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Thread: FFA good or bad?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Clifton Creek Vic Australia

    FFA good or bad?

    WVO that titrates a high value for biodiesel making is notably high in FFA concentration.
    This higher level of FFA occurs as a result of the breaking down of the triglyceride molecule
    to di and mono glycerides and also the complete freeing up of the glycerine component of
    the triglyceride veg oil, in the cooking process over time.
    This free glycerine in the oil is of little concern as glycerine has a boiling off (evaporation temp)
    of 150DegC, so it ends up driven off with steam in the frying process, so it is much of the sticky
    stuff stuck to your kitchen walls!
    My question to those more knowledgable on this topic is;
    What is the potential detrimental effects of high, or even low, levels of FFA in the WVO being used
    by Veg oil users on this forum.
    Or is it as one chemical engineer has stated to me, no more than more free fuel that is in fact some what
    thinner than SVO and therefore a positive addition to the oil as a fuel?
    Could someone verify this last statement, as I am not convinced of its validity?

    John Hermans
    Clifton Creek

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    Re: FFA good or bad?

    I do not test the Titration of oil I use in my car.
    I have tested the titration of oil I used for making biodiesel at 4g/L. This oil came from the same supplier as the oil I use in my car, so is likely to be have a similar titration.
    I do not know if there are any issues with high FFA oils as diesel fuel, but I have been using veggie oil in my Mercedes 300Ds for 16 years, and prior to that, for 18 months in my Mazda Capella diesel, without any significant issues.
    Life is a journey, with problems to solve, lessons to learn, but most of all, experiences to enjoy.

    Current Vehicles in stable:
    2000 Ford Courier Crew Cab 2.5L Turbodiesel on Blended veggie oil.
    '2014 Toyota Prius (on ULP)

    Previous Vehicles:
    '90 Mazda Capella. (2000 - 2003) My first Fatmobile. Converted to fun on veggie oil with a 2 tank setup. Died when supercharger stuck at max boost for weeks. Stretched head bolts.
    '80 Mercedes 300D. 2 tank conversion [Sold]
    '84 Mercedes 300D. 1 tank, no conversion. Replaced engine with rebuilt OM617A turbodiesel engine. Finally had good power. Donor for current Fatmobile coupe. (body parted out and carcass sold for scrap.)
    '99 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my darling Wife's car)[sold]
    '98 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my car)[sold]
    Parts Car C220 1993 SOLD.
    '85 Mercedes Benz W123 300CD Turbodiesel single tank using 95% used cooking oil and 5% to 10% misfuel (where someone had filled diesel vehicle with petrol).
    '06 Musso Sports Crew Cab. Running on used cooking oil with 5% to 10% misfuel. [Head gasket blew!]

    Searching the Biofuels Forum using Google
    Adding images and/or documents to your posts

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Re: FFA good or bad?

    I asked this question myself when I first considered using WVO. Most FFAs have a pKa around 4.5 apparently, which makes them about as acidic as vinegar (which makes sense as FFAs would all be carboxylic acids like vinegar). In principle this is significant acidity (although weak), but I suspect the anhydrous nature of the oil means that whatever the potential considerations may otherwise have been, they don't apply. Which is why people like Tony and others have used WVO for years with no sign of corrosion to engine componenets


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