Hydrotreating Process Optimization for Renewable Diesel Production from Vegetable Oil to Promote Green Industry Implementation in Indonesia
The utilization of fossil fuels has been a significant issue due to fears of the vast imports and combustion of fossil fuels leading to rising emissions. This has encouraged the Indonesian government to enhance renewable energy production with more effective and efficient processes that are in line with the implementation of the green industry concept. So, the government plans to design up to 23% of its energy from renewable sources such as biodiesel by 2025 and will gradually de-dieselize all fossil-fuel-based power plants. Hydrodeoxygenation of vegetable oils has been researched as an alternative approach to synthesizing biofuels, or renewable diesel (RD), to avoid the adverse physical features of oxygenated fuels and simultaneously comply with the existing requirements of diesel power plants. RD can be produced from several types of vegetable oil without compromising fuel quality through hydroprocessing. This research aims to model and optimize the hydrodeoxygenation process in RD production from Chlorella vulgaris, Jatropha curcas, and rubber seed oil using the UniSim process simulator by varying the operating temperature from 250 to 400°C and pressure from 1 to 5 MPa. The analytical hierarchy process (AHP) method assessed the optimal raw material for RD production by ranking selected criteria based on the green industry approach. The optimal and most efficient raw material, indicated by the highest AHP score (0.163), was the rubber seed, which resulted in a 39% renewable diesel yield and a total conversion of 98% at 300°C and 3 MPa.