The control of the oxidative stability of biodiesel and blends of biodiesel with diesel is one of the major concerns of the biofuel industry. The oxidative degradation of biodiesel can be accelerated by several factors, and this is most critical in the so-called second generation biodiesel, which is produced from low-cost raw materials with lower environmental impacts. The addition of antioxidants is imperative to ensure the oxidative stability of biodiesel, and these are considered products of high commercial value. The antioxidants currently available on the market are from synthetic origin, so the existence/availability of alternative antioxidants of natural origin (less dependent on fossil sources) at a competitive price presents itself as a strong business opportunity. This work describes and characterizes a sustainable alternative to synthetic antioxidants used in the biodiesel market developed from extracts of vineyard pruning waste (VPW), which are naturally rich in phenolic compounds with antioxidant properties. A hydrothermal extraction process was applied as a more efficient and sustainable technology than the conventional one with the potential of the extracts as antioxidant additives in biodiesel evaluated in Rancitech equipment. The VPW extract showed comparable antioxidant activity as the commercial antioxidant butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) typically used in biodiesel. The stability of the biodiesel is dependent from the amount of the extract added. Further, for the first time, the assessment of the environmental impacts of using natural extracts to control the oxidative stability of biodiesel in the production process is also discussed as a key factor of the process environmental sustainability.
- environmental sustainability
- life cycle assessment
- subcritical water extraction; natural antioxidants
- vineyard pruning waste