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Title: Influence of Blending Canola, Palm, Soybean, and Sunflower Oil Methyl Esters on Fuel Properties of Bioiesel

item Moser, Bryan

Submitted to: Energy and Fuels
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/1/2008
Publication Date: 10/2/2008
Citation: Moser, B.R. 2008. Influence of Blending Canola, Palm, Soybean, and Sunflower Oil Methyl Esters on Fuel Properties of Bioiesel. Energy and Fuels. 22(6):4301-4306.

Interpretive Summary: Biodiesel may be made from either a single vegetable oil or animal fat, or a mixture. Several studies have reported the fuel properties of biodiesel made from single feedstock sources, such as soybean oil or animal fat, but very few have reported the effects of feedstock mixing on biodiesel fuel properties. Therefore, biodiesel was prepared from soybean, canola, palm, and sunflower oils and mixed in various ratios. The resulting fuel properties of these mixtures were then measured, which included cold flow properties and oxidative stability. It was discovered that the oxidative stability of soybean oil-based biodiesel could be improved by simply mixing with other vegetable oils. Furthermore, the low temperature properties of palm oil-based biodiesel could also be improved through feedstock mixing. These results are significant because they demonstrate that elaborate chemical modifications of biodiesel are not always necessary to improve performance properties. Also, by improving the properties of soybean oil-based biodiesel, market penetration of soybean oil into the large European biodiesel market may be enhanced, which would further benefit American agriculture.

Technical Abstract: Single, binary, ternary, and quaternary mixtures of canola (low erucic acid rapeseed), palm, soybean, and sunflower (high oleic acid) oil methyl esters (CME, PME, SME, and SFME, respectively) were prepared and important fuel properties measured, such as oil stability index (OSI), cold filter plugging point (CFPP), cloud point (CP), pour point (PP), kinematic viscosity (40 deg C), lubricity, acid value (AV) and iodine value (IV). The fuel properties of SME were improved through blending with CME, PME, and SFME to satisfy the IV (< 120) and OSI (> 6 h) specifications contained within EN 14214, the biodiesel standard from the European Committee for Standardization. SME was satisfactory according to ASTM D6751, the American biodiesel standard, with regard to OSI (> 3 h). The CFPP of PME was improved by up to 15 deg C through blending with CME. Statistically significant relationships were elucidated between OSI and IV, OSI and saturated fatty acid methyl ester (SFAME) content, OSI and CFPP, CFPP and IV, and CFPP and SFAME content. However, the only relationship of practical significance was that of CFPP versus SFAME content when SFAME content was greater than 12 weight percent.