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ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #178140


item Foglia, Thomas
item Jones, Kerby
item Phillips, John

Submitted to: Chromatographia
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/7/2005
Publication Date: 8/1/2005
Citation: Foglia, T.A., Jones, K.C., Phillips, J.G. 2005. Determination of biodiesel and triacylglycerol in diesel fuel by high performance liquid chromatography. Chromatographia. 62(3/4):115-119.

Interpretive Summary: Simple alkyl ester derivatives of animal fats and vegetable oils, primarily methyl esters, are actively being promoted as diesel fuel alternatives. When used as diesel fuels these esters are commonly referred to as biodiesel Blends of biodiesel with conventional petrodiesel fuel, however, are the most common utilization of biodiesel. In the U.S., biodiesel is most commonly utilized as a blend of 20 vol % in petrodiesel; this blend is commonly referred to as B20. Other blend levels such as B5 and B2 also are employed. Accordingly, there is need for the development of methods for determining or verifying the blend level of biodiesel in petrodiesel. In this paper we report the results of an extended study on the potential of a liquid chromatographic procedure that can validate the blend levels of biodiesel fuels prepared from different feedstocks in petrodiesel. The results of this work have the potential of being a standard test method, which currently does not exist, for determining the actual percentage of biodiesel in a blend.

Technical Abstract: A high performance liquid chromatographic method was developed for quantifying blends of biodiesel (simple alkyl esters of fatty acids) in petrodiesel. The method uses a silica column with an isocratic mobile phase consisting of hexane and methyl t-butyl ether. Separated components were quantitated using either an evaporative light scattering detector (ELSD) or UV detector. Precision of injection and linearity of response of the ELSD or UV detectors over a range of biodiesel-petrodiesel blends [1 to 30 v/v%] were established by use of standards. The method also can be used to quantitate similar levels of oils or fats (triacylglycerols) in petrodiesel.