Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Scientific Communities
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

Researchers at UCF Automate Biodiesel Production Using In-line Digital Viscometer

Published: Saturday, July 19, 2014
Last Updated: Friday, July 18, 2014
Bookmark and Share
Researchers use VISCOpro 1600 viscometer to monitor the viscosity of the glycerol.

Automating the process of producing biodiesel was a challenge for researchers at the University of Central Florida’s School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Engineers at Cambridge Viscosity by PAC implemented an in-line viscometer to help the researchers reach their goal of an efficient way to produce biodiesel.

To produce biodiesel, oil is mixed with alcohol to produce fatty acid methyl esters. The reaction, known as transeterfication, produces glycerol as a waste by-product. The viscosity of the glycerol is a key parameter, as high viscosity content can lead to potential problems such as clogged fuel filters or fuel pressure drops.

The researchers used a Cambridge Viscosity VISCOpro 1600 viscometer to monitor the viscosity of the glycerol by-product. Using potassium hydroxide as the catalyst for the transeterfication process, the team removed the glycerol by-product that sank to the bottom of the mixing chamber and routed it through pipes leading to the viscometer.

If the glycerol’s viscosity reading was more than 6 mPas, the glycerol was directed to a waste container. After washing the biodiesel, the wastewater was also directed to the viscometer, and if viscosity was lower than 3 mPas, was discarded.

University researcher Kevin Brachle said the viscometer was simple to operate and produced accurate results. “The digital measurements we obtained from the VISCOpro were easy to integrate with our microcontroller and allowed us to determine if the biodiesel was on target. By monitoring the viscosity of the glycerol we were able to consistently produce quality biodiesel fuel,” says Brachle.

“By using the Cambridge viscometer, Kevin has provided the research team with the data required to tune their process while minimizing human exposure to hazardous chemicals,” says PAC Process Analytics Product Manager Jonathan Cole.

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,800+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Scientific News
High Throughput Mass Spectrometry-Based Screening Assay Trends
Dr John Comley provides an insight into HT MS-based screening with a focus on future user requirements and preferences.
New Analysis Technique for Chiral Activity in Molecules
Professor Hyunwoo Kim of the Chemistry Department and his research team have developed a technique that can easily analyze the optical activity of charged compounds by using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy.
Measuring microRNAs in Blood to Speed Cancer Detection
A simple, ultrasensitive microRNA sensor holds promise for the design of new diagnostic strategies and, potentially, for the prognosis and treatment of pancreatic and other cancers.
Best Test to Diagnose Strangles in Horses Identified
New research by Dr. Ashley Boyle of New Bolton Center’s Equine Field Service team shows that the best method for diagnosing Strangles in horses is to take samples from a horse’s guttural pouch and analyze them using a loop-mediated amplification (LAMP) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.
Tardigrade's Are DNA Master Thieves
Tardigrades, nearly microscopic animals that can survive the harshest of environments, including outer space, hold the record for the animal that has the most foreign DNA.
Lucentis Effective for Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy
NIH-funded clinical trial marks first major advance in therapy in 40 years.
Antibiotics on Our Plates 'Could Lead to Health Catastrophe'
Two medical experts from The University of Queensland are urging China to curb its use of antibiotics in animals to avoid what could be a ‘major health catastrophe’ for humans.
The Secret Behind the Power of Bacterial Sex
Migration between different communities of bacteria is the key to the type of gene transfer that can lead to the spread of traits such as antibiotic resistance, according to researchers at Oxford University.
Farming’s in Their DNA
Ancient genomes reveal natural selection in action.
Personalized Drug Screening for Multiple Myeloma Patients
A personalized method for testing the effectiveness of drugs that treat multiple myeloma may predict quickly and more accurately the best treatments for individual patients with the bone marrow cancer.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,800+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,000+ scientific videos