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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: Effects of monoacylglycerols on low-temperature viscosity and cold filter plugging point of biodiesel

Author
item Dunn, Robert

Submitted to: American Oil Chemists' Society Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 28, 2013
Publication Date: April 28, 2013
Citation: Dunn, R.O. 2013. Effects of monoacylglycerols on low-temperature viscosity and cold filter plugging point of biodiesel [abstract]. American Oil Chemists' Society Meeting. p. 34.

Technical Abstract: Biodiesel is composed of mono-alkyl fatty acid esters made from the transesterification of vegetable oil or animal fat with methanol or ethanol. Biodiesel must meet rigorous standard fuel specifications (ASTM D 6751; CEN EN 14214) to be classified as an alternative fuel. Nevertheless, biodiesel that is within specification may contain trace concentrations of unconverted monoacylglycerol (MAG). The relatively low solubility of MAG in biodiesel may cause them to form solid residues when stored at low temperatures. The present study is an evaluation of how increased concentrations of MAG affect the kinematic viscosity (Visc) and cold filter plugging point (CFPP) of fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) from soybean, canola, and palm oils. Results initially demonstrated good correlations for both Visc and CFPP time-to-filter (TTF) with respect to decreasing temperature (T). Mixing the FAME with added MAG had an effect on both parameters, especially with respect to TTF. Very sharp increases in TTF were noted at higher temperatures as the added MAG concentration increased in the mixtures. These effects were in contrast to the less pronounced effects on Visc. Finally, good correlations established between TTF and Visc were found to be disrupted by sharp increases in TTF caused by the presence of added MAG in the mixtures. Results from this study suggest that biodiesel should be periodically tested for CFPP and the TTF recorded when stored in cold weather.

Last Modified: 10/24/2014
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