Stability studies on methyl and ethyl fatty acid esters of sunflowerseed oil
- Cite this article as:
- Du Plessis, L.M., De Villiers, J.B.M. & Van Der Walt, W.H. J Am Oil Chem Soc (1985) 62: 748. doi:10.1007/BF03028746
Fatty acid esters, high in linoleic acid, were prepared and stored for long-term engine tests. Storage tests with these esters were undertaken to obtain more information on optimal storage requirements and general stability characteristics.
Samples were kept at three temperature levels (20 C, 30 C and fluctuating around 50 C) for a 90-day period and were removed at regular intervals for chemical and physical analysis. The influence of air, temperature, light, TBHQ and contact with mild steel was evaluated by comparing the free fatty acid, peroxide, anisidine, ultraviolet absorption, viscosity and induction periods. A statistical model was used to evaluate the data and to reduce the large number of data points to comparable curves.
Storage of esters in contact with air, especially at a temperature above 30 C, resulted in significant increases in peroxide, ultraviolet absorption, free fatty acid, viscosity and anisidine values. Exclusion of air retarded oxidation at all temperature levels.
A direct relationship between viscosity increases and oxidation parameters was evident. Exposure to light caused a small increase in the oxidation parameters of esters stored at the highest temperature level. Addition of TBHQ prevented oxidation of samples stored under moderate conditions. Under unfavorable storage conditions the anti-oxidant was no longer effective. Mild steel had very little effect on the oxidation parameters. Only the anisidine values of samples stored at the highest temperature level were slightly increased. Methyl esters performed slightly better than ethyl esters during the storage test.
The following practical guidelines for storage of fatty acid ester fuels are: (i) airtight containers should be used; (ii) the storage temperature should be <30 C; (iii) mild steel (rust free) containers may be used, and (iv) TBHQ has a beneficial effect on oxidation stability.