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Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) produced in the combustion of fatty acid alkyl esters from different feedstocks: Quantification, statistical analysis and mechanisms of formation.

ABSTRACT

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) are pollutants of concern due to their carcinogenic and mutagenic activity. Their emissions are mainly related with the combustion or pyrolysis of the organic matter, such as in fossil fuels combustion. It is important to characterize PAHs in the combustions of biofuels due to their increasing importance in the actual energetic setting. There is a lot of research focused in PAHs emission due to the combustion in diesel engines; but only few of them have analyzed the effect of raw material and type of alcohol used in the transesterification process. Different raw materials (i.e. animal fat, palm, rapeseed, linseed, peanut, coconut, and soybean oils) have been used for obtaining FAME and FAEE. A method for measuring PAHs generated during combustion in a bomb calorimeter has been developed. Combustion was made at different oxygen pressures and the samples were taken from the bomb after each combustion. Samples were extracted and the PAHs amounts formed during combustion were analyzed by GC-MS. This research shows the statistical relationships among the 16 PAHs of concern, biodiesel composition and oxygen pressure during combustion.