Submitted to: World Conference and Exhibition on Oilseed and Edible, Industrial and Speci
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/12/2002
Publication Date: 8/12/2002
Citation: DUNN, R.O., KNOTHE, G.H., FOGLIA, T.A., HAAS, M.J., MARMER, W.N. IMPROVING THE FUEL PROPERTIES, EXHAUST EMISSIONS AND ECONOMICS OF BIODIESEL IN THE USA. WORLD CONFERENCE AND EXHIBITION ON OILSEED AND EDIBLE, INDUSTRIAL AND SPECIALTY OILS. 2002. Abstract. p.6. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: In the United States, biodiesel is defined as the mono-alkyl (usually methyl- or ethyl-) esters of fatty acids derived from renewable lipid feedstocks such as vegetable oil, animal fat, greases and used frying oils. Biodiesel is comparable to conventional diesel fuel (petro-diesel) with respect to cetane number, heat of combustion, and viscosity. Biodiesel, both neat and in blends with petro-diesel, reduces harmful exhaust emissions including carbon monoxide, particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, sulfur dioxide, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons but typically does not reduce oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions. Adding 1-2 volume percent admixture biodiesel to low-sulfur petro-diesel completely restores lubricity sacrificed by reducing sulfur content. Although commercialization of biodiesel in the U.S.A. is not as advanced as it is in Europe, biodiesel production will increase from 2 million liters in 1999 to an estimated 95 million liters in 2002, according to the National Biodiesel Board. In addition, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) recently published a biodiesel fuel specification (D6751). Nevertheless, several concerns relating to fuel properties, exhaust emissions, processing and economics must be addressed before widespread use of biodiesel will be possible in the U.S.A. Research projects underway at USDA-Agricultural Research Service (ARS) laboratories in Peoria, IL, and Wyndmoor, PA, are addressing these concerns as follows: 1) improving cold flow properties by developing new additives or by modifying winterization (fractionation); 2) assessing oxidative stability and quantifying its effects on biodiesel performance; 3) providing timely and more user-friendly methods for monitoring and ensuring biodiesel fuel quality; 4) improving combustion chemistry in blends with petro-diesel; 5) reducing harmful exhaust NOx emissions; 6) reducing cost of biodiesel by utilizing alternative feedstocks; 7) developing alternative processing technologies to reduce costs and speed production.