Volume 7, Issue 3 (March 2010)
Glycerol Tri-Ester Derivatives as Diluent to Improve Low Temperature Properties of Vegetable Oils
The large-scale production of biodiesel has led to a surplus of glycerol, so the new commercial uses of this co-product are being sought. Twenty-three vegetable oils were screened using glycerol tris(2-ethylhexanoate) [GTEH] as a diluent to improve the low temperature properties. Epoxidized soybean oil (ESBO) and palm oil (PO) have shown maximum improvements in pour points (PPs) upon addition of GTEH as diluent. Maximum improvements in PP of 16 and 9°C were observed in ESBO and PO, with 50 and 25 vol % GTEH, respectively. The five vegetable oils (ESBO, PO, sunflower oil (SFO), mid-oleic SFO, and camelina oil (CO)) with maximum improvement in PP were studied further at lower concentrations of GTEH. The variation in PP response to GTEH is attributed to variations in the fatty acid compositions of the vegetable oils. This study demonstrates the viability of using GTEH as diluents with vegetable oils to improve their low temperature properties.