ISSN 1070-4272, Russian Journal of Applied Chemistry, 2007, Vol. 80, No. 5, pp. 842!845. + Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2007.
Original Russian Text + A.V. Kurzin, A.N. Evdokimov, O.S. Pavlova, V.B. Antipina, 2007, published in Zhurnal Prikladnoi Khimii, 2007, Vol. 80, No. 5,
pp. 866 !870.
OF FOSSIL FUEL
Synthesis and Characterization of Biodiesel Fuel Based of Esters
of Tall Oil Fatty Acids
A. V. Kurzin, A. N. Evdokimov, O. S. Pavlova, and V. B. Antipina
St. Petersburg State Technological University of Plant Polymers, St. Petersburg, Russia
Received February 14, 2007
Abstract-Synthesis of esters from tall oil fatty acids and lower aliphatic alcohols is studied, and character-
istics of the products as substitutes or components of diesel fuel are determined.
Biofuel is a renewable environmentally friendly
power source, which could compete with fossil fuel.
Liquid biofuel is used in spark-ignition engines
(ethanol and methanol) and in diesel engines (veget-
able oils and their methyl esters as well as their mix-
tures and mixtures with conventional diesel fuel).
Biodiesel is synthesized from renewable resources by
ester interchange of fats and oils with lower aliphatic
alcohols using acid, base, or enzymatic catalysis
. The sources of fatty acids can be vegetable oils,
animal oils, and by-products and wastes from produc-
tion of edible fats and oils [13 6].
Currently, the common view is that the most prom-
ising biodiesel, whose characteristics are close to
those of hydrocarbon fuel, is a mixture of methyl
esters of colza oil fatty acids (COFAs). It is known
that even a small addition of biodiesel to the conven-
tional fuel reduces exhaust [1, 2].
Biodiesel produced using the traditional processes
has a higher cost (by 10320%), requiring consump-
tion of common kinds of energy, which pollute the
environment. The viscosity of COFA-based biodiesel
is twice that of the conventional diesel fuel, resulting
in incomplete combustion of fuel aerosols. Another
limitation of using oils and their derivatives is high
oxygen content (8310%), causing a decrease in the
low heat value of this fuel as compared to hydrocar-
bon fuel and, correspondingly, an increase in the bio-
Despite the indicated drawbacks, the biodiesel out-
put steadily increases. Investigators are improving
the processes for its production and searching for new
raw materials including esters having higher caloric
Among the available sources of fatty acids is tall
oil, a by-product of craft pulp production. In vacuum
distillation of crude tall oil (its yield amounts to 60 kg
per ton of bone-dry cellulose), along with other com-
ponents, fatty acids (TOFAs) constituting 303 60% of
tall oil, depending on the kind of wood to be proc-
essed, are separated . The fatty-acid composition of
tall oil resembles that of vegetable oils, being re-
presented primarily by unsaturated acids C
(oleic, linoleic, linolenic, etc.) .
Presently, the conventional application fields of
TPFAs are being reduced. Among the ways to their
chemical modification is esterification. In their char-
acteristics the resulting esters are well comparable
with petroleum gas oil, so that they can be used, like
COFAs, as individual fuel or depressor additive to
black oil, to improve its performance characteristics
[9, 10]. It should be pointed out that tall oil and dis-
tilled tall oil was suggested to be used as an additive
to low-sulfur fuel for diesel engines .
In this study we examined esterification of TPFAs
with lower aliphatic alcohols (methanol, ethanol, and
isopropanol) in the presence of various catalysts, and
also properties of the resulting esters characterizing
them as biodiesel.
As known, the reaction can be catalyzed by mineral
acids, sulfonic acids, Lewis acids, or solid acid cata-
lysts, among them ion-exchange resins in the H form
where R is the hydrocarbon radical of TOFA and R
Me, Et, i-Pr.