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Title: Cuphea oil as a potential source of biodiesel with improved properties

item Knothe, Gerhard
item Cermak, Steven - Steve
item Evangelista, Roque

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/3/2009
Publication Date: 5/3/2009
Citation: Knothe, G.H., Cermak, S.C., Evangelista, R.L. 2009. Cuphea oil as a potential source of biodiesel with improved properties [abstract]. American Oil Chemists Society. p. 80.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Biodiesel is usually produced from common vegetable oils such as soybean, rapeseed (canola), and palm as well as other feedstocks such as animal fats and used cooking oils. To enhance feedstock supply, other vegetable oils such as jatropha are of increasing interest. However, most of these feedstocks provide fatty acid profiles varying within the range of C16 and C18 fatty acids. To improve fuel properties such as cold flow and oxidative stability, either additives must be used and/or the fatty ester profile modified. The latter approach entails either changing the composition of biodiesel derived from "conventional" feedstocks or utilizing feedstocks with inherently different fatty acid profiles. In this work, a feedstock with a less common fatty acid profile, a variety of cuphea oil (PSR 23; a cross of Cuphea viscosissima x C. lanceolata) containing about 65% decanoic acid in its fatty acid profile was studied as biodiesel feedstock. Fuel properties such as cetane number, viscosity, oxidative stability and cold flow were investigated. Especially cold flow appears advantageous with the cloud point of cuphea methyl esters determined around -9 to -10 degrees C. Cuphea, although facing technical issues regarding its wide-scale commercialization, is therefore of interest as biodiesel feedstock and may serve as model for other oils with similar fatty acid profiles.