Intensifying biofuel production using a novel bionic flow-induced peristaltic reactor: biodiesel production as a case study

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Key Laboratory of Low-grade Energy Utilization Technologies and Systems, Chongqing University, Ministry of Education, Chongqing 400044, China.

2 Institute of Engineering Thermophysics, School of Energy and Power Engineering, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400044, China.

3 Chongqing University, Chongqing, ChinaKey Laboratory of Low-grade Energy Utilization Technologies and Systems, Chongqing University, Ministry of Education, Chongqing 400044, China.

4 ChongqingKey Laboratory of Low-grade Energy Utilization Technologies and Systems, Chongqing University, Ministry of Education, Chongqing 400044, China. University, Chongqing,China


Intensification of biofuel production processes could play a critical role in boosting the economic and environmental features of the whole process. A novel bionic flow-induced peristaltic reactor with a high conversion rate is constructed to realize efficient biofuel production from high-concentration high-viscosity fluids. It is experimentally verified through biodiesel production from soybean oil. Experimental results show that the conversion efficiency is up to 89.9% at 10 s in the peristaltic reactor, which is 38.4% higher than that in the rigid tube reactor. Furthermore, a three-dimensional peristaltic model is conducted to understand the mechanism of heat and mass transfer enhancement. The simulation results show that an increase in peristaltic amplitude strengthens the mixing of the bionic peristaltic reactor by 92.5-100.8%. The temperature distribution in the bionic peristaltic reactor is more uniform than in the traditional rigid tube reactor. The results demonstrate that the conversion rate of soybean oil in the bionic flow-induced peristaltic reactor is 528.82% min-1, which is 17-60 times higher than other intensified reactors operating in either continuous or batch modes.

Graphical Abstract

Intensifying biofuel production using a novel bionic flow-induced peristaltic reactor: biodiesel production as a case study


  • A novel efficient bionic flow-induced peristaltic reactor was constructed.
  • An efficient peristaltic model with fluid-structure interaction was conducted.
  • The flow-induced peristaltic reactor enhances mixing by 92.5-100.8%.
  • A high conversion rate of 528.84% min-1 was achieved in the peristaltic reactor.


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