Performance Characteristics of a Single Cylinder Diesel Engine Fueled With Blends of Sal Seed Oil and Diesel

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Vol. 28, No. 7, (2019), pp. 136-143


Performance Characteristics of a Single Cylinder Diesel Engine Fueled With Blends of Sal Seed Oil and Diesel

Prasad S Kallolimath1, Dr. Veeranna D. K2, Pramod Shiraguppi3, Sangappa Hadapad4, G. B Deshpande5

1, 3, 4

Assistant Professor, S. G, Balekundri Institute of Technology, Belagavi- 590010. Karnataka.

2 Professor, S. G, Balekundri Institute of Technology, Belagavi- 590010. Karnataka.

5 Associate Professor, S. G, Balekundri Institute of Technology, Belagavi- 590010. Karnataka.


The present work deals with an underutilized vegetable oil; Shorea Robusta (Sal) belongs to the family of Dipterocarpaceae. Sal has an important role in the economics of central states of India (i.e. Orissa, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh). These states cover about 45 % of forest area. Sal is a deciduous tree that reaches up to 50 m height. The pressure filtered Sal seed oil was transesterified into Sal seed oil Methyl Ester (SOME). The kinematic viscosity (5.85cSt), density (865 kg/m3) and calorific value (38349 KJ/kg) of the SOME were well within the ASTM/EN standard limits. Various test fuels were prepared for the engine trials by blending 10%, 20% and 30% of SOME in diesel on volumetric basis and designated as SOME10, SOME20 and SOME30 respectively. The BTE, in general, was found to be decreased with increased volume fraction of SOME in the blends. At full load, BSFC for SOME10, SOME20 and SOME30 were 0.18kg/kWh, 0.17kg/kWh and 0.15kg/kWh respectively as compared to 0.19kg/kWh in case of diesel. It may be concluded from the experimental investigations that Sal seed biodiesel is a potential alternative to diesel fuel for reducing dependence on crude petroleum derived fuels and also to reduce pollution significantly.

1. Introduction

Energy is one of the key drivers for socio-economic development and fossil fuels contribute about 80% of the world’s energy needs [1]. However, uncertainties about long term supply of thesefuels coupled with pricee increase and environmental degradation due to indiscriminate burning of these fuels is of great concern as well. The global warming and environmental degradation mandates emission reduction strategies, either by improved engine technology or use of environmental friendly fuels [2–4]. Biodiesel has emerged as one of the most important sustainable fuels for reducing air pollution and providing new energy sources in rural communities in line with the Millennium Development Goals [5–7]. It is very promising owing to its renewability, thus guaranties energy security and environmental benefits.

India’s crude oil requirement in 2011–12 was 210 million tones with indigenous production capacity of only 18%.

India already has 17% of the World’s population and just around 0.8% of the World’s known oil and natural gas reserves. The energy demand is expected to increase due to its increasing population [8]. Diesel engines play a significant role in Indian economy [9]. Therefore, diesel consumption in India is nearly 4–5 times higher than that of gasoline [8]. However, such engines are also main contributors of harmful emissions and there is an urgent need to look for alternatives to petroleum derived diesel to reduce these harmful emissions [10].

Significant research work has been documented with regards to the production, characterization and engine applications of biodiesel derived from variety of vegetable oils. Koh and Ghazi [11]reviewed the different biodiesel


Vol. 28, No. 7, (2019), pp. 136-143 production routes using Jatrophacurcas oil, highlighting molar ratio of alcohol to oil, catalyst concentration, reaction temperature and reaction time as the mainfactors affecting the biodiesel yield. The performance of biodiesel in diesel engines has been extensively investigated. The engine power output was found to be equivalent to that of diesel fuel.

Dhar et al. [12] reported maximum torque for 10% and 20% KOME blends which were higher than mineral diesel.

Higher Karanja biodiesel blends produced slightly lower torque. These findings are similar to results reported by Karnwal et al. [13].

Similarly, Raheman and Ghadge [14] found comparable performance of Mahua biodiesel and its blends with petroleum based diesel. Other findings include; emissions reduction, increase brakepower and BSFC. The BSFC, for all biodiesel–diesel blends increases with increasing blending ratio and decreases with increasing engine speed [15].

Raheman and Ghadge [14] found that, CO,UHC and smoke emissions of Karanja biodiesel blends were lower than that of mineral diesel but NOx emissions were slightly higher. Shehata et al. [16] prepared biodiesel from Cotton seed, Palm and Flax oils, showing less brake power, high BSFC, lower CO and smoke with marginal increase in NOx emissions. Murlidharan et al. [17] indicated almost similar results. Mufijur et al. [18] havealso reported reduction in UHC and CO emissions but higher NOx emission.The present work deals with the production of biodiesel from ‘‘Sal seed oil’’, its physicochemical characterization and evaluation of engine performance and emission characteristics.

2. Materials and methods

Sal seed oil was purchased from a vendor in Madya Pradesh, India. All materials and reagents used were of analytical grade (AnalaR) except otherwise stated. Containers and other apparatuswere initially washed with liquid detergent, rinsed with 20% (v/v) nitric acid and finally rinsed with distilled water.

2.1. Sal seed (Shorearobusta)

Shorearobusta is a large tree up to 50 m tall. It has clean bole, straight and cylindrical branches. The tree develops a long taproot. Its fruit at full size is about 1.3–1.5 cm long.

Fig. 1 presents the various parts of the tree and its seeds[19].

2.2. Production and characterization of SOME and blends Biodiesel was produced using transesterification process in which, the triglycerides were reacted with an methanol in presenceof KOH as catalyst [20]. The free fatty acid (FFA) content of the Sal seed oil was less than 2%, so a single stage transesterification process was used to produce Sal methyl ester. The transesterification was conducted using 0.5% (w/w) Potassium hydroxide as catalyst, 65 ºC reaction temperature and 90 min reaction time with constant stirring at 450 rpm, followed by different stages as presented in Fig. 2. The same process parameters were used to produce largequantity of biodiesel in the 10 l capacity


Vol. 28, No. 7, (2019), pp. 136-143

138 Based upon the preliminary trials with higher percentage of SOME conducted earlier, some undesirable operational challenges were noticed and the maximum blending percentage of 30% was selected for the present work. Three test fuel samples were prepared with 10%, 20% and 30% of SOME with mineral diesel (v/v) and were designated as SOME10, SOME20 and SOME30 respectively. The neat diesel was coded as D100. The physico-chemical properties were evaluated for all test fuels taking into considerations experimental uncertainties.

Fig 2 Sal Biodiesel Production 2.3. Experimental engine setup

The setup used for the current work consists of single cylinder, four stroke, VCR (Variable Compression Ratio) Electric start Diesel engine connected to eddy current type dynamometer for loading. The engine develops 3.5 kW at rated speed of 1500 rpm. The compression ratio can be changed without stopping the engine and without altering the combustion chamber geometry by specially designed tilting cylinder block arrangement. The gaseous emissions were measured from an exhaust surge tank. UHC, CO, and NOx were measured with the help of an AVL Digas emission analyzer.



Vol. 28, No. 7, (2019), pp. 136-143

Fig. 3 Experimental setup 3. Results and discussion

The experimental results are reported and discussed in the present section.

3.1. Physico-chemical properties of Sal seed oil

Various physico-chemical and fuel properties including density, viscosity, calorific value, were determined accordingto standard methods.

Table 1Physico-ChemicalProperties Fuel Flash Point


Fire Point


Kinematic ViscosityCst

Density Kg/m³

Calorific Value KJ/kg

Diesel 51 57 3.20 823 45500

B10 78 84 3.28 828 45197

B20 80 88 3.39 833 45070

B30 82 91 3.72 845 43970

B100 169 189 5.89 865 39824

The differences in the physico-chemical properties as well as engine design results in significant differences in the combustion behavior of biodiesels [23]. Table 1 presents the average values of the physico-chemical properties of neat SOME, diesel and their blends.Neat SOME showed 5.1% higher density than mineral diesel, however, it was still well within the standard limit of 0.86–0.89 g/cc according to ISO standard. The kinematic viscosity of SOME sample was higher than diesel, but it suitably conformed to ASTM D-6751 standard. The calorific value of SME was very much comparable with mineral diesel.

In northern parts of India, it can easily be used with the addition of certain pour point depressant in winter season.

Saturated vegetable oils have good oxidation stabilities and high Cetane ratings, as such animal fats were found to be suitable for biodiesel production with impressive results [24].

The oxidation stability of the SOME was also within the acceptable limits of both D6751 and EN14112 standards.

The density, viscosity and flash point increased with increasing blending percentages while calorific value reduced marginally. There was no change in oxidation stability. These trends are quite similar to cotton seed oil [22].

3.2. Engine performance

Brake thermal efficiency is a vital engine performance parameter. It is the ratio of mechanical work obtained at the


Vol. 28, No. 7, (2019), pp. 136-143

140 [25]. The variation of the engine BTE obtained for different fuel blends with respect to brake mean effective pressure is shown in Fig. 4. Performance of CI engine is expected to vary with blending rates of biodiesel. [26].

Fig. 4 Brake thermal efficiency vs brake mean effective pressure for various test fuels.

It was observed that BTE for all the test fuels increased with increase in load. This was attributed to increased brake power and reduced wall heat loss at higher engine loads [26,27]. The BTE in general was found to decrease with increased volume fraction of SOME in the blends. This is due to a number of factors like lower heating value, higher viscosity and density of the biodiesel resulting in poor atomization/vaporization, and increased fuel consumption.The results are similar to the findings of Chauhan et al. [26,27] and Canakci et al. [28].

SOME20 and SOME30 showed a reduction of 8.4% and 29.7% in full load BTE respectively as compared to the neat diesel operation. However, SOME10 exhibited increase in BTE at full load.

Fig. 5 Volumetric efficiency vsBMEP for various test fuels.

Fig. 5 shows the volumetric efficiency of all the blends are slight lower compared to diesel. Difference obtained is very small between 1%. The variation is observed as the values depend on the breathing ability of the engine. This indeed depends on ratio of air induced during swept volume at ambient conditions.

Comparative assessment of fuel consumption is an important parameter to explain the engine performance exhibited by various test fuels. In this context, brake specific fuel consumption (BSFC) has been used as a conventional parameter. BSFC has been considered for the present work and is also not a reliable parameter when the calorific value and density of test fuels vary considerably [29]. Fig. 6 shows the BSFC. The specific fuel consumption for SOME 10, SOME 20, SOME 30 blends and biodiesel at full load are 0.18,0.17, 0.15kg/kWh respectively, comparable to the diesel is 0.19 kg/kWh. SFC decrease with the increase in power developed. BSFC of SOME 10 and SOME 20 blend are closely comparable to diesel.

0 20 40 60

0.16 1.53 2.95 4.22



Diesel SOME10 SOME20 SOME30

74 76 78 80

0.16 1.53 2.95 4.22

Vol. Effeciency %


Diesel SOME 10 SOME 20 SOME 30


Vol. 28, No. 7, (2019), pp. 136-143

Fig. 6 SFC vs BMEP for various test fuels.

4. Conclusion

In the present work, an exhaustive engine trial was carried to evaluate the performance and emission characteristics of different SOME-diesel blends. The results suggest that BTE dropped marginally with the increase of SOME volume fraction in the test fuel at full load as compared to the neat diesel operation. BSFC increased with the increase in SOME percentage in the test fuel.From the experimental investigation it may be concluded that Sal seed biodiesel is a potential alternative to diesel fuel for use in unmodified agricultural diesel engines.


The authors express their gratitude to ‘‘Center for Research in Mechanical Engineering, S. G. Balekundri Institute of Technology, Belagavi 590010, Karnataka’’ for providing infrastructure to carry out the experimental work and the subsequent analyses.


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