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University of Southampton Malaysia

Research project: Microfluidic Devices for Sustainable Biodiesel Transesterification (open for PhD application)

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Sustainable and low carbon transport has gained global attention, as 23% global carbon dioxide emissions originated from the transport sector. This is expected to grow further with the sector accounting for 40% of end-use energy consumption. Biodiesel is presently the dominant biofuel for diesel engines.

Sustainable and low carbon transport has gained global attention, as 23% global carbon dioxide emissions originated from the transport sector. This is expected to grow further with the sector accounting for 40% of end-use energy consumption. Biodiesel is presently the dominant biofuel for diesel engines. However, conventional biodiesel production methods are limited by energy intensive and slow separation reaction process. In this study, we will explore the use of an inexpensive heat-pressed laser engrave microfluidic device, as opposed to using soft lithography. The ability to rapidly customise the synthetic polymer microfluidic device will allow cosolvent techniques to be investigated. Reaction kinetics of the process in the device will be triangulated against the optical and numerical modelling of the flow reaction-mixing patterns. The method can potentially democratise the use of microfluidics in intensifying the biodiesel production process.

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