Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 14, 2007
Publication Date: November 5, 2007
Citation: Dunn, R.O. 2007. Low-Temperature Thermodynamics of Fatty Acid Methyl Ethers (FAME) [abstract]. International Congress on Biodiesel. p. 27. Technical Abstract: The most common form of biodiesel is made by transesterification reaction of vegetable oil or fat with methanol. Although biodiesel is attractive as an alternative diesel fuel or extender, depending on its feedstock it may be very susceptible to cause start up and operability problems during cold weather. Soybean oil-derived biodiesel is typically composed of long-chain fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) with up to 15-20 wt% saturated esters (melting point (MP) exceeding 27 deg C) mixed with unsaturated esters (MP less than -20 deg C). This work investigates physical properties associated with five pure FAME most commonly found in soybean oil-derived biodiesel at low temperatures. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) heating and cooling curves were analyzed for single, binary and ternary mixtures of high- and low-MP FAME. Results were employed to develop a thermodynamic model based on freezing point depression theory to predict the crystallization behavior of more complex FAME mixtures.