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Revista Facultad de Ingeniería Universidad de Antioquia

Print version ISSN 0120-6230
On-line version ISSN 2357-53280


BENJUMEA, Pedro Nel; AGUDELO, John Ramiro  and  RIOS, Luis Alberto. Cold flow properties of palm oil biodiesel. Antioquia [online]. 2007, n.42, pp.94-104. ISSN 0120-6230.

The faulty performance of palm oil biodiesel at low temperatures constitutes its main quality drawback and limitation to use this alternative fuel for diesel engines either as a neat fuel or blended with conventional diesel fuel derived from petroleum. In this work, several alternatives for improving the cold flow properties of palm oil biodiesel are evaluated. The production of biodiesel using branched-chain alcohols such as isopropyl alcohol, isobutyl alcohol, 2-butyl alcohol and isopentyl alcohol allows the production of palm oil alkyl esters having cloud and pour points lower than those of methyl esters. Substituting isopropyl for the methyl group allows reductions in the cloud and pour points of 8 and 21 ºC, respectively. Palm oil isopropyl esters have a cloud point 10 ºC lower than the corresponding methyl esters. The cloud point of the palm oil biodieseldiesel fuel blends linearly increases with mixture biodiesel content. In the case of the tested blends there may be fuel filterability problems only at temperatures below -4 ºC. This work also presents the effectiveness of two commercial additives used to reduce the cold filter plugging point of neat biodiesel and the tested blends. The results obtained showed that by using such additives it is only possible to obtain reductions in the B5 blend cold filter plugging point when the lowest additive concentration was used.

Keywords : palm oil biodiesel; branched chain alcohols; cloud point; pour point; cold filter plugging point.

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