Microcontroller Based Automated Reactor for Esterification of Lactic Acid: MATLAB Simulation

Document Type : Research Article


1 Department of Chemical Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Raipur, INDIA

2 Department of Chemical Engineering, Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology Nagpur, INDIA

3 Department of Chemical Engineering, Priyadarshini Institute of Engineering and Technology, Nagpur, INDIA


This paper deals with the esterification of lactic acid using sulfonated carbon catalyst in a newly designed Microcontroller-Based Automated Reactor (MBAR) and the simulation of process parameters using MATLAB programming. The reactor was accompanied by a moisture sensor, temperature sensor, and solenoid valves in the embedded system. The study of the effect of process parameters such as silica gel weight, hot air temperature, molar ratio, and conversion of lactic acid on the removal of water, generated during esterification reaction, was performed. Water removal by adsorption using silica gel at each stage of conversion was estimated experimentally as well as with the help of developed, simulated linear equations, using MATLAB. The experimental and MATLAB results were compared and found in close vicinity. The simulation results revealed that increased water removal is achieved with increasing conversion and molar ratio. The results also validated that increasing the reaction temperature increases the conversion tremendously with a rapid decrease in hot air flow requirement. The uniqueness of the newly designed reactor is that the silica bed is operated in rotation in such a way that when one is in operation another is regenerated during its idle time.


Main Subjects

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