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M. Hasheminejad, M. Tabatabaei, M. Khatami far, Y. Mansourpanah.  Glycerin Ultra-Purification; A key to economize Biodiesel Production. (Third International Symposium on Energy From Biomass and Waste. November 8 - 11 , 2010, Venice, Italy)


SUMMARY: In recent years biodiesel has drawn considerable amount of attention as a clean and renewable fuel. Biodiesel is produced from renewable sources such as vegetable oils and animal fat mainly through catalytic or non-catalytic transesterification method as well as supercritical method. However, as a consequence of disadvantages of these methods, the production cost increases dramatically. Glycerin, the co-product of biodiesel production has diverse applications in pharmaceutical, food and cosmetic industries. Therefore, it can be a key factor in economizing biodiesel production if it is of ultra purity (≥99.5). The focus of this review is on different biodiesel production methods followed by downstream and upstream strategies to economize the whole process. Ultra purification of glycerin by using membrane separation technology and its role in economizing the production process is also discussed.


M. Barkhi, M. Tabatabaei, A. Sulaiman, S. Pourmand, MA Hassan.  An overview on the effects of Nano-Catalysts on the combustion performance of Biodiesel. (Third International Symposium on Energy From Biomass & Waste. November 8-11, 2010, Venice,Italy)


SUMMARY: Today, reduction in underground-based fuel resources has highlighted the necessity to look for more economic renewable fuels as biodiesel and etc. The most important issues with respect to fuels are ignition, combustion and harmful emissions. An efficient way to improve combustion performance is applying catalysts. A catalyst is a material which acts as an activation energy reducer in chemical reactions. When a catalyst used for improving combustion of fuels, it must have special properties such as good activity for combustion (oxygen donating) and high dispersion in fuels at nanometer scale. The aim of this review is introducing a feasible way to improving ignition and combustion characteristics of biodiesel by applying Nanocatalysts.


A. Sulaiman, A.M.. Nikbakht, M. Khatamifar, M. Tabatabaei, M.A. Hassan. Modeling anaerobic process for wastewater treatment: new trends and methodologies (ICBEC 2010- December, 2011, Hong Kong)

SUMMARY- Anaerobic digestion is a multistep process involving the action of multiple microbes. In order to be able to design and operate anaerobic digestion systems efficiently, appropriate models need to be developed. Several Mathematical models have  been introduced which suffer from lack of knowledge on constants, complexity and weak generalization. Novel techniques to provide correlation between the affecting factors and production criteria of reactors have been reported to be robust, simple and fast enough for control applications and on-line industrial implementations. In this paper, artificial neural networks (ANN), genetic algorithms (GA) and Fuzzy systems are reviewed. ANN models have been extensively used and gained a considerable attention among the researchers. However, integration of GA and Fuzzy systems looks extremely promising for the industrial fields in future. In addition, the advantageous and practical applications of these models for wastewater treatment are also fully discussed.


P. Mohammadi, A.M. Nikbakht, M. Tabatabaei, Kh. Farhadi. Assessing Dissolution of Expanded Polystyrene in Biodiesel through UV Spectrophotometry Technique: A Kinetic Study (18th Iranian Seminar of Analytical Chemistry- May 18- 20, 2011, Iran)

SUMMARY- Biodiesel is an alkyl ester of free fatty acids. It is the main product of transestrification reaction of triglycerides together with glycerin as a byproduct. This paper presents a study for dissolution kinetics of special kind of polymers in biodiesel. The weight loss of expanded polystyrene was obtained using UV spectrophotometry over time. The effects of polymer concentration and heating temperature were also investigated. The polymer was dissolved rapidly in primary phases of the reaction. Clearly, the reaction time increased when the polymer concentration was enhanced. Moreover, increasing heating temperature resulted in decrease in reaction time.


H. Ghorbani, A.M. Nikbakht, M. Tabatabaei, M. Hosseini, P. Mohammadi. Application of modeling techniques for prediction and optimization of biodiesel production processes (ICBEM 2011- September 16- 18, 2011, Singapore)


SUMMARY- Biodiesel has found a great deal of significance in recent years. Environmental challenges have been key factors to justify the necessity of a renewable clean fuel. On the other hand, the production and utilization of biodiesel in a proper state is of concern regarding the numerous plants and industries engaged with the biodiesel. Economical production of biodiesel requires uncovering the process and optimization of the parameters. New methodologies have emerged to satisfy this purpose. In this paper, several features related to the industrial production of biodiesel are discussed. However, modern trends to model the process together with their scope and range of application have been detailed.


M.M.A. Shirazi, M. Tabatabaei, M.J.A. Shirazi, Y. Mansourpanah. Direct contact membrane distillation for desalination: Membrane characteristics approach (7th International Chemical Engineering Congress & Exhibition, 21-24 November, 2011Kish, Iran)


SUMMARY- Membrane distillation process is an emerging technology for separation purposes traditionally accomplished by conventional distillation or reverse osmosis. This process is based on the hydrophobic characteristics of microporous membranes solely allowing the vapor to pass through the pores of the membrane. Because specific membranes for membrane distillation have not been developed yet, microfiltration membranes made of hydrophobic polymers are usually used. In this work, twelve flat sheet commercial membranes made of PTFE were used and their characteristics were investigated under different operating conditions contain three feed temperatures (40, 60 and 80oC, four hot feed flow rates (200, 400, 600 and 800mL/min), four cold stream flow rates (100, 200, 300 and 400mL/min), two feed concentrations (35 and 45g/L). Membranes properties contain pore size, thickness, support layer and salt rejection investigated. Long term performance for all membranes investigated to evaluation of direct contact membrane distillation as stand-alone desalination process. Results shown that feed temperature has the major effect on the permeate flux. Increase of hot feed flow rate led to reduction of polarizations effect and increased the permeate flux, while cold stream flow rate had negligible effect. Membranes with pore sizes of 0.45 and 1.0μm achieved higher flux while membrane with pore size of 0.22μm achieved higher salt rejection. Increase of membrane thickness led to decrease of the permeate flux due to increase of mass transfer resistance. Support layers had negligible effect on the permeate flux and salt


M.M.A. Shirazi, M. Tabatabaei, M.J.A. Shirazi, Y. Mansourpanah. Separation of ethanol-water mixtures using sweeping gas membrane distillation: Experimental approach (7th Intl. Chemical Engineering Congress & Exhibition, 21-24 November, 2011Kish,Iran)


SUMMARY- In the present study, the feasibility of using sweeping gas membrane distillation process as a possible method for direct separation of ethanol-water using a flat sheet PTFE membrane located in a plate and frame module with 169cm2 active area and air stream as sweeping gas was investigated. Feed concentration, temperature and flow rate, as well as the flow rate of the sweeping air were taken into consideration as operating parameters and their effects on the permeate flux and ethanol selectivity were studied. The highest feed concentration applied was 7wt.% ethanol, as higher values than 7% would increase the risk of membrane wetting. Increases in feed temperature led to an increased permeate flux and selectivity, and within the feed temperature range of 35 to 55oC and at lower feed concentrations (3wt%), ethanol selectivity of 18.5 to 25 was achieved, however, by increasing the feed concentration more than 5wt%, selectivity decreased. The increased permeate flux and ethanol selectivity at higher feed flow rates was mainly due to the reduced effects of temperature and especially concentration polarizations. Results obtained showed that the present process could be used as a stand-alone dehydration technique for ethanol aqueous mixtures.


P. Mohammadi, A. M.Nikbakht, M. Tabatabaei, Kh. Farhadi, M. Khatamifar, Y. Mansourpanah, H. Ghorbani And M. Hosseini. Waste Plastic-WVO Biodiesel as an Additive to Boost Diesel Fuel Properties (WasteEng 2012: 4th International Conference on Engineering for Waste and Biomass Valorisation. September 10 – 13, 2012, Porto, Portugal)


Summary: Biodiesel is known as an alternative and biodegradable fuel and is produced from oil sources of plant or animal origins. The high cost of feedstock used for biodiesel production and the food security issues are among the challenges faced in justifying the economic use of this green fuel. In addition, despite the proved advantages of biodiesel, there are some drawbacks such as increasing NOx emissions. In the present study, Expanded Polystyrene wastes were dissolved in biodiesel produced from waste cooking oil by using physical and chemical treatments. The main objectives were to recover plastic wastes and at the same time to improve biodiesel properties. As a result, a specific fuel composition was formulated that could be used as a fuel additive (5 lit additive/100 lit diesel fuel) in diesel engines. Despite the negligible reduction observed in power (less than 4%), the other engine parameters remained stable and all the emissions including soot, CO2, CO and NOx were reduced significantly. Interestingly, this additive resulted in a considerable reduction in NOx emissions (12.5%) at maximum speed and full load. It also led to a significant reduction in fuel consumption by 10%.

full paper 120.pdf (566.35 kB)


A. Javani, M. Tabatabaei, Y. Mansourpanah, M. Hasheminejad, M. Khatamifar, A.M. Nikbakht.  Simultaneous High Quality Potassium Phosphate Production and Glycerol Purification Derived From Waste Cooking Oil through Step-by-Step Acidification Process (WasteEng 2012: 4th International Conference on Engineering for Waste and Biomass Valorisation. September 10 – 13, 2012, Porto, Portugal)


Summary:  The cost of biodiesel production can be reduced by a number of strategies such as utilization of waste cooking oils and non-edible plant oils as well as implementation of improved separation technologies. In addition, processes dealing with the glycerol by-product can have economic benefits. In the present study, acidification of crude glycerol with phosphoric acid to pH 9.67 followed by acidification to 4.67 was implemented to produce high quality potassium phosphate during glycerol purification. KH2PO4, K2HPO4, glycerol and free fatty acids (FFAs) with the purity of 98, 98.05, 96.08 and 99.58% were obtained, respectively.

full paper 122.pdf (352.47 kB)
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