Biodiesel is currently the most common biofuel alternative for diesel engines due to its technical, environmental and strategic advantages. In Brazil, the use of mixtures B(X) biodiesel/diesel as fuels is growing every year, mainly due to the calorific power of biodiesel, that is closer to the diesel oil, and even when added in small amounts, biodiesel provides a reasonable improvement in the fuel lubricity. The aim of this current work is to evaluate the thermal stability and physicochemical properties of biodiesel obtained from seeds of cotton, sunflower and palm. In addition, the properties of its mixtures with diesel oil in a proportion of 10 mass% (B10) were evaluated. All samples were characterized by gas chromatography and thermogravimetry. The results of the physicochemical analysis of the vegetable oils, their respective biodiesel and the B10 blends were in accordance with the Brazilian Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biodiesel (ANP) specification, except for the acid value of palm biodiesel. The palm oil and the cotton biodiesel were the most stable ones. All the samples showed a single thermal event, except palm oil that had two events. The most stable B10 blends were those obtained from mixtures of sunflower and palm. Furthermore, the addition of 10 mass% of biodiesel in mineral diesel improves the viscosity, cetane number and flashpoint, besides decreasing the sulfur content. Concerning the thermal stability of vegetable oils, the palm oil was the most stable one. However, for thermal stability of biodiesel samples, the cotton biodiesel was the most stable due to a high percentage of polyunsaturated esters present in its composition.
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The authors acknowledge the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES) and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) for financial support.
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