• Process for Synthesis of Biodiesel from Used Cooking Oil: Feasibility and Experimental Studies

      Patel, Rajnikant; Dawson, K.; Butterfield, R.; Khan, Amir; Ahada, B.; Arellano-Garcia, Harvey (2014)
      Biodiesel has turned out to be an integral part of the discussion of renewable energy sources and has diverse advantages in terms of its flexibility and applicability. Considering the characteristics of the transesterification reaction, a laboratory-scale system has been developed in this work. Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO), mainly sunflower oil, from local sources has been used and the transesterification carried out using methanol in the presence of sodium hydroxide catalyst. Characterisation of the biodiesel produced has been carried out using a number of different techniques including rheology, calorimetry, and gas liquid chromatography. The main factors affecting the % yield of biodiesel are temperature, catalyst, and alcohol to triglyceride ratio. Thus, experimental work has been carried out so as to study the rate and yield of the reaction as a function of those factors. A model has also been developed to validate the experimental data and this should help in increasing the efficiency of these processes and reducing the energy input. Moreover, the novel use of ultrasound as a method of measuring progression of the reaction is correlated with in-situ pH monitoring of the reaction process.
    • Real-time diagnostics of gas/water assisted injection moulding using integrated ultrasonic sensors

      Mulvaney-Johnson, Leigh; Cheng, C-C.; Ono, Y.; Brown, Elaine C.; Jen, C.K.; Coates, Philip D. (2007)
      An ultrasound sensor system has been applied to the mould of both the water and gas assisted injection moulding processes. The mould has a cavity wall mounted pressure sensor and instrumentation to monitor the injection moulding machine. Two ultrasound sensors are used to monitor the arrival of the fluid (gas or water) bubble tip through the detection of reflected ultrasound energy from the fluid polymer boundary and the fluid bubble tip velocity through the polymer melt is estimated. The polymer contact with the cavity wall is observed through the reflected ultrasound energy from that boundary. A theoretically based estimation of the residual wall thickness is made using the ultrasound reflection from the fluid (gas or water) polymer boundary whilst the samples are still inside the mould and a good correlation with a physical measurement is observed.