ABSTRACT The depletion of world petroleum reserves and the increased environmental concerns have stimulated the search for alternative sources for petroleum based fuel. The possibility of using vegetable oils as fuel has been recognized, however, due to its high viscosities and low volatilities makes it inefficient for most combustion engines and thus the need to get them chemically altered or transesterified to obtain fatty alkyl esters of the oil (biodiesel). In this study, binary and ternary blends of biodiesel were produced and the effect of temperature on their viscosity and density was investigated. Biodiesel was produced from soybean oil by transesterification of the oil with methanol using potassium hydroxide as a catalyst at a temperature of 60℃ in a batch reactor. Binary and ternary blends of the soy-biodiesel were prepared with soy bean oil and petroleum diesel fuel, respectively. Viscosities and densities of the binary and ternary blends were measured at different temperatures of 20℃ to 90℃ as to determine the effect of temperature on viscosities and densities of the blends. The properties of the soy-biodiesel produced were compared with ASTM standard and found to be within the limits. The results show that the viscosities and densities of both the binary and ternary blends are temperature dependent. The viscosities of binary and ternary blends decreased nonlinearly with temperature, while their densities decreased linearly with temperature. The variation of temperature with viscosity and density of the blends was correlated and the polynomial equation offered the best correlation between temperature and viscosity, while linear equation gave the best correlation between temperature and density. In conclusion, the efficiency of binary and ternary blends of biodiesel in combustion engines is dependent on the viscosity and density of the blends which are invariably temperature dependent.
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