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Title: Structural studies of biofuel components
Author: Warrack, Katrina Anne
ISNI:       0000 0004 6499 3961
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2017
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The main aim of this project is to find, solve and characterise polymorphs of methyl stearate and methyl palmitate, which are the two major compounds that have prevented the widespread use of biodiesel. Biodiesel is traditionally derived from biomass containing high percentages of triglycerides, which are converted into fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs). High melting point saturated FAMEs produce the same poor low temperature flow properties experienced with petroleum diesel. For many years additives have been designed for petroleum diesel to reduce the cold flow problems; however these are not structurally selective for FAMEs. The most common compounds in biodiesel which cause cold flow problems are methyl stearate and methyl palmitate; therefore accurate crystal structures for all polymorphs that may crystallise in the fuel should be found, to design additives which are structurally selective for these compounds. Throughout this thesis powder x-ray and neutron diffraction were used in conjunction with Gaussian dipole calculations, to characterise the polymorphs of methyl stearate and methyl palmitate and their interactions with 5 straight chain n-alkanes. Variable temperature and solvents were used to mimic the conditions that might be experienced in the fuel tank of a car.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QD Chemistry