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Title: Rapeseed and safflower oils as diesel fuels

Abstract

During the past decade the US has become increasingly dependent upon imported oil to meet our energy demands. Nearly 50 percent of our US consumption of petroleum is imported. Research has shown that agricultural crops can be used to reduce this dependence. Vegetable oil as an alternative fuel has been under study at the Univ. of Idaho since 1979. Since then the Idaho research team has pioneered the use of rapeseed oil as a diesel fuel substitute. Idaho`s interdisciplinary team includes plant breeding, plant modification, process development and scale-up, engine testing, and economics. Researchers in Montana have studied safflower oil as a potential diesel fuel replacement since 1983. This project, aimed for use of safflower oil in railroad engines, involves genetics, agronomics, economics and contract engine testing.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3]
  1. Univ. of Idaho, Moscow, ID (United States)
  2. Montana Bioenergy Programs, Helena, MT (United States)
  3. Alaska Regional Bioenergy Program, Seattle, WA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab., Golden, CO (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
140207
Report Number(s):
NREL/CP-200-5768-Vol.2; CONF-9308106-Vol.2
ON: DE94000435; TRN: 93:003832-0011
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: 1. biomass conference of the Americas: energy, environment, agriculture, and industry, Burlington, VT (United States), 30 Aug - 2 Sep 1993; Other Information: PBD: [1993]; Related Information: Is Part Of First Biomass Conference of the Americas: Energy, environment, agriculture, and industry; Proceedings, Volume 2; PB: 711 p.
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
09 BIOMASS FUELS; 33 ADVANCED PROPULSION SYSTEMS; VEGETABLE OILS; FUEL SUBSTITUTION; DIESEL ENGINES; DIESEL FUELS; PETROLEUM; BIOMASS PLANTATIONS; PLANT BREEDING; TESTING; ECONOMICS; GENETICS; LOCOMOTIVES; RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES; LIQUID FUELS

Citation Formats

Peterson, C.L., Haines, H., and Chase, C. Rapeseed and safflower oils as diesel fuels. United States: N. p., 1993. Web.
Peterson, C.L., Haines, H., & Chase, C. Rapeseed and safflower oils as diesel fuels. United States.
Peterson, C.L., Haines, H., and Chase, C. 1993. "Rapeseed and safflower oils as diesel fuels". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_140207,
title = {Rapeseed and safflower oils as diesel fuels},
author = {Peterson, C.L. and Haines, H. and Chase, C.},
abstractNote = {During the past decade the US has become increasingly dependent upon imported oil to meet our energy demands. Nearly 50 percent of our US consumption of petroleum is imported. Research has shown that agricultural crops can be used to reduce this dependence. Vegetable oil as an alternative fuel has been under study at the Univ. of Idaho since 1979. Since then the Idaho research team has pioneered the use of rapeseed oil as a diesel fuel substitute. Idaho`s interdisciplinary team includes plant breeding, plant modification, process development and scale-up, engine testing, and economics. Researchers in Montana have studied safflower oil as a potential diesel fuel replacement since 1983. This project, aimed for use of safflower oil in railroad engines, involves genetics, agronomics, economics and contract engine testing.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 1993,
month =
}

Conference:
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  • Vegetable oils have heat contents approximately 90% that of diesel fuel and are potential alternate fuel candidates. A major obstacle deterring their use in the direct-injection diesel engine is their inherent high viscosities which are nearly 10 times that of diesel fuel. Solution to the viscosity problem has been approached in three ways: 1) microemulsification, 2) pyrolysis, and 3) transesterification. Microemulsification with short chain alcohols such as methanol and ethanol yields fuels that are clear, thermodynamically stable liquid systems with viscosities near the ASTM specified range for number2 diesel fuel. These micellar systems may be formulated ionically or nonionically. Themore » alcohols are attractive from an economic as well as a renewable resource viewpoint. Methanol has an economic advantage over ethanol, and it can be derived from a large variety of base stocks. These include biomass, municipal waste, natural gas being flared at refineries and from coal. Pyrolysis of vegetable oils is another approach to lowering their viscosity. Soybean and safflower oils were thermally decomposed in both air and nitrogen to obtain fuels for the diesel engine. Using standard ASTM distillation conditions, yields of pyrolysis products were about 75%. GS-MS analysis of the distillates showed the presence of alkanes, alkenes, aromatics, and carboxylic acids with carbon numbers ranging from 4 to more than 20. Fuel properties of the thermal decomposition products were substantially improved as evaluated by lower viscosities and higher cetane numbers compared to the unpyrrolyzed vegetable oils. Simple esters from transesterification of vegetable oils perform well in engine tests, and thus show good promise as an alternative or emergency fuel for diesel engines.« less
  • Vegetable oils show technical promise as alternative fuels for diesel engines and have good potential as emergency fuels. Realistically, vegetable oils cause a number of problems when used in direct-injection diesel engines, generally attributable to inefficient combustion. At least partially responsible for poor combustion of neat vegetable oils are their high viscosity and non-volatility. To improve combustion several somewhat empirical approaches involving both chemical and physical modifications have been investigated by endurance tests in a variety of engines. Using the EMA 200 h engine screening test, several fuels show technical promise. These include methyl, ethyl, and butyl esters; high-oleic oils:dieselmore » blend (1:3); diesel:soybean oil:butanol:cetane improver (33:33:33:1); and microemulsion fuels (diesel:soybean oil:190 proff ethanol:butanol, 50:25:5:20) and (soybean oil:methanol:2-octanol:cetane improver, 53:13:33:1). Using a pressure vessel, fuel injection system, and high speed motion picture camera, fuel injection characteristics of vegetable oils, e.g., soybean, sunflower, cottonseed, and peanut, have been observed in a quiescent nitrogen atmosphere at 480/sup 0/C and 4.1MPa. Their injection and atomization characteristics are markedly different from those of petroleum derived diesel fuels. Heating the vegetable oils to lower their viscosities increased spray penetration rate, reduced spray cone angles, and resulted in spray characteristics resembling those of diesel fuel. Significant chemical changes occurred following injection. Samples collected at about 400 microseconds after the injection event consisted of appreciable quantities of C/sub 4/-C/sub 16/ hydrocarbons, and free carboxyl groups were present.« less
  • A method employing supercritical fluid chromatography (SFC) with flame ionization detector (FID), similar to that reported by Norris and Rawdon for the analysis of gasolines, has been developed for the determination of aromatics in middle distillate fuels. The method is simple, employs relatively inexpensive equipment, gives good repeatability and provides results which correlate well with those obtained by FIA. The SFC method is not affected by sample color, appears to be applicable to samples with final boiling points as high as 450/degree/C and should be suitable for use in a refinery control laboratory. Initial indications are that the determination ofmore » aromatics according to the number of rings can be accomplished by SFC/FID.« less
  • Engine and vehicle tests were carried out with three alternative Diesel fuels: straight methylester of soybean oil (MESO), 75 to 25 gasoil-MESO blend, and 68-23-9 gasoil-MESO-ethanol (anhydrous) blend. Fuel-relevant characteristics of the three Diesel alternatives are given, together with the phase diagram of the ternary blend. Power, torque and volumetric brake specific fuel consumption in an unmodified IDI Diesel engine reflect mainly the net volumetric heating values. Smoke decreases with the presence of oxygenate compounds as does the emission of CO, as measured on the chassis dynamometer. A rigorous durability bench test on straight MESO shows results entirely within VWmore » specifications. Analyses have indicated that, for IDI engines, no lube-oil problems are anticipated. Investigation of compatibility of MESO with fuel system material reveals considerable similarity to gasoil, but some items may require adaptation or even substitution. 3 figures, 9 tables.« less