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Eur. J. Lipid Sci. Technol.

105 (2003) 735741


Paolo Bondioli,
Ada Gasparoli,
Laura Della Bella,
Silvia Tagliabue,
Guido Toso

Stazione Sperimentale Oli e


Grassi, Milano, Italy

DOI 10.1002/ejlt.200300783

735

Biodiesel stability under commercial storage


conditions over one year
Results obtained from a long-term storage study using eleven different biodiesel samples are presented. Samples prepared from several feedstocks using different manufacturing technologies (with or without biodiesel distillation), some containing an antioxidant additive, were stored in 200 l drums. These were periodically monitored during the complete storage period by analysis of fifteen different properties.
Several properties do not show any significant change during storage, while others
such as viscosity, peroxide value and more dramatically, Rancimat Induction Period
demonstrated changes related to the nature of the starting product.
A parallel test, carried out in simulated wrong storage conditions (occasional shaking
promoting intimate contact between biodiesel and air oxygen) lead to some strong
changes in biodiesel composition and can be used as a guide for devising biodiesel
production set-up, storage and distribution chain.
Keywords: Biodiesel, storage stability, biofuel, oxidation, ageing, storage test.

Biodiesel is a renewable fuel consisting of a mixture of fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) of natural origin for automotive or heating applications. The problem of biodiesel behavior during long term storage has been discussed in recent years by several researchers, including Du Plessis et
al. [1], Mittelbach and Gangl [2], and Bondioli et al. [3], to
refer to just a few of the most cited Authors. More recently Simkovsky and Ecker [4] demonstrated the negative
impact of light on biodiesel storage stability. In the same
paper the activity of natural antioxidants such as tocopherols was also investigated. In a subsequent paper the
same authors [5] reported on the use of some commercially available antioxidants for diesel fuel. The stability of
samples was evaluated by means of the Active Oxygen
Method (AOM) and no positive effects were observed.
The results of a two years study, using rapeseed methyl
and ethyl esters stored in glass and steel containers
demonstrating increase in peroxide value, acid value,
density and viscosity were published by Thompson et al.
[6]. The authors did not find significant difference attributable to the nature of the container. A very complete review, containing useful information about neat biodiesel
and biodiesel/diesel fuel blends stability, was published in
2001 by Knothe and Dunn [7]. Finally within the context of

Correspondence: Paolo Bondioli, Technology Dept., Stazione


Sperimentale Oli e Grassi, Via Giuseppe Colombo, 79, 20133
Milano, Italy. Phone: +39-02-7064971, Fax: +39-02-2363953;
e-mail: bondioli@ssog.it

2003 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

the BIOSTAB project, the French group carried out several tests to evaluate the evolution of numerous biodiesel
parameters during the Rancimat test [8].
The main shortfall in most of these papers is that research
was either carried out on a simple feedstock for a reasonable period of time or on different feedstock for limited periods of time.
Trying to integrate these data to obtain a more complete
overview on biodiesel storage behavior, is sometimes difficult and leads to poor results because of the heterogeneity of data with respect to quality of biodiesel, nature
of container, contact with air and daylight, presence of
pro-oxidant metals and different test methods used for
evaluation of composition changes.
In a previous paper [9] we reported property changes observed during an accelerated test carried out at 43 C according to ASTM D4625. In order to clearly define the
meaning of ageing in biodiesel samples when stored in
real conditions, this paper reports recorded changes in
numerous parameters during a one year experiment. The
ultimate aim of the work as a whole is the set-up of a quick
method for predicting storage behavior of biodiesel samples. This forms the basis for the next stage of our work.
A one year period of storage can be regarded as a more
than realistic time span for the commercial life of
biodiesel. Under common market conditions we can in
approximately six months estimate the maximum commercial life of the said product. Collection of selected
biodiesel samples was set up taking into account possible
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Research Paper

1 Introduction

736

Bondioli et al.

Eur. J. Lipid Sci. Technol. 105 (2003) 735741

feedstocks (rapeseed, sunflower, mixture of both, used


oils, tallow, etc.), different preparation processes (in practice with or without distillation), and presence of antioxidant additives.
Simultaneously, one drum of standard quality biodiesel
from rapeseed was stored in open space under direct
sunlight and occasionally shaken strongly, to promote
contact with air and hence oxidative damage. Clearly, as
the sample was stored in a metal container total direct
contact with sunlight may not have been achieved. Nevertheless, ambient temperature of this sample was higher
during summer, and lower during winter than temperatures of the other ten samples, which were stored in a pilot plant room (without heating or conditioning facility).

2 Material and methods


2.1 Materials
Eleven biodiesel samples were prepared and/or collected
from the BIOSTAB community network, and thus all possible aspects of existing European biodiesel were covered. Each sample was received in a 200 l drum and
checked before storage. Two samples were prepared by
distillation from rapeseed and sunflower methyl esters
(rape-distilled and sun-distilled), one from tallow (tallow),
one from used frying oils (used frying oils), one from a 2:1
mixture rapeseed/sunflower oil (rape/sun), and one from
rapeseed oil (rape). In addition, five drums of biodiesel
prepared from rapeseed oil of different industrial origins
were used to study the behavior of additives, as well as
additional ageing effects caused by contact with air. A detailed description of these five samples is given below.

The first series of three drums was organized as follows:


one sample without any treatment was used as a reference (TBHQ-blank )
one sample was supplemented with tert-butyl hydroquinone (TBHQ) in calculated amounts, to give a final
concentration of 400 mg/kg (TBHQ-additivated). Supplementation was carried out by dissolving the necessary amount of TBHQ in 2 l of the biodiesel under
study, thus preparing a concentrated solution. This solution was stirred for 30 min at ambient temperature;
TBHQ is readily soluble under these conditions. During
the entire stirring period a gentle flux of inert gas (nitrogen) was bubbled inside the sample. Nitrogen was
used only during preparation of the concentrated solution to protect the antioxidant from damage. Finally, the
concentrated solution was added into the drum. Homogenization inside the drum was achieved by rolling
in two opposite directions for 15 min before storage;
one sample (low stability) was stored outdoors, exposed to high and low temperatures during the year of
study. Additionally, this sample was shaken once a
week to promote a more intimate contact with air.
Following initiation of the study, it was considered advisable to test the behavior of pyrogallol (Pyro) antioxidant.
Therefore, two additional drums (one Pyro-blank and one
Pyro-additivated at a final concentration of 250 mg/kg)
were also prepared from rapeseed biodiesel and studied
for a one year period. Due to the poor solubility of pyrogallol in biodiesel, preparation of a methanolic concentrated solution was necessary. The amount of methanol to
be used for preparation of this solution was calculated in

Tab. 1. Biodiesel samples used for long-term studies.


Sample

Source

Production
technology

Additivation
[mg/kg]

TBHQ blank

Rapeseed

Undistilled

None

Deviation from specification

TBHQ additivated

Rapeseed

Undistilled

TBHQ 400

Low stability

Rapeseed

Undistilled

None

Rape

Rapeseed

Undistilled

None

Rape-distilled

Rapeseed

Distilled

None

Rancimat induction period = 4.2 h

Sun-distilled

Sunflower

Distilled

None

Iodine value = 131.1


Rancimat induction period = 1.3 h

Rape/sun

Rapeseed 67%
Sunflower 33%

Undistilled

None

Used frying oils

Used frying oils

Undistilled

None

Pyro blank

Rapeseed

Undistilled

None

Pyro additivated

Rapeseed

Undistilled

PYRO 250

Tallow

Tallow

Undistilled

None

2003 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

Ester content = 94.2%

Ester content = 88.0%


Rancimat induction ceriod = 0.7 h
Triglycerides 0.26%

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2003 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

7.3
2.3
10.2
3.4
18.9
79.0
2.5
9.3
5.8
6.9
n.d.
not
included

4.37
4.41
4.36
4.41
4.04
4.07
4.23
4.67
4.60
4.55
4.73
3.5<KV<5.0

0.07
0.11
0.08
0.31
0.14
0.14
0.50
0.28
0.12
0.12
0.25
max 0.50

97.4
97.2
97.5
97.4
98.0
98.7
97.5
94.2
97.7
97.7
88.0
min 96.5

10.27
10.33
10.33
8.09
10.07
1.37
7.17
2.30
8.72
8.72
0.44
max 12.0

115
0.44
0.22
0.20
0.005
115
0.42
0.21
0.20
0.004
115
0.42
0.24
0.20
0.004
112
0.30
0.11
0.04
0.009
117
0.09
0.01
0.02
0.067
131
0.14
0.02
0.01
0.020
118
0.46
0.19
0.10
0.003
89
0.20 interference interference 0.020
112
0.37
0.08
0.03
0.003
112
0.37
0.08
0.03
0.002
36
0.08
0.14
0.26
0.020
max 120 max 0.80 max 0.20
max 0.20 max 0.020

3.0
2.9
3.0
2.5
0.1
0.4
2.2
5.1
2.5
2.3
2.3
not
included

7.51
36.00
6.30
9.20
4.16
1.31
7.24
7.98
7.75
22.42
0.7
6 min

597
586
559
486
152
95
480
interference
574
568
n.d.
not
included

737

TBHQ blank
TBHQ additivated
Low stability
Rape
Rape-distilled
Sun-distilled
Rape/Sun
Used frying oils
Pyro blank
Pyro add
Tallow
EN 14213
specification

[h]
[wt-%]
[wt-%]
[wt-%]
[wt-%]
[wt-%]
[g I2/100 g]
[mg KOH/g]
[mm2/s]

Ester
Linolenic
content acid methyl
ester

[meq O2/kg]

PV (NF T 60-220), 40 C kinematic viscosity KV (EN


ISO 3104), acid value AV (EN 14104), ester content +
linolenic acid methyl ester (EN 14103), iodine value IV,
were obtained by calculations according AOCS Cd 1c-85
(97) using coefficients suggested for tri-glycerides, as
well as free and total glycerol (EN 14105), polymers
(mod. IUPAC 2.508), oxidation stability (EN 14112), tocopherols (ISO 9936). When present, added synthetic antioxidants were also analyzed using a reverse phase high
performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Briefly,

Acid
value

All samples were analyzed according to generally recognized parameters, using analytical methods suggested by
CEN Committees as being suitable for biodiesel evaluation. Specifically the following tests were carried out (analytical method in brackets):

40 C
Kinematic
viscosity

2.3 Analytical methods

Tab. 2. Composition of biodiesel samples before ageing.

Three 100 ml samples were taken from each drum at


fixed time intervals, and poured in three different dark
glass containers. Sampling was carried out by opening of
the drum and using a 100 ml glass pipette equipped with
a vacuum device. During each sampling operation, air
was renewed inside the drum but care was taken to avoid
air mixing during the procedure. The first bottle was immediately used for sensitive determinations such as peroxide value (PV) and oxidation stability, the second was
used for general analytical tests, and the third was immediately stored at 18 C for possible future requirement.

Iodine
value

2.2 Sampling

[%]

MonoDiglycerides glycerides

Tab. 2 shows the complete set of data obtained before the


beginning of the storage experiment. The last line of
Tab. 2 contains the specification values for biodiesel as
defined in European specification, EN 14213.

[wt-%]

Triglycerides

Free
glycerol

Polymer Rancimat
content induction
period

Tocopherols

a way so as to fulfill specifications for methanol in the final


product (<0.20 [wt-%]). This calculation took the endogenous methanol content of the sample also into account.
Therefore, for preparation of 177 kg biodiesel with negligible initial methanol content, 44.25 g of antioxidant were
dissolved in 354 g (448 ml) of methanol. This sample was
homogenized as described for TBHQ. All samples were
checked before initiation, to evaluate their adherence to
minimal requirements. All samples met the specification
limits with some minor deviations. In the case of tallow the
already mentioned problems in ester content determination [9] were confirmed: as previously discussed the real
ester content for this sample is higher than the one determined according to European specification, EN 14103. In
Tab. 1 the complete set of samples, along with their main
characteristics are shown. Eventual deviations from the
minimum requirements are also indicated in this table.

[mg/kg]

Biodiesel stability under commercial storage conditions

Peroxide
value

Eur. J. Lipid Sci. Technol. 105 (2003) 735741

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738

Bondioli et al.

Eur. J. Lipid Sci. Technol. 105 (2003) 735741


linolenic acid methyl ester content, IV, monoglyceride,
diglyceride, triglyceride as well as free glycerol, polymer
and tocopherol contents. This statement is 100% valid for
the ten samples stored in a steady state, while some
changes were observed with those kept in a drum with occasional shaking. This aspect will be discussed separately in this paper.

analysis was carried out using an RP-8 column, UV detection at 254 and 280 nm, gradient elution from 0.004 M
H2SO4 (55%)/acetonitrile (35%) methanol (10%) to acetonitrile (70%)/methanol (30%).

2.4 Storage temperature profiles


In order to assess the impact of environmental temperatures during the study, average daily temperatures were
obtained from Osservatorio Meteo Duomo Milano (Milano, Italy). The detected temperature values ranges between 1.2 C (minimum average value during winter)
and 30.1 C (maximum average value during summer).
The sample from beef tallow was stored in a 20 C heated room, in order to avoid sample solidification.

Through analysis of the recorded changes in PV (Tab. 3),


it can be seen that there is an increase in each sample up
to the fifth month of ageing.
After this time some samples show a clear degradation of
hydroperoxide with probable formation of secondary oxidation products. We have previously reported similar observations [3], however, in the latter study PV decrease was
linked to the presence of iron. This is not the case in the
present study, as no significant metal presence was detected in stored samples. The starting PV does not represent a
discriminating factor for the PV increase rate. Analysis of
PV behavior in the sample stored with occasional shaking
(low stability sample) it can be seen that changes are more
evident and take place at a very high rate.

3 Results and discussion


During our one year study, we recorded changes in composition of the above-listed eleven biodiesel samples
stored in standard conditions. We must underline, that
several parameters did not show any significant change
during the ageing process, such as acidity, ester content,

Tab. 3. Changes in PV recorded during twelve months of storage (according NF T 60-220, results expressed as meq
O2/kg).
Ageing time, month
TBHQ blank
TBHQ additivated
Low stability
Rape
Rape-distilled
Sun-distilled
Rape/sun
Used frying oils
Pyro blank
Pyro additivated
Tallow

12

7.3
2.3
10.2
3.4
18.9
79.0
2.5
9.3
5.8
6.9
n.d.

8.9
3.4
14.9
5.1
19.3
78.8
5.3
10.6
7.9
7.7
28.9

8.7
3.6
20.7
5.2
20.1
80.6
6.9
11.5
6.5
6.8
24.7

8.8
3.9
25.4
6.7
21.2
83.6
12.2
12.4
7.3
5.9
23.3

9.5
5.3
28.6
9.9
21.9
87.1
13.7
14.4
8.8
4.6
22.2

9.2
3.9
33.6
9.2
15.6
66.6
14.4
12.8
7.4
4.9
21.6

13.5
4.3
37.5
9.2
15.4
65.4
15.4
11.9
9.4
6.0
24.8

11.4
5.4
20.5
13.3
17.7
68.5
17.6
16.9
9.4
7.1
22.0

n.d. not determined.

Tab. 4. Changes in 40 C KV recorded during twelve months of storage (according EN ISO 3104, results expressed as
mm2/s).
Ageing time, month
TBHQ blank
TBHQ additivated
Low stability
Rape
Rape-distilled
Sun-distilled
Rape/sun
Used frying oils
Pyro blank
Pyro additivated
Tallow

12

4.37
4.41
4.36
4.41
4.04
4.07
4.23
4.67
4.60
4.55
4.73

4.52
4.45
4.56
4.37
4.07
4.10
4.38
4.72
4.61
4.57
4.94

4.40
4.46
4.41
4.39
4.10
4.12
4.33
4.80
4.56
4.50
4.90

4.42
4.46
4.44
4.47
4.13
4.17
4.31
4.87
4.40
4.44
4.89

4.43
4.57
4.46
4.53
4.14
4.07
4.44
4.92
4.54
4.54
5.06

4.37
4.45
4.46
4.45
4.12
4.15
4.34
4.87
4.49
4.55
4.98

4.47
4.56
4.49
4.54
4.09
4.22
4.34
4.96
4.50
4.53
5.00

4.49
4.50
4.52
4.53
4.12
4.22
4.48
4.94
4.49
4.50
5.04

2003 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

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Eur. J. Lipid Sci. Technol. 105 (2003) 735741

Biodiesel stability under commercial storage conditions

739

Tab. 5. Changes in RIP recorded during 12 months of storage (according EN 14112, results expressed as h).
Ageing time, month
TBHQ blank
TBHQ additivated
Low stability
Rape
Rape-distilled
Sun-distilled
Rape/sun
Used frying oils
Pyro blank
Pyro additivated
Tallow

12

7.51
36.00
6.30
9.20
4.16
1.31
7.24
7.98
7.75
22.42
0.7

6.93
35.85
5.92
8.84
4.21
1.37
6.77
7.59
7.40
22.25
0.68

6.75
35.00
5.00
8.35
4.23
1.38
6.45
7.10
n.d.
n.d.
n.d.

6.64
34.17
4.47
7.65
4.25
1.40
6.00
6.88
7.21
22.25
n.d.

6.55
33.05
2.27
7.37
4.11
1.45
5.65
6.65
7.15
22.33
n.d.

6.50
33.18
1.04
7.22
4.02
1.34
5.49
6.35
7.09
21.82
n.d.

6.19
33.73
1.04
7.08
4.01
1.44
5.28
5.94
6.98
21.54
n.d.

6.20
32.77
1.24
6.83
3.89
1.43
5.22
5.83
7.00
20.85
n.d.

n.d. not detected.

In Tab. 4 changes in 40 C KV are reported. KV shows a


constant slight increase for each sample during time and
does not appear to be a significant parameter for evaluation of storage behavior. The range of starting values is
very wide, depending on the nature of feedstock as well
as on production technology. Distilled products show a
lower value for KV, probably because of the near complete removal of non-methyl ester material (unsaponifiable, glycerides, etc.). Changes observed in 40 C KV are
sometimes of the same order of magnitude of Reproducibility (R=0.04 for KV of 4.50 mm2/s). But analysis of
the trend indicates a clear tendency for viscosity increase
in all samples.
In only one case does the maximum specification exceed
the limit (tallow sample), but only after twelve months of
ageing. Finally these slight changes in KV do not have a
noticeable effect on polymer concentration as underlined
in other stronger degradation conditions [10].
The largest differences during long term storage appear
in oxidation stability changes, expressed as Rancimat induction period (RIP). The complete set of data is presented in Tab. 5.
Several observations can be made from the data: RIP decreases for each sample over time, except for samples
with a low initial value, such as sun-distilled and tallow.
Suitable supplementation increases the RIP, but this value also tends to decrease over time. The rate of RIP decrease over time is a function of the intrinsic quality of the
product. The claim that if two samples have comparable
RIP immediately after production, will also have comparable RIP decay during storage is strictly speaking not true.
Consequently, within the BIOSTAB project, we aimed at
defining a suitable method which could predict the behavior of a sample maintained in steady environmental conditions for a reasonable period of time.
2003 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

Special attention must be paid to the RIP evolution of the


sample which was occasionally stirred. In this case we
can observe a dramatic decrease in RIP, suggesting that
the effect is mainly due to contact with air absorbed during shaking. It should be noted that this sample even if labeled low stability, belongs to the same lot and has the
same starting properties as TBHQ-blank and TBHQ-additivated samples. In other words low stability is not an intrinsic property of the sample, but it is induced by incorrect storage conditions. This confirms that contact with air
has a strong impact on biodiesel stability, and therefore
the necessity to limit contact with air (stirring). It also suggests which type of simple technological solutions must
be used when storing biodiesel along the complete distribution chain. Temperatures below 30 C do not have a big
influence on FAME quality.
As a complement to our monitoring process we also decided to analyze samples for tocopherol content. Because of the very low variation in tocopherol content during storage in all samples, only the initial and final values
are reported for these natural antioxidants (Tab. 6). Tallow
Tab. 6. Changes in tocopherols content recorded during
12 months of storage (according ISO 9936, results expressed as mg/kg).
Ageing time, month
TBHQ blank
TBHQ additivated
Low stability
Rape
Rape-distilled
Sun-distilled
Rape/sun
Used frying oils
Pyro blank
Pyro additivated

12

597
586
559
486
152
95
480

574
568

559
577
201
476
142
56
403

564
568

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740

Bondioli et al.

sample was not analyzed because of the known absence


of tocopherols in animal fats. Some doubts still remain regarding the real tocopherol content of the Used frying
oils sample. Here peaks having the same retention time
as reference tocopherols are detected, using two different
detectors (UV and fluorescence). For this reason the results obtained for this sample are not shown.
Once again the most dramatic decrease in tocopherol content was observed for the low stability sample. Plotting the
decrease of RIP for this sample against the decrease of tocopherol content yields the graph shown in Fig. 1. Values
are reported as a percent of initial value set in both cases at
100%. After a short initial period of parallel decrease, RIP
decreases at a higher rate than tocopherols content. This
observation might mean that tocopherols are not the only
compounds with significant impact on oxidation stability as

Eur. J. Lipid Sci. Technol. 105 (2003) 735741


determined according to EN 14112, and overall biodiesel
stability is a function of other different parameters, storage
conditions included among these. Another interesting observation from the low stability sample, concerns the individual tocopherol behavior. -Tocopherol degraded at a
very high rate, reaching the zero value after 9 months of
storage, while -tocopherol altered from 322 to 159 mg/kg,
at the end of the monitoring period.
A final remark about the sample stored in very poor conditions, concerns parameters that did not change in the
other samples. On the contrary to these other samples,
some changes were recorded in the poorly stored sample
for the following parameters (time 0  time 12 months
values and units under brackets): AV (0.08  0.14 mg
KOH/g), and Polymers (3.0  3.9 wt-%).
Finally, we investigated the fate of added synthetic antioxidants during storage. In Fig. 2 concentration values obtained over time for both TBHQ and PYRO additives are
shown.

Fig. 1. Sample low stability- percent


decrease in RIP and tocopherol concentration vs. storage time.

Fig. 2. Changes in synthetic antioxidant concentrations during storage.

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Eur. J. Lipid Sci. Technol. 105 (2003) 735741

Biodiesel stability under commercial storage conditions

It is interesting to note the different behaviors of two synthetic antioxidants: while TBHQ decreases by approximately 8% of its initial value, Pyro does not show any significant variation during the complete storage period. The
impact of this behavior on RIP is a reduction of 9 and 7%
of original value, respectively. A wider discussion on the
effects and of the impact of additives was published by
our BIOSTAB colleagues, Mittelbach and Schober [11].

4 Conclusions
Following the discussion of the experimental data, the following conclusions can be drawn:
after one year storage study carried out on eleven different biodiesel samples, it can be said that no change
was detected in 15 monitored characteristics. All samples met the specification limits even at the end of storage period, with the exception of RIP;
PV changes differ depending on samples. For samples
initially not too oxidized, PV increase is slow. For samples initially oxidized, PV first increases and then decreases due to the formation of secondary oxidation
products. It must be noted that PV is not included in the
biodiesel specification table;
the most significant changes were recorded in oxidation stability, evaluated according to Rancimat test.
This means that ageing takes place in biodiesel, independently of the monitored parameters and makes
biodiesel less stable over time. This phenomenon can
be monitored by means of Rancimat test EN 14112. Although Rancimat provides a picture of the actual situation, it is impossible to predict the RIP value after long
term storage with this test. There are ageing processes that cant be observed by analyzing parameters reported in EN 14213 and EN 14214. Consequently, we
are aiming to develop a method for storage stability
predictions;
RIP decreases with time: the rate of this decrease depends on the quality of the sample as well as on storage conditions;
a proper supplementation procedure allows RIP to increase even to a large extent: studies could be carried
out to identify quality and minimum quantity of antioxidant. The already mentioned paper by Mittelbach and
Schober [11] provides several answers to this question;
the right additives must, in our opinion, allow the sample to fulfill specifications for oxidation stability for at
least six months; super-supplementation procedures
leading to a RIP higher than 20 h have no meaning and
might have a negative impact on other parameters
(e.g. Conradson Carbon Residue);
once again the necessity for correct storage and logistic solutions to avoid contact of biodiesel with air during
2003 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

741

its complete life cycle has been highlighted. The impact of simple and occasional agitation of product in
presence of air, is extremely convincing and must be
taken into account by biodiesel handlers;
knowledge of the behavior of our biodiesel samples during storage provides the basis for the next stage of our
work regarding storage stability evaluation. The availability of a quick test for the determination of this important characteristic represents an important factor for the
improvement of biodiesel handling, trading and use.

Acknowledgements
This paper has been prepared within the European funded research project BIOSTAB Stability of Biodiesel,
QLK5-2000-00533. The project is coordinated by Heinrich Prankl, BLT (Wieselburg, Austria). For more information regarding BIOSTAB activity and scope, visit the coordinators website www.blt.bmlf.gv.at or European Research website http://www.cordis.lu.

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[Received: February 10, 2003; accepted: August 19, 2003]

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