The aim of this work was the study of the influence of the raw material composition on biodiesel quality, using a transesterification reaction. Thus, ten refined vegetable oils were transesterificated using potassium methoxide as catalyst and standard reaction conditions (reaction time, 1 h; weight of catalyst, 1 wt.% of initial oil weight; molar ratio methanol/oil, 6/1; reaction temperature, 60 °C). Biodiesel quality was tested according to the standard [UNE-EN 14214, 2003. Automotive fuels. Fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) for diesel engines. Requirements and test methods]. Some critical parameters like oxidation stability, cetane number, iodine value and cold filter plugging point were correlated with the methyl ester composition of each biodiesel, according to two parameters: degree of unsaturation and long chain saturated factor. Finally, a triangular graph based on the composition in monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated methyl esters was built in order to predict the critical parameters of European standard for whatever biodiesel, known its composition. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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