reactor technology for the transesterification process of vegetable oils or animal fats with methanol has been widely developed to obtain biodiesel products that comply with standards but at the lowest cost. The hydrodynamic cavitation reactor with orifice type is a choice for this purpose. This research aims to determine the optimal orifice design from several orifice designs tested through CFD simulation. Computer simulations performed on orifices A, B, C and D using the Schnerr and Sauer models show that orifice C is optimal for cavitation at an absolute inlet pressure of 3x105 N/m2 with the use of methanol as fluid. The parameters studied in the computer simulation are velocity, pressure, turbulent kinetic energy and vapor volume fraction. At the absolute inlet pressure of 3x105 N/m2, the maximum speed is 28.69 m/s, the minimum pressure is 12266 N/m2, the maximum vapor volume fraction is 0.98, and the maximum turbulent kinetic energy is 12.75 m2/s2. The results of simulation were compared with experiments conducted on a hydrodynamic cavitation reactor using orifices C and D. Measurements of the velocity and pressure parameters showed that there were no significant deviations between the results of the computer simulation and the experiment.

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