Date: January 1, 2011
Creator: McFarlane, Joanna
Description: Abundant and easily refined, petroleum has provided high energy density liquid fuels for a century. However, recent price fluctuations, shortages, and concerns over the long term supply and greenhouse gas emissions have encouraged the development of alternatives to petroleum for liquid transportation fuels (Van Gerpen, Shanks et al. 2004). Plant-based fuels include short chain alcohols, now blended with gasoline, and biodiesels, commonly derived from seed oils. Of plant-derived diesel feedstocks, soybeans yield the most of oil by weight, up to 20% (Mushrush, Willauer et al. 2009), and so have become the primary source of biomass-derived diesel in the United States and Brazil (Lin, Cunshan et al. 2011). Worldwide ester biodiesel production reached over 11,000,000 tons per year in 2008 (Emerging Markets 2008). However, soybean oil cannot be burned directly in modern compression ignition vehicle engines as a direct replacement for diesel fuel because of its physical properties that can lead to clogging of the engine fuel line and problems in the fuel injectors, such as: high viscosity, high flash point, high pour point, high cloud point (where the fuel begins to gel), and high density (Peterson, Cook et al. 2001). Industrial production of biodiesel from oil of low fatty-acid content ...
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