A systematic approach was applied to study the process of hydrotreating vegetable oils. During the three phases of conceptual, detailed, and final design, unit operations were designed and sized. Modeling of the process was performed with UniSim Design®. Producing green diesel and jet fuel from vegetable oils was found to be technically possible via a flexible process of hydrotreatment. The resulting mass and energy balances indicated high carbon atom and energy yield. An economic evaluation proved that the operational expenses mainly depend on the cost of raw materials. Currently, the margin between crude palm oil and the retail diesel price is too low to operate an economically viable process. However, production and utilization of biofuels is required by international regulations.
Hilbers, T. J., Sprakel, L. M. J., van den Enk, L. B. J., Zaalberg, B., van den Berg, H., & van der Ham, A. G. J. (2015). Green Diesel from Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil Process Design Study. Chemical engineering and technology, 38(4), 651-657. https://doi.org/10.1002/ceat.201400648