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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IMPROVING THE PERFORMANCE OF ALTERNATIVE FUELS AND CO-PRODUCTS FROM VEGETABLE OILS Project Number: 3620-41000-124-00
Project Type: Appropriated

Start Date: Sep 19, 2004
End Date: Sep 18, 2009

Objective:
Biodiesel is an alternative diesel fuel derived from vegetable oils, animal fats or used oils. While it is competitive with (in some aspects even technically superior to) conventional, petroleum derived diesel fuel, its use is still affected by several technical issues that hinder more widespread commercialization. Therefore, this project proposes to improve the combustion characteristics and fuel properties of vegetable oils (emphasizing soybean oil) and their derivatives as alternative diesel fuels, extenders, and additives in the operation of compression ignition (diesel) engines for on road and off road applications. Fatty derivatives will be utilized for performance enhancement and exhaust emission reduction (e.g. nitrogen oxides). Specific objectives for this project include: 1) Improved cold weather start up and operability performance. 2) Novel fuel formulations that reduce regulated exhaust emissions such as nitrogen oxides. 3) Improvement of fuel quality through enhanced oxidative stability and development of new, rapid analytical methods for assessing biodiesel fuel quality. 4) Development of specialty chemicals from biodiesel co-products.

Approach:
Improve the fuel properties and combustion characteristics of vegetable oils (emphasizing soybean oil) and their derivatives as alternative fuels, extenders, and additives in the operation of compression ignition (diesel) engines for on road and off road applications. Address technical problems identified by stakeholders and customers. Specific objectives for this project include: develop new alternative fuel formulations with improved cold weather start up and operability performance without compromising fuel quality as defined by appropriate standard fuel specifications; develop alternative fuel formulations with improved combustion performance that reduces harmful, regulated exhaust emissions such as nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and particulate matter; develop new biodiesel formulations with improved storage stability with respect to oxidative degradation; develop rapid instrumental methods for monitoring effects of degradation on biodiesel fuel quality during storage, as defined by appropriate standard fuel specifications; identify and develop novel specialty chemicals that may be prepared from glycerol, mono, and diacylglycerols as marketable co products of biodiesel production.

Last Modified: 4/17/2014
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