REG, Kemin perform biodiesel oxidation study

By Anna Austin | January 01, 2009
Web exclusive posted Jan. 7, 2009, at 11:07 a.m. CST

Iowa-based biodiesel producer Renewable Energy Group Inc. and nutritional ingredient manufacturer Kemin Industries Inc. announced the results of a multi-feedstock biodiesel oxidation study Jan. 6.

For 10 weeks the companies conducted detailed analyses of oxidative stability characteristics in B100 made from soybean oil, and B100 produced using a combination of vegetable oil and animal fats, which was provided by REG.

The research, which was conducted to gain a better understanding of oxidative stability and degradation of multi-feedstock biodiesel in long-term storage, found that in tests simulating extreme storage conditions, oxidative stability decreased rapidly in untreated B100 as measured by oil stability index induction time, Peroxide Value (PV), 1,4-decadienal and Hexanal content.

"Antioxidant treatment delayed these changes," said Glen Meier, REG manager of research and development, said antioxidant treatment delayed the changes. "Results show that dosage rates will depend on the specific biodiesel product and its feedstock composition, as well as the storage and handling protocols in place."

In addition, the group determined that late "rescue" treatments did not eliminate secondary oxidation products, even when oil stability index (OSI) induction time could be increased. As well, it was found that oxidation in products measured indicated changes to B100 that may foster polymer and sediment formation in blends and support earlier use of antioxidants to preserve quality.

Experts evaluated oxidation marker compounds and the development of optimal dosing strategies. The group also researched 'inoculation effect,' which Kemin's Vice President of Research and Development Jennifer Radosevich described as the act of loading pristine biodiesel into storage tanks that contained residue amounts of poor quality material.

"One of the goals in this long-term research collaboration is to help petroleum distributors prevent oxidative stability issues when handling or storage situations are not ideal," Radosevich said. "Kemin has created an economically viable additive which can be added to B100 at the production facility to improve oxidative stability."

REG and Kemin plan to continue the partnership to further advance understanding of oxidative stability, as well as conduct educational and promotional activities with petroleum distributors and biodiesel consumers.

REG currently has eight biodiesel plants in production, and four additional facilities under construction.

To learn more about REG, visit
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