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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: Biodiesel/ULSD blend ratios by analysis of fuel properties

Author
item Dunn, Robert

Submitted to: Annual Meeting and Expo of the American Oil Chemists' Society
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: January 30, 2011
Publication Date: May 1, 2011
Citation: Dunn, R.O. 2011. Biodiesel/ULSD blend ratios by analysis of fuel properties. Annual Meeting and Expo of the American Oil Chemists' Society. p. 68.

Technical Abstract: Biodiesel is an alternative fuel that is made from vegetable oil or animal fat. Biodiesel is often blended with ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD; 15 mg/kg maximum sulfur content) in volumetric ratios (VBD) of up to 20 vol% (B20). Government tax credits and other regulatory requirements may depend on accurate verification of biodiesel blend ratio levels (VBD). A survey on biodiesel/petrodiesel blends conducted in Spring 2007 in Michigan reported that 15 of 19 different B20 samples were actually no more than B10 (see Tang et al. (2008), Fuel 87:2951-2955). Many laboratory instruments capable of accurately determining VBD of biodiesel/ULSD blends are expensive to acquire and maintain. This work explores the use of calibration curves based on more cost-effective analysis of fuel properties that may also be conducted with portable instruments in the field. Curves derived from regression analyses of VBD versus kinematic viscosity (v), specific gravity (SG), cloud point (CP), and refractive index (RI) were evaluated for methyl esters of soybean oil (SME) and used cooking oil (UCOME) in blends with ULSD. Results showed generally high coefficients of regression (> 0.986) with models based on SG data demonstrating accuracy for determining VBD to within 1.3 vol%.

Last Modified: 4/16/2014
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