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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Bio-oils Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #300401

Title: Fuel properties of Brassica juncea oil methyl esters blended with ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel

item Moser, Bryan
item Evangelista, Roque
item JHAM, GULAB - Universidade Federal De Vicosa

Submitted to: Renewable Energy
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/5/2015
Publication Date: 1/5/2015
Publication URL:
Citation: Moser, B.R., Evangelista, R.L., Jham, G. 2015. Fuel properties of Brassica juncea oil methyl esters blended with ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel. Renewable Energy. 78:82-88.

Interpretive Summary: This research reveals that wild mustard (Brassica juncea) oil is acceptable as an alternative non-food feedstock for biodiesel production. As a result of the current debates about fuel versus food issues, alternative, low-cost, non-food feedstocks for biodiesel production are an important area of current research. One of the objectives of this study was to produce biodiesel from wild mustard oil and evaluate its fuel properties taking into consideration important biodiesel fuel standards. Wild mustard-biodiesel has excellent low temperature properties and cetane number as well as acceptable oxidative stability and viscosity when compared to the American biodiesel standard (ASTM D6751). Another objective was to determine the influence of blending wild mustard-derived biodiesel with traditional petroleum diesel fuel. The results indicated that the resulting blends met all requirements of the American petrodiesel standards (ASTM D975 and D7467). Blends of biodiesel with petrodiesel are important to study because the majority of biodiesel that ultimately enters the marketplace will do so as blends with petrodiesel. It is thus imperative to understand the influence of blending biodiesel with petrodiesel on fuel properties and performance. These results will be important to biodiesel producers, distributors, and end-users (customers) as well as petroleum companies and manufacturers of diesel engines because a new biodiesel fuel was described that exhibits favorable fuel properties. This research may ultimately improve market penetration, availability, and public perception of domestically produced agricultural fuels such as biodiesel, thus affording greater national independence from imported petroleum-based fuels.

Technical Abstract: Brassica juncea is a drought-tolerant member of the Brassicaceae plant family with high oil content and a short growing season that is tolerant of low quality soils. It was investigated as a feedstock for production of biodiesel along with evaluation of subsequent fuel properties, both neat and in blends with petroleum diesel fuel. These results were compared against relevant fuel standards such as ASTM D6751, EN 14214, ASTM D975, EN 590, and ASTM D7467. Crude B. juncea oil was extracted from unconditioned seeds utilizing a continuous tubular radial expeller. The oil was then chemically refined via degumming, neutralization, and bleaching to render it amenable to direct homogeneous sodium methoxide-catalyzed transesterification. The principal fatty acid detected in B. juncea oil was erucic acid (44.1%). The resulting biodiesel yielded fuel properties compliant with the biodiesel standards with the exception of oxidative stability and kinematic viscosity in the case of EN 14214. Addition of tert-butylhydroquinone and blending with soybean oil-derived biodiesel ameliorated these deficiencies. The fuel properties of B5 and B20 blends of B. juncea oil methyl esters (BJME) in ultra-low sulfur (< 15 ppm S) diesel (ULSD) fuel were within the ranges specified in the petrodiesel standards ASTM D975, EN 590, and ASTM D7467 with the exception of derived cetane number in the case of EN 590. This deficiency was attributed to the inherently low cetane number of the certification-grade ULSD, as it did not contain performance-enhancing additives. In summary, this study reports new fuel property data for BJME along with properties of B5 and B20 blends in ULSD. Such results will be useful for the development of B. juncea as an alternative source of biodiesel fuel.