Improvement of Performance of Vegetable Oil Fuelled Agricultural Diesel Engine

1 Fuels and I. C. Engines Laboratory, NITK Surthkal, Mangalore 575 025, India
2 Reva Institute of Technology, Yelahanka, Bangalore - 560 064, India


KAPILAN, N., T. P. ASHOK BABU and R. P. REDDY, 2009. Improvement of performance of vegetable oil fuelled agricultural diesel engine. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 15: 610-616

In recent years, there has been a considerable effort to develop and introduce alternative renewable fuels to replace conventional petroleum based fuels. This led to the choice of non edible Mahua Oil (MO) as one of the main alternative fuels to diesel oil in India. When MO was used as fuel in the diesel engine, it results in lower thermal efficiency and higher smoke emission due to its higher viscosity and lower volatility. Hence in the present work, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) was inducted along with the air and the LPG supply was varied from zero to the maximum value that the engine could tolerate. The engine tests were conducted on a single cylinder diesel engine, which is used in the agricultural machinery. The engine test with MO+LPG was compared with the LPG+MO biodiesel (MEMO) and Diesel+LPG. From the engine results it is observed that the MO+LPG dual fuel mode operation results in performance close to the MEMO+LPG. The MO+LPG operation results in higher brake thermal efficiency and lower smoke emission as compared to the MO operation. From the present work, it is concluded that the underutilized and non edible MO can be used as a renewable alternative fuel for the diesel engine, for the development of rural economy and for the energy security of India.

Key words: Alternative Fuel, Mahua Oil, Engine Performance, Sustainability

Abbreviations: MO - Mahua Oil; MEMO - Methyl Ester of Mahua Oil ; LPG - Liquefied Petroleum Gas; BTE - Brake Thermal Efficiency; CO - Carbon Monoxide; NOx - Oxides of Nitrogen; MMT - Million Metric Tones

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