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Biodiesel Calibration Standards for ASTM D6584

By: Vicki Yearick, AnalytiX Volume 6 Article 4

Multi-component kits simplify analyses and save preparation time

By Vicki Yearick, Analytical Standards Market Segment Managervyearick@sial.com

Low levels of free and bound glycerin are critical to the performance of biodiesel fuels. Free glycerin and bound glycerin both contribute to the formation of deposits on injector nozzles, pistons, valves, filters and storage tanks. ASTM D6584 provides a standardized method for the determination of free glycerin and total (free + bound) glycerin. Commercial biodiesel producers use this method to determine if a production run of B100 (100% biodiesel methyl esters) can be sold or needs to be reworked.

The method outlined in ASTM D6584 provides for the quantitative determination of free and total glycerin in B100 by high temperature gas chromatography. The analytes are silylated using N-methyl-N-(trimethylsilyl)tri fluoroacetamide (MSTFA). Five multi-component calibration solutions containing glycerin, mono-, di-, and triglycerides must be prepared and then derivatized for the analysis.

Sigma Aldrich, through its Supelco brand, offers individual multi-component solutions specifically designed for use with ASTM D6584. These pre-made solutions save the analyst valuable preparation time. As an added convenience, all five solutions plus an internal solution are available in kit form. Each biodiesel standard comes with a Certificate of Composition and instructions for sample derivatization using MSTFA derivatization reagent (Cat. No. 394866) also available from Sigma- Aldrich.

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