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ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #115632


item Knothe, Gerhard - Gary

Submitted to: Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/26/2001
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Biodiesel is an alternative diesel fuel derived from vegetable oils such as diesel fuel. In cold weather, biodiesel can often not be used because its components solidify in the fuel tanks and fuel lines. One approach to help solve this problem is to put materials called cold-flow improvers in small amounts into the biodiesel. There are different kinds of cold-flow improvers already commercially available which give only very limited improvement when used in biodiesel. The present work investigates the synthesis and analysis of other kinds of products studied as potential cold-flow improvers. The products synthesized here also have other commercial applications including use in lubricants and cosmetics. While the products have a limited effect on the cold-flow properties, their characterization by means of chemical analysis is also reported. This will aid in identifying similar compounds in future work.

Technical Abstract: Esters of some common fatty acids and diacids with Guerbet alcohols were prepared by p-toluenesulfonic acid-catalyzed esterification. Such materials are of interest in applications such as additives in various industrial products. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry with chemical ionization using methane as ionization gas is an efficient characterization method for these Guerbet esters and diesters. Under these conditions, structural features such as molecular weight and site of branching are easily determined. The spectra of the present compounds were compared to those of di-Guerbet esters reported earlier and differences noted. The compounds were also characterized by 13C-NMR spectroscopy.