To develop efficient reactor and plant designs to optimize the process of biodiesel production, thermophysical and chemical properties of various triglyceride-methanol reactive mixtures as well as those of biofuel are required over wide range of conditions. In this study, the volatility of samples of biodiesel fuels produced by supercritical (SC) transesterification (TE) of triglyceride feedstocks of chicken fat and soybean oil was determined by the advanced distillation curve method. Particularly high temperatures (e.g., ∼400 °C) of the SCTE process decomposed the polyunsaturated fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) to lower molecular FAMEs ranged from C 6 to C 15 along with n-alkanes and alkenes. These lighter fuel components shifted the first portion of the distillation curves of the SC biodiesel fuels toward that of the diesel fuel #2. In comparison with biodiesel fuel conventionally produced by catalytic TE, this shift on fuel volatility accounted by more than 100 °C. This means that biodiesel fuels produced by SCTE at ∼400 °C exhibit significantly higher volatility when compared to commercial biodiesel samples produced by conventional catalytic TE. This information will permit efficient fuel system and combustion chamber designs to optimize fuel utilization in diesel engines, decrease of fuel consumption and emission mitigation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)