Thursday, November 19, 2009

What flavor is your biodiesel? Renewable Energy Group Releases "Feedstock and Biodiesel Characteristics"

Feedstocks for biodiesel can come from a wide range of agricultural sources.  The unique  properties of the feedstocks result in many different biodiesel products. 

This has implications for fuel use but also chemical manufacture from biodiesel byproducts (e.g. glycerol), so I was interested to come across a new survey characterizing typical and exotic feedstocks for biodiesel.

Yesterday, Renewable Energy Group (Ames, IA) released a report that documents the tested properties of common and uncommon feedstocks and the biodiesel produced from these samples.  It is a big data-rich report and I am just paging through it, but it is interesting enough to share, in hopes that many people will have a chance to read it.

This graphic from the report shows the wide range in cloud point for the tested biodiesels, an example of the diversity of products all known as biodiesel.

The feedstocks tested were algae, babassu, beef tallow, borage, camelina, canola, castor, choice white grease, coconut, coffee, distiller’s corn, Cuphea viscosissima, evening primrose, fish, hemp, hepar, jatropha, jojoba, karanja, Lesquerella fendleri, linseed, Moringa oleifera, mustard, neem, palm, perilla seed, poultry fat, rice bran, soybean, stillingia, sunflower, tung, used cooking oil, and yellow grease.

The feedstocks were tested for moisture, free fatty acid, kinematic viscosity, FAC color, saponification value, moisture and volatile matter, insoluble impurities, unsaponifiable matter, oxidation stability, sulfur, phosphorous, calcium, and magnesium.

The biodiesels were tested for cloud point, cold filter plugging point, cold soak filtration, fatty acid profile, relative density, kinematic viscosity, sulfated ash, carbon residue, water and sediment, visual inspection, free and total glycerin, flash point, copper corrosion, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, total acid number, moisture, sulfur, and oxidation stability.

Go to the Renewable Energy Group website for the report.

I also have my ear to the ground about the Renewable Energy Group and Elevance Renewable Sciences proposal to build an integrated biorefinery in Newton, IA.  I'll let you know when I know more.

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