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Evaluation and Characterization of Biodiesels Obtained Through Ethylic or Methylic Transesterification of Tryacylglicerides in Corn Oil

1 Technical School of Health, Federal University of Uberlândia (UFU), Campus Umuarama, 38408-100 Uberlândia, Minas Gerais, Brazil. ;
2 Institute of Chemistry, Federal University of Uberlândia, Campus Santa Mônica, 38408-100 Uberlândia, Minas Gerais, Brazil.;
3 Federal University of Jequitinhonha and Mucuri Valleys (UFVJM), 39100-000 Diamantina, Minas Gerais, and Department of Chemistry ICEx, Federal University of Minas Gerais, 31270-901 Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Special Issues: Bio-blended Fuels

This work was devoted to the transesterification of corn oil either with methyl or ethyl alcohol and to the characterization of the biodiesels (composed by FAME—fatty acid methyl esters—or FAEE—fatty acid ethyl esters, respectively) produced. As an initial hypothesis, it was argued whether or not the two alcohols, both with short molecular chains, would impart significant differences to the chemical characteristics of the two biodiesels from corn oil. The most common properties of the biodiesels were evaluated by determining corresponding parameters for acid value, peroxide value, water content, oxidative stability, free and total glycerin, kinematic viscosity at 40 ℃ and density at 20 ℃, for both chemical routes, FAME and FAEE. In general, values were found to be well within the recommended limits for commercial biodiesel, in accordance with the Brazilian, European and American standard recommendations, except only for the oxidative stability. The methyl biodiesel presented acidity of 0.08 mg KOH/g; peroxide index, 23.77 meq/kg; oxidation stability, 3.10 h; water content, 297.1 mg/kg; total glycerin, 0.092 %; free glycerin, 0.009 %; viscosity, 4.05 mm2/s and density, 878.7 kg/m. The methyl biodiesel presented acidity of 0.11 mg/ KOH; peroxide index, 22.39 meq/kg; oxidation stability, 2.13 h; water content, 264.8 mg/kg; total glycerin, 0.25 %; free glycerin, 0.02 %; viscosity, 4.37 mm2/s and density, 874.0 kg/m. From a direct inspection of chemical data for the two products prepared via the two chemical routes, it can be drawn that values of the physical and chemical parameters for both, methyl and ethyl biodiesels, are essentially similar, except for the oxidative stability. However, the oxidative stability can be suitably adjusted by adding an anti-oxidizing agent to the ethyl biodiesel medium. The two biodiesels are thus promising alternatives to fully replace or to be admixed to the mineral diesel. Relatively to the pure petrol diesel, the resulting admixture would clearly gain towards preserving the natural environment by reducing the emission of harmful gases that would also direct and significantly affect the human health.
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