Date of Award

8-2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Plant Sciences

Major Professor

Vincent R. Pantalone

Committee Members

Dean A. Kopsell, Carl E. Sams

Abstract

As energy prices continue to rise, concern grows about the economy and about petroleum supplies. On January 1, 2009 The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2009 was enacted. It states that 500 million gallons of biomass-based biodiesel must be produced in 2009 and 1 billion gallons by 2012. In the United States 90 % of the biodiesel is produced from soybean oil, despite its shortcomings. The biggest problem facing the soy diesel industry is the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) specifications for Biodiesel and Biodiesel Blends. The two categories that are in need of immediate improvement to enhance test results and produce a better burning fuel are cloud point and oxidation stability.

Monounsaturated fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) are reported to strike the best balance between cold flow properties and oxidative stability to enhance biodiesel test results and produce a better burning fuel. In addition, treating fuels derived from fatty acid alkyl esters with oxidation inhibitors (antioxidants) has been reported to increase resistance to oxidation. Fuel properties: acid value, cloud point, iodine value, pour point, peroxide value, induction period, onset temperature, and kinematic viscosity were used to evaluate a newly developed Roundup Ready® soybean recombinant inbred line with a novel oil profile, exhibiting an elevated level of monounsaturated FAME and the possibility of using selenium as a natural antioxidant for use in the biodiesel industry. We were able to demonstrate higher polyunsaturated content lead to lower IP values, lower PV values were indicative of increased monounsaturated FAME content and elevated levels of saturated FAME content resulted in higher CP and PP values.

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