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Chemical and thermophysical characterization of an algae-based hydrotreated renewable diesel fuel



Peter Y. Hsieh, Jason A. Widegren, Tara Fortin, Thomas J. Bruno


Second-generation renewable fuels are synthesized through biochemical and thermochemical processes from non-food biomass feedstock. The resultant fuels are similar to aliphatic synthetic fuels produced through the Fischer-Tropsch process, which contain mostly linear and branched alkanes or paraffins. We applied the advanced distillation curve method to an algae-based hydrotreated renewable naval distillate fuel (HRD-76) to measure its boiling temperature as a function of distillate volume fraction. The complex fluid composition was characterized through nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. The bulk modulus of the fuel was estimated from its composition and compared with experimental data collected with a density and sound speed analyzer. The boiling temperature, density and composition data were used to estimate the calculated cetane index of the fuel. We also measured the cloud point of the fuel through a constant cooling rate method with optical detection of paraffin wax precipitation. The quantitative thermophysical and chemical data can be used to improve combustion modeling of HRD-76 and other second-generation renewable fuels.
Energy and Fuels


Energy, Biofuels


Hsieh, P. , Widegren, J. , Fortin, T. and Bruno, T. (2014), Chemical and thermophysical characterization of an algae-based hydrotreated renewable diesel fuel, Energy and Fuels, [online], (Accessed June 16, 2024)


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Created April 7, 2014, Updated October 12, 2021