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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Bio-oils Research

Title: Improving the cold flow properties of biodiesel by fractionation

item Dunn, Robert - Bob

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/30/2010
Publication Date: 5/26/2011
Citation: Dunn, R.O. 2011. Improving the cold flow properties of biodiesel by fractionation. In: Ng, T.B., ed. Soybean: Applications and Technology. Rijeka, Croatia:Intech. p. 211-240.

Interpretive Summary: Interpretative Summary not required on a book chapter.

Technical Abstract: Production of biodiesel is increasing world-wide and contributing to the growing development of renewable alternative fuels. Biodiesel has many fuel properties such as density, viscosity, lubricity, and cetane number that make it compatible for combustion in compression-ignition (diesel) engines. However, cold flow properties (CFP) of biodiesel in blends with conventional diesel fuel (petrodiesel) limits its year-round commercial viability in moderate temperature climates. Biodiesel in the form of fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) of soybean oil is known to have start-up and operability problems as ambient overnight temperatures approach 0-2ºC. At these temperatures, solid crystals begin to form that can plug or restrict flow through fuel lines and filters leading to fuel starvation and engine failure. Furthermore, conversion of second generation feedstocks such as used cooking oils, animal fats and jatropha oil generally produces biodiesel with more problematic CFP than FAME of soybean and other commodity oils. This chapter explores fractionation technologies that have demonstrated potential for improving the CFP of biodiesel.

Last Modified: 06/25/2017
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