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Title: Comparing the Lubricity of Biofuels Obtained from Pyrolysis and Alcoholysis of Soybean Oil and their Blends with Petroleum Diesel

item Moser, Bryan
item Erhan, Sevim

Submitted to: Fuel
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/17/2008
Publication Date: 12/6/2008
Citation: Suarez, P.A., Moser, B.R., Sharma, B.K., Erhan, S.Z. 2008. Comparing the Lubricity of Biofuels Obtained from Pyrolysis and Alcoholysis of Soybean Oil and their Blends with Petroleum Diesel. Fuel. 88:1143-1147.

Interpretive Summary: Alternative diesel fuels derived from domestic biological materials are attractive substitutes to petroleum diesel for combustion in compression-ignition (diesel) engines. Biodiesel, which is obtained from transesterification of animal fats or vegetable oils, has gained considerable attention because it is biodegradable, renewable, reduces most exhaust emissions, and can be integrated into existing petroleum diesel in any proportion. However, technical deficiencies of biodiesel, such as oxidation stability and low temperature performance, are significant impediments to widespread acceptance of the alternative fuel. As a result, pyrodiesel, which is obtained from pyrolysis of vegetable oils or animal fats, presents a viable alternative to biodiesel as a domestically produced renewable fuel, as it is superior to biodiesel with regard to oxidation stability and low temperature performance. The current study investigated the ability of pyrodiesel obtained from soybean oil to improve the lubrication properties of petroleum diesel. This is important because petroleum diesel does not possess sufficient lubricating ability without additives to prevent unwanted engine deterioration. The results indicated that pyrodiesel, when added to petroleum diesel, improves the lubricating ability of the fuel. This work is significant because it opens yet another opportunity for soybean oil to play a role in the bioenergy sector, thus further benefiting the agricultural community.

Technical Abstract: A diesel-like fuel was synthesized by a pyrolysis method using only an edible soybean oil as starting material (PD). Some physical properties of the material were studied, neat, and in blends with both high sulfur (HSD) and low sulfur (LSD) diesel fuels, and compared with blends of biodiesel (BD) with these fossil fuels. It was observed using different methods that the lubricity of biobased fuels obtained after the transesterification or pyrolysis of soybean oil are higher than either LSD or HSD and also that the lubricity of diesel fuels are enhanced when either BD or PD are added. Comparing PD to BP, and overall, lead to the conclusion that the pyrolysis products are a viable alternative.