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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: VEGETABLE OIL-BASED FUELS, ADDITIVES AND COPRODUCTS

Location: Bio-oils Research Unit

Title: A survey of biodiesel feedstocks under performance perspectives

Author
item Knothe, Gerhard

Submitted to: Annual Meeting and Expo of the American Oil Chemists' Society
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: December 22, 2011
Publication Date: April 29, 2012
Citation: Knothe, G.H. 2012. A survey of biodiesel feedstocks under performance perspectives. Annual Meeting and Expo of the American Oil Chemists' Society. IOP 1.

Technical Abstract: Biodiesel, defined as the mono-alkyl esters of vegetable oils and animal fats, can be produced from an ever-growing number of feedstocks. The development of the various feedstocks is spurred to a significant extent by the issue of availability as there is no feedstock that can replace significant amounts of petrodiesel. These include classical commodity oils such as soybean, rapeseed (canola), palm, and sunflower as well as non-edible, more recently emerging oils such as jatropha. Animal fats and especially used cooking oils have attracted interest as low-cost feedstocks. Castor oil, which contains a hydroxy fatty acid, has also been reported as a feedstock. Algae are currently one of the most researched feedstocks due to the claimed high production potential. Other issues affecting the search for additional feedstocks are the so-called food vs. fuel issue and growing requirements of the plants. An issue, however, ultimately affecting the commercialization and use of biodiesel is that of fuel properties as other factors may not matter much if the fuel does not perform. The various feedstocks will be compared here in light of their properties and routes towards improvement of the properties discussed.

Last Modified: 7/24/2014