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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Improving the Low-Temperature Operability of Biodiesel

Author
item Dunn, Robert

Submitted to: Biomass for Energy and Industry European Conference and Technology Exhibit
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: June 11, 1998
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Biodiesel is an attractive alternative fuel for combustion in diesel engines. Biodiesel has been shown to provide comparable engine performance while reducing harmful exhaust emissions. However, biodiesel has relatively poor low- temperature flow properties with respect to petroleum middle distillates (petro-diesel). This paper examines treatment with cold flow improvers and winterization as potential approaches for improving the low-temperature flow properties of biodiesel. Results from cloud point (CP) and cold filter plugging point (CFPP) measurements indicated a linear correlation between these two parameters; that is, CFPP was directly proportional to CP. Given this relationship, results from additive treatment and winterization of biodiesel were compared head to head primarily with respect to CP. Although treatment with cold flow improvers reduced the pour point (PP) of biodiesel, these additives did not greatly affect CP. Similar results were obtained for petro diesel/biodiesel blends treated with additives. On the other hand, winterization proved capable of reducing CP of biodiesel to a value comparable to that of petro-diesel. Although these techniques significantly decreased storage stability with respect to autoxidation, they did not compromise fuel quality of methyl soyate with respect to standard fuel specifications for biodiesel.

Last Modified: 9/22/2014
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