You are on page 1of 5

Available online at www.sciencedirect.


Fuel 87 (2008) 1673–1677

Methyl ester of karanja oil as an alternative renewable source energy

P.K. Srivastava *, Madhumita Verma
Department of Applied Chemistry, Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Ranchi 835 215, India

Received 20 February 2007; received in revised form 12 August 2007; accepted 14 August 2007
Available online 19 September 2007


Methyl ester of karanja oil from Jharkhand region has been prepared by transesterification method. Physical and chemical properties
of the karanja oil and that of the methyl ester have been determined. Maximum thermal efficiency of methyl ester has been determined
and found to be slightly less than that of the diesel. The brake specific fuel consumption of biodiesel of karanja oil is slightly higher as
compared to diesel. Carbon monoxide, hydrocarbon and NO emission of methyl ester and blends have been determined and compared to
that of the diesel. It appears that methyl ester of karanja oil is a suitable substitute of petroleum diesel fuel.
Ó 2007 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Keywords: Methylester; Biodiesel; Karanja oil; Transesterification; Diesel

1. Introduction oil have been evaluated as a fuel in compressed ignition

engine (CIE) by different workers [9–12]. They have con-
The non-edible oils such as neem, mahua, karanja, cluded that the performance of the esters of vegetable oil
babassu, jatropha and tobacco seed oil are easily available did not differ greatly from that of the diesel fuel [13–15].
in many parts of the world including India and are very Although ester of most vegetable oil is suitable as a diesel
economical comparable to edible oils. Jatropha curcus substitute however, more long-term studies are necessary
and pongamia pinnata can be cultivated on any type of soil, for commercial utilization. In this communication an effort
and have low moisture demand. The cultivation of these has been made to prepare biodiesel from karanja oil and to
plants is easier and plant have high oil content (25–30%). study its performances to asses its suitability as a substitute
Rudolph Diesel first introduced biodiesel in the year 1885 of diesel.
by Peanut oil as fuel [1]. Although vegetable oils may be
used directly as fuel in diesel engines without refining but 2. Preparation of biodiesel
it posses several problems mainly related to viscosity [2]
and carbon residue [3–5]. These problems can be minimized Karanja oil was taken from the local market and filtered
by dilution, pyrolysis, micro emulsion, per oxidation pro- by double layer cheesecloth to remove the solid particles.
cess [6] and transesterification. Recently, biodiesel have The moisture content was removed by heating the oil in a
been prepared by two step supercritical method [7]. The oven up to 110 °C for 1 h. For esterification, 10 g of kara-
transesterification processes are the most accepted method nja oil was warmed in a flat bottom flask up to 70 °C.
which have been used to prepare biodiesel of different veg- Sodium methoxide stock solution was prepared in a sepa-
etable oils [8]. Biodiesel can be used without any major rate flask by dissolving 28.5 g of NaOH in 2.0 kg of meth-
modification in the existing engine. Biodiesel of vegetable anol. Further, sodium methoxide solution was added into
the warmed karanja oil samples with continuous stirring
Corresponding author. Tel.: +91 0651 2275465; fax: +91 0651
by magnetic stirrer. Reaction mixture was kept for 1 h at
2275401. 70 °C and then allowed to settle for about 8 h. The bio-
E-mail address: (P.K. Srivastava). diesel (methyl ester) and glycerol layers were separated.

0016-2361/$ - see front matter Ó 2007 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

1674 P.K. Srivastava, M. Verma / Fuel 87 (2008) 1673–1677

Table 1 water was recorded. Flow of the water was measured by

Physical and Chemical properties of diesel, karanja oil and biodiesel water flow meter to know how much amount of water
Properties ASTM test Diesel Karanja oil Biodiesel was flowing per minute.
Viscosity at 30 °C (cSt) D0445-04E02 3.06 69.6 5.72 Load was varied by Swing field torque device and corre-
Density (kg m 3) D1298- 860 911 885 sponding readings were taken. Engine speed was main-
99R05 tained constant (1500 rpm) for entire load. Governor was
Flash point (°C) D0093-02A 76 230 170
Pour point (°C) D0097-05A 16 3 6
used to maintain constant speed under varying load condi-
Cloud point (°C) D 2500-05 10 0 2 tions which controls the fuel flow as load changes over
Carbon residue (%) D 0524-04 0.1 0.71 0.4 engine. When load on engine is high the fuel flow is cut
Ash content (%) D0482-03 0.01 0.04 0.02 off, when the load on engine drops then fuel flows con-
Sulphur content (%) D129-00R05 0.05 – 0.02 trolled automatically in order to run the engine at constant
Calorific value (kJ/kg) – 42,490 38,416 37,425
Cetane number D 613-84 50 39 48
speed for the load under consideration. The performance
parameters such as fuel consumption and exhaust gas tem-
perature were measured. The same experimental procedure
Biodiesel floats on the top while the denser glycerin settled was repeated with biodiesel and blends of biodiesel. Four
at the bottom of the container. Biodiesel was washed by blended fuels have been tested (1) with 5% biodiesel and
bubble wash method with the help of 10% phosphoric acid 95% diesel (2) with 10% biodiesel and 90% diesel (3) with
solution in warm water. Further, biodiesel was purified by 20% biodiesel and 80% diesel (4) with 30% biodiesel and
passing air by aquarium stone for at least 24 h. The process 70% diesel.
was repeated two to three times to get the pure biodiesel.
Thereafter, sample was transferred to a separating funnel 4. Results and discussion
and allowed to settle for half an hour. Biodiesel was sepa-
rated and stored in a container which is now much lighter Alternative fuel for diesel engine has become increas-
in color. The yield of the biodiesel was found to be 84%. ingly important due to decreasing petroleum reserves and
Physical and chemical properties of the biodiesel were the environmental consequences of exhaust gases from
determined by ASTM standard methods [16]. Calorific petroleum fuelled engines. Biodiesel can be adopted as an
value of the biodiesel was determined by a Bomb calorim- alternative fuel for the existing conventional diesel engines
eter and data have been recorded in Table 1. without any major modifications required in the system
hardware. Esterification is a process which brings about a
3. Performance test change in the molecular structure of the vegetable oil mol-
ecule, thus bringing down the levels of viscosity and unsat-
The performance test was conducted on twin cylinder uration of vegetable oils. The viscosity of vegetable oil
vertical high speed Petter Kirloskar diesel engine having reduces substantially after esterification. The density and
following specifications. viscosity of the karanja oil methyl ester formed after ester-
ification was found to be very close to petroleum diesel oil.
Rated power: 10 HP The flash point of karanja oil methyl ester was higher than
Speed: 1500 rpm that of diesel oil, however it is in the range of ‘‘Safe fuel’’.
Cetane number of diesel oil is 50 and that of karanja oil
Bore: 80 mm
methyl ester was 48. The calorific value of karanja oil
Stroke: 110 mm
methyl ester was found to be about 12% lower than petro-
Compression ratio: 16.5:1
leum diesel oil. These entire test for characterization of bio-
Cooling: Water diesel oil demonstrate that almost all the important
Loading device: Swinging field torque properties of biodiesel are in very close agreement with
Reaction dynamometer: 7.5 kW, 230 V, 32.6 A the diesel oil making it a potential candidate for the appli-
Tappet clearance: 0.007 (0.18 mm) cold. cation in compressed ignition engines for partial replace-
ment of diesel fuel. Esterification has been found to be an
The engine was started by cranking with desired amount effective technique to prevent some long-term problems
of fuel and run constantly for half an hour to ensure the associated with utilization of vegetable oils such as fuel fil-
complete combustion of fuel in the combustion chamber. ter plugging, injector coking, and formation of carbon
During the experiment, fuel injection timings and injection deposits in combustion chamber, ring sticking and contam-
pressure of engine was maintained for all the attempts. ination of lubricating oils. The carbon deposits on piston
Engine was loaded by reaction dynamometer. Reaction top and injector coking substantially reduced in biodiesel
dynamometer was kept quite precise in its own functioning fuelled engine and marginally better than the diesel fuelled
to measure the power output with little possible error. Fuel engine in terms of thermal efficiency, brake specific energy
consumption by volume was measured by burette and cor- consumption, etc.
responding time was recorded by stopwatch. Engine was Variation of thermal efficiency with brake horsepower
cooled by water coolant, inlet and outlet temperature of output is shown in Fig. 1. The mixture formation is poor,
P.K. Srivastava, M. Verma / Fuel 87 (2008) 1673–1677 1675

Fig. 2. Variation of BSFC with BHP of diesel, biodiesel and blending.

Fig. 1. Variation of thermal efficiency with BHP of diesel, biodiesel and

as a result of the low volatility and slightly higher viscosity,
the thermal efficiency is lower with methyl ester of karanja
oil as compared to diesel. The maximum thermal efficiency
Exhaust gas temperature (oC )

with methyl ester of karanja oil is about 24.87% whereas 300

that of the diesel is 30.59% at maximum power output.
The thermal efficiencies are higher with 5%, 10%, 20%
and 30% blending of biodiesel by volume as compared to
100% biodiesel. The methyl ester of karanja oil and the
blend have higher viscosity and density than the diesel. diesel
The higher viscosity leads to decreased atomization, fuel 5% blending
vaporization and combustion, and hence the thermal effi- 10% blending
ciency of 100% biodiesel is lower than that of diesel
100 20% blending
whereas thermal efficiency is higher in case of blending as
compared to biodiesel. 30% blending
The variation of brake specific fuel consumption with biodiesel
brake horsepower output is shown in Fig. 2. The total fuel
consumption is determined by measuring the volume or 0
0 2 4 6
weight of fuel consumed by the engine under given test con-
dition in a given time. The specific fuel consumption is
determined by dividing the total fuel consumption per hour Fig. 3. Variation of exhaust gas temperature with BHP of diesel, biodiesel
by the power developed, both the brake and indicated and blending.
power being used. The fuel consumption of an engine
depends principally upon the heating value of the fuel,
the air fuel ratio and the efficiency of the engine process. The variation exhaust gas temperature with brake horse-
The brake specific fuel consumption is a comparative power output is shown in Fig. 3. Exhaust gas temperature
parameter that shows how efficiently an engine is convert- is higher with biodiesel than diesel. This is due to oxygen
ing fuel into work. It is clear from the figure that at maxi- present in the ester molecule enhances the combustion pro-
mum load the BSFC of biodiesel is higher as compared to cess thus increasing the temperature. The maximum tem-
that of diesel. The BSFC of diesel at peak load is 0.276 kg/ perature of exhaust gas at peak load is 332.2 °C with the
kW h, and that of biodiesel is 0.401 kg/kW h. On other methyl ester of karanja oil and 293.3 °C with the diesel.
hand in case of blending of 5%, 10%, 20%, 30%, it comes There is reduction in exhaust gas temperature of the blends
out to be 0.313 kg/kW h, 0.316 kg/kW h, 0.3174 kg/kW h, of biodiesel as compared to that of methyl ester of karanja
0.3190 kg/kW h, respectively. oil (100% biodiesel).
1676 P.K. Srivastava, M. Verma / Fuel 87 (2008) 1673–1677

Fig. 4. Variation of HC with BHP at constant speed of 1500 rpm.

Fig. 5. Variation of CO emission with BHP at constant speed of
1500 rpm.

The calorific value of diesel, crude karanja oil and bio-

diesel is shown in Table 1. Higher the calorific value, higher
heat released during combustion hence thermal efficiency
will be higher. Lowering the calorific value of karanja oil
and its methyl ester lead to injection of higher quantities
of the fuel for the same powder output as compared to die-
sel. The calorific value of crude karanja oil was found to be
34,416 kJ/kg and that of biodiesel is 37,425 kJ/kg which is
lower than diesel (42,490 kJ/kg).
Variation of hydrocarbon (HC) concentration with
brake horse power in the exhaust is shown in Fig. 4. Bio-
diesel exhibits higher HC emission as compared to stan-
dard diesel operation. The HC emission of diesel at
maximum load is 85 ppm whereas, that of biodiesel is
120 ppm due to poor mixing with air. However, emission
is lower with the blend as compared to biodiesel. Emission
has been found to be 90 ppm, 96 ppm, 90 ppm, 102 ppm
with blend 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, respectively at maximum
load. Variation of CO concentration against BHP is shown
in Fig. 5. The CO emission of diesel at maximum load is
0.18% whereas that of biodiesel is 0.21%. However, emis-
sions are lower for blends as compared to biodiesel. The
emissions are 0.15%, 0.16%, 0.15% and 0.18% with blends
of 5%, 10%, 15%, and 20%, respectively, at maximum load.
The lower break thermal efficiency and calorific value of
biodiesel and blends lead to injection of higher quantity Fig. 6. Variation of NO with BHP of diesel, biodiesel and blending.
of the fuel for the same power output as compared to die-
sel. The nitric oxide (NO) concentration found in the
12% higher, which may be due to the higher temperature
exhaust is shown in Fig. 6. It indicates that biodiesel shows
of biodiesel combustion chamber. This is also evident from
higher nitric oxide emission as compared to standard die-
higher exhaust temperature from the biodiesel engine.
sel. Further from the NO curves two important observa-
tions can be made. First NO emission is a direct function
of engine loading. This is expected because on increasing 5. Conclusions
load, the temperature of the combustion chamber increases
and NO formation is strongly temperature dependent phe- Methyl ester of karanja oil have slightly reduced thermal
nomena. Second important observation is that the NO efficiency as compared to diesel. The brake specific fuel
emission in the case of biodiesel fuel is approximately consumption of methyl ester of karanja oil is slightly higher
P.K. Srivastava, M. Verma / Fuel 87 (2008) 1673–1677 1677

as compared to diesel. The exhaust gas temperature of [7] Minami Eiji, Saka Shiro. Kinetics and hydrolysis of methyl esterifi-
methyl ester is higher as compared to diesel and blends. cation for biodiesel production in two steps supercritical methanol
process. Fuel 2006;85(17–18):2479–83.
HC, CO and NO emission are higher of methyl ester of [8] Demirbas A. Biodiesel fuel from vegetable oils via catalytic and non-
karanja oil as compared to diesel. It appears that almost catalytic supercritical alcohol transesterification and other methods a
all properties of the methyl ester of karanja oil are quite survey. Energy Convers Manag 2003;44:2093–109.
close to those of the diesel oil. Therefore, it may be con- [9] Kalligeros S, Zannikos F, Stournas S, Lois E, Anastopoulos G, Teas
cluded that methyl ester of karanja oil can be used as an Ch, et al. An investigation of using biodiesel/marine diesel blends on
the performance of a stationary diesel engine. Biomass Bioenergy
alternative renewable source of energy. 2003;24:141–9.
[10] Naryah R. Biomass (renewable) resources for production of material
References chemical and fuels. ACS Symp Ser 1992;476:1–10.
[11] Lapuerta M, Armas O, Ballesteros R, Fernandez J. Diesel emission
[1] Sheehan, John J, Duffield, James A, Coulon, Remi B, Camobreco, from biofuels derived from Spanish potential vegetable oils. Fuel
Vincent J, Life cycle assessment of biodiesel versus petroleum diesel, 2005;84(6):773–80.
Fuel, 078-03-3547-3-7/16, 1996, IEEE. [12] Ali Y, Hanna MA. Alternative diesel fuels from vegetable oils.
[2] Krisnangkura Kanit, Yimzuwan Tawatchai, Pairintra Ratanachai. Bioresources Technol 1994;50:153–63.
An empirical approach in predicting biodiesel viscosity at various [13] Moron-Villarreyes Joaquin A, Soldi Cristian, de Amorim Alenxandra
temperature. Fuel 2006;85(1):103–7. M, Pizzolatti Moacir G, de Mendonca Jr Antonio P, D’Oca Marcelo
[3] Veljkovic VB, Lakicevic SH, Stamenkovic OS, Todorovic ZB, Lazic GM. Diesel/biodieselproportion for by-compression ignition engines.
ML. Biodiesel production from tobacco seed oil with a high content Fuel 2007;86(12–13):1977–82.
of free fatty acids. Fuel 2006;85(17–18):2671–5. [14] James P Szybist, Juhun Song, Mahabubul Alam, Andre L Boehman.
[4] Knotha G, Dunn RO, Bagby MO. Technical aspects of biodiesel Biodiesel combustion, emissions and emission control. Fuel Process
standards. Inform 1996;7:827–9. Technol 2007;88(7):693–9.
[5] Ma Fangrui, Hann Milford A. Biodiesel production: a review. [15] Gerhard Knothe. Some aspects of biodiesel oxidative stability. Fuel
Biosour Technol 1999;70:1–15. Process Technol 2007;8(7):669–77.
[6] Lin Cherng-Yuan, Lin Hsiu-An, Hung Lang-Bang. Fuel structure [16] Annual book of ASTM standards, Section 05, petroleum products,
and properties of biodiesel produced by the per oxidation process. lubricants and fossil fuels 2006 I–IV.
Fuel 2006;12–13:1743–9.