Graphical method to select vegetable oils as potential feedstock for biodiesel production

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Chemical compositions of 80 vegetable oils were collected from literature and the properties of the obtainable biodiesel (methyl esters) have been predicted by empirical relationships. The purpose has been to check the viability of predicting if a biodiesel could meet the EN 14214 standards knowing only the fatty acid profile (FAP) of the parent oil. Two parameters were used in this investigation: (i) average number of carbon atoms in the fatty acid chains, (ii) average number of double bonds (C=C) per molecule. Two new empirical relationships have been proposed to predict the viscosity and the cetane number of biodiesel from the two parameters. The range of values of the two parameters leading to biodiesel meeting the EN 14214 standard for viscosity, cetane number, iodine value, and cold filter plugging point have been graphically obtained by overlapping the corresponding level surfaces. Practical applications: This work provides biodiesel producers with indications of the quality of biodiesel without the need for analytical testing of the product (indeed, of the product itself). Only the fatty acid profile of the starting vegetable oil is required. The quality of biodiesel can be estimated by using a chart developed in this work, allowing to estimate, e.g. if the biodiesel meets the European standards. The work can be useful to rapidly screen oil seed crops in studies of genetic engineering that require high throughput. © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1541 - 1549
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Lipid Science and Technology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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