Submitted to: Pacifichem Symposium
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 1, 2005
Publication Date: December 15, 2005
Citation: Dunn, R.O. 2005. Cold flow properties of biodiesel: Admixtures of soybean oil fatty acid esters of methyl and branched-chain alcohols [abstract]. PacifiChem 2005. p. 43. Technical Abstract: Biodiesel is an alternative fuel made from vegetable oil or animal fat that can be employed in compression-ignition (diesel) engines. Although biodiesel has many attractive fuel characteristics, it is more prone to start-up and operability issues during cold weather than conventional diesel fuels (petro-diesel). This work examines the improvement of the cloud point (CP) and pour point (PP) of soybean oil fatty acid methyl esters (SME) by mixing them with fatty acid esters made from the transesterification of soybean oil with isopropanol, 2-butanol and isobutanol. For each binary admixture of SME and branched-chain alkyl ester, phase diagrams were constructed to compare effects of composition on CP and PP. With respect to 90/10 (v/v) SME/branched-chain alkyl ester admixtures, isopropyl esters were nearly as effective in decreasing CP as 2-butyl and isobutyl esters. Although more expensive to produce than methyl or ethyl type biodiesel esters, branched-chain alkyl esters appear to offer a promising solution to the problem of improving cold flow properties of biodiesel.