Submitted to: Annual Meeting and Expo of the American Oil Chemists' Society
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 1, 2006
Publication Date: April 30, 2006
Citation: Dunn, R.O. 2006. Crystallization behavior of fatty acid methyl esters [abstract]. 97th American Oil Chemists' Society Annual Meeting and Expo. p. 68. Technical Abstract: Biodiesel, derived from transesterification of vegetable oils or animal fats, possesses many characteristics that make it attractive as an alternative diesel fuel or extender. However, biodiesel from the most common agricultural feedstocks has flow properties that are more prone to cause start up and operability problems during cold weather. Biodiesel from soybean oil is typically composed of long-chain fatty acid esters where 15-20 wt% of the esters are saturated (MP exceeding 27 deg C) and the remainder unsaturated (MP less than -20 deg C). This work investigates the melting and crystallization properties of five pure fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) most commonly found in biodiesel from soybean oil. Differential scanning calorimetry heating and cooling scans curves were analyzed for pure and blended combinations of high-MP and low-MP FAME. Results from binary combinations (one each high- and low-MP FAME) were employed to determine activity coefficients and to develop a thermodynamic model for inferring crystallization behavior in more complex FAME mixtures.