Properties Of Biodiesel Fuel
In comparison to other alternative fuels, there are a number of unique qualities and properties of biodiesel fuel. Meeting the standards of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, it has also cleared all the health effects testing requirements, unlike other alternative fuels. Let us study the biodiesel fuel properties on this page.
What makes a fuel different from others are its cetane number and heat of combustion. The viscosity of a fuel is important because it influences the atomization of the fuel being inserted into the engine combustion chamber. For complete combustion to happen, a small fuel drop is required. . The biodiesel fuel property of having the viscosity much closer to diesel fuel than vegetable oil helps create a much lower drop, which burns cleaner.
The other main property of biodiesel fuel that we will discuss is its lubricating properties. It has much better lubricating and a higher cetane ratings than today's lower sulfur diesel fuels. Adding Biodiesel also helps in reducing fuel system wear. The fuel injection equipment depends on the fuel for its lubrication. The biodiesel fuel properties increase the life of the fuel injection equipment. Giving better lubricity and a more complete combustion increases the engine energy output, thus partially balancing for the higher energy density of petrodiesel. Older diesel Mercedes are well known for running on biodiesel.
Observing the physical properties of biodiesel fuel, it is liquid which can be different in color, from golden and dark brown, all depending on the production feedstock. It is immiscible with water, has a high boiling point and low vapor pressure. The flash point of biodiesel is considerably higher than that of petroleum diesel. Biodiesel fuel has a density of ~ 0.88 g/cm³, which is less than that of water.
Studying the chemical properties of biodiesel fuel, its calorific value is about 37.27 MJ/L, which is 9% lower than regular petrodiesel. It has practically no sulfur content, and is frequently used as an additive to Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) fuel. Biodiesel fuel has an effect on copper-based materials and as well as zinc, tin, lead, and cast iron. However, the stainless steels and aluminum are not affected by bio fuel.
Biodiesel fuel properties also have an effect on some types of natural rubbers found in some older engine components. But the frequently used synthetic rubbers FKM- GBL-S and FKM- GF-S found in current vehicles are found to handle biodiesel in all conditions.