Submitted to: International Soybean Processing and Utilization Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: January 5, 2004
Publication Date: March 5, 2004
Citation: Knothe, G.H. 2004. Biodiesel fuel properties of soybean oil fatty acid esters. Proceedings of International Soybean Processing and Utilization Conference. p. 1008-1015. Technical Abstract: Biodiesel is an alternative diesel fuel defined as the mono-alkyl esters of vegetable oils or animal fats, which are obtained by the transesterification of the oil or fat with a monohydric alcohol, usually methanol. Soybean oil is the major feedstock for the production of biodiesel in the United States. As virtually all vegetable oils, soybean oil is mainly composed of the triacylglycerols of several fatty acids. The five main fatty acids found in soybean oil - palmitic, stearic, oleic, linoleic and linolenic acids - differ in chain length and degree of (un)saturation. These structural differences impart different physical properties, many of which are of significance for fuel applications. Several other typical fuel properties are also affected. These properties can also be affected by the kind of ester, i.e., the alcohol used for production of the mono-alkyl esters. This work summarizes some important fuel properties of biodiesel and how they are affected by the properties of the individual esters comprising it.