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Title: Effects of Blending Alcohols with Poultry Fat Methyl Esters on Cold Flow Properties

item Moser, Bryan

Submitted to: Renewable Energy
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/26/2010
Publication Date: 4/3/2010
Citation: Joshi, H., Moser, B.R., Toler, J., Smith, B., Walker, T. 2010. Effects of Blending Alcohols with Poultry Fat Methyl Esters on Cold Flow Properties. Renewable Energy. 35:2207-2210.

Interpretive Summary: In this research, alcohols were blended with biodiesel, improving the cold temperature performance of biodiesel. This is significant because biodiesel is known to solidify more quickly than petroleum-based diesel fuels at cold temperatures. The addition of ethyl, isopropyl, and butyl alcohols to biodiesel at relatively low blend levels lowered the temperature at which biodiesel solidifies, and improved the usability of biodiesel during winter months in moderate temperature climates such as the Midwest of the United States. These results are important to biodiesel producers, distributors, and end-users (customers) because this new strategy of improving the cold weather properties of biodiesel may ultimately improve market penetration and public perception of domestically produced agricultural fuels such as biodiesel. This would afford greater national independence from imported petroleum-based fuels.

Technical Abstract: The low temperature operability, kinematic viscosity, and acid value of poultry fat methyl esters were improved with addition of ethanol, isopropanol, and butanol in a linear fashion with increasing alcohol content. The flash point decreased and moisture content increased upon addition of alcohols to poultry fat methyl esters. The type of alcohol did not result in a statistically significant difference in low temperature performance at similar blend ratios in poultry fat methyl esters. In addition, blends of ethanol in poultry fat methyl esters afforded the least viscous mixtures, whereas isopropanol and butanol blends were progressively more viscous, but still within specifications contained in ASTM D6751 and EN 14214. Blends of alcohols in poultry fat methyl esters resulted in failure of the flash point specifications found in ASTM D6751 and EN 14214. Flash points of butanol blends were superior to those of isopropanol and ethanol blends, with the 5 vol % butanol blend exhibiting a flash point (57 oC) superior to that of No. 2 diesel fuel (52 oC). Blends of alcohols in poultry fat methyl esters resulted in a linear improvement in acid value with increasing content of alcohol. An increase in moisture content of biodiesel was observed with increasing alcohol content, with the effect being more pronounced in ethanol blends versus isopropanol and butanol blends.