Research in my laboratory is focused on improving the performance of biodiesel (fatty acid methyl esters) as a renewable alternative or blend component for conventional petroleum-derived diesel fuel. Specific areas of study include:
•• Evaluation of alternative feedstocks for production of biodiesel.
•• Correlation of structure and composition of biodiesel to fuel properties.
•• Influence of blending biodiesel with diesel fuel and other biodiesel fuels.
•• Identification of fuel property enhancing additives for biodiesel.
These areas are of particular interest because they directly address the most significant technical deficiencies of biodiesel relative to conventional petroleum-derived diesel fuel, such as: limited feedstock availability and high feedstock cost as well as poor low temperature behavior and oxidative stability.
Results from this research will be important to biodiesel producers, distributors, and end-users (customers) because the availability and performance of biodiesel will be enhanced. This research will ultimately improve market penetration and public perception of domestically produced agricultural fuels such as biodiesel, thus affording greater national independence from imported petroleum-based fuels.
Another area of interest in the Moser laboratory is non-fuel, non-food, industrial applications of fatty acids or the corresponding alkyl esters. Such research will include facile chemical transformation of lipids utilizing principles of green chemistry to afford bio-based, biodegradable alternatives to existing petroleum-derived chemicals. Applications may include biorenewable monomers for production of plastics, adhesives, coatings, latexes, various polyesters, and cosmetics ingredients.
Results generated by the chemical transformation of lipids research will be important to chemical companies dedicated to incorporating bio-based products into their product portfolios, agricultural companies interested in expanding markets for lipids, and consumers interested in products containing renewable materials.