Influence of fatty acid structure on fuel properties of algae derived biodiesel
Islam, Muhammad Aminul, Ayoko, Godwin A., Brown, Richard J., Stuart, Doug, & Heimann, Kirsten (2013) Influence of fatty acid structure on fuel properties of algae derived biodiesel. Procedia Engineering, 56, pp. 591-596.
Physical and chemical properties of biofuel are influenced by structural features of fatty acid such as chain length, degree of unsaturation and branching of the chain. A simple and reliable calculation method to estimate fuel property is therefore needed to avoid experimental testing which is difficult, costly and time consuming. Typically in commercial biodiesel production such testing is done for every batch of fuel produced. In this study 9 different algae species were selected that were likely to be suitable for subtropical climates. The fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) of all algae species were analysed and the fuel properties like cetane number (CN), cold filter plugging point (CFPP), kinematic viscosity (KV), density and higher heating value (HHV) were determined. The relation of each fatty acid with particular fuel property is analysed using multivariate and multi-criteria decision method (MCDM) software. They showed that some fatty acids have major influences on the fuel properties whereas others have minimal influence. Based on the fuel properties and amounts of lipid content rank order is drawn by PROMETHEE-GAIA which helped to select the best algae species for biodiesel production in subtropical climates. Three species had fatty acid profiles that gave the best fuel properties although only one of these (Nannochloropsis oculata) is considered the best choice because of its higher lipid content.
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