Recently, a new processing technique was developed that converts the carbohydrates found in plant biomass into ethyl levulinate, which has properties making it a possible diesel fuel oxygenate additive. Additionally, the new processing technique applied to oil-containing seeds can create a biodiesel fuel at high yields, while possibly enhancing the cold flow properties that commonly plague biodiesel fuels. The first part of this two-part study focused on ethyl levulinate as a possible diesel fuel oxygenate additive, by investigating the volatility of petroleum diesel/ethyl levulinate mixtures. Volatility was measured with the advanced distillation curve (ADC) method for mixtures containing 1, 2.5, 5, 10, and 20% ethyl levulinate (v/v) and compared with unblended petroleum diesel fuel. In addition, the concentration of ethyl levulinate was tracked during the distillation for each mixture by use of the composition explicit data channel. The second part of this study investigated fatty acid-levulinate ester biodiesel fuel blends as viable petroleum diesel fuel extenders/replacements. This was done by measuring their volatilities and comparing them to a commercially available biodiesel fuel, and also to a petroleum diesel fuel. In addition, distillate fractions were withdrawn to measure the changing composition and energy content during the distillation of the fatty acid-levulinate ester biodiesel blends and commercial biodiesel fuel.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Fuel Technology