Effect of thermal decomposition on biodiesel viscosity and cold flow property

Ronghong Lin, Yiying Zhu, Lawrence L. Tavlarides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Thermal stressing experiments were performed in batch reactors at 250-425 C for 3-63 min to evaluate the influence of thermal decomposition on biodiesel viscosity and cold flow properties. Dynamic viscosity was measured by a micro viscometer, and cold flow properties were characterized by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The crystallization onset temperature determined by DSC correlates with cold flow properties. Results showed that the cis-trans isomerization reactions had a minimal effect on both viscosity and cold flow properties of biodiesel, but polymerization and pyrolysis reactions had significant influence on both properties. Polymerization reactions resulted in increases in both viscosity and the crystallization onset temperature, while pyrolysis reactions showed the opposite effect. The current study suggests that polymerization reactions should be avoided or minimized during high-temperature non-catalytic homogeneous transesterification reactions for biodiesel production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)981-988
Number of pages8
Issue numberPARTB
StatePublished - 2014


  • Biodiesel
  • Cold flow property
  • Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC)
  • Thermal decomposition
  • Viscosity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Organic Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of thermal decomposition on biodiesel viscosity and cold flow property'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this