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Bambuleac Dumitru1
Abstract This article presents the results of the experimental investigation of two types of alternative fuel for diesel engines rapeseed oil and methyl ester of rapeseed oil. The fast decrease of crude oil reserves and, consequently, the increase of the price of diesel fuel make really actual the need to elaborate non-traditional but in the same time efficient fuels. This study wants to answer the question if the two selected nonconventional fuels could be a successful substitution for the classical diesel. The work consists of two directions analysis of the combustion process and of the exhaust emissions. The results were compared with the ones of the fossil diesel.

1.1 The purpose of the study
On a global level, rapeseed oil based biodiesel fuels have been intensively investigated and used since the beginning of the on-going energy crisis and the constant increase of the price of the traditional fossil diesel fuel. Taking a closer look on the situation in my native country Republic of Moldova permanently rising price of the diesel fuel is a great obstacle for farmers to run profitable businesses. Thats why the opportunity to use as fuel rapeseed oil or biodiesel based on rapeseed oil, produced from a part of seeds grown on their own land, could have a great contribution in decreasing the costs of agricultural products and could allow farmers to run much more economically efficient businesses. The aim of this research is to study the capacity of the rapeseed oil and methyl ester of rapeseed oil to be used as efficient alternative diesel fuels, by analyzing the combustion process of the two alternative diesel fuels with reference to classical diesel fuel, tested in exactly same conditions. Besides combustion process, an important part of this research represents the environmental effects of the respective fuels. Exhaust gas emissions of both rapeseed oil and rapeseed oil methyl ester will be analyzed and compared with the results of testing of the classic diesel fuel.

Bambuleac Dumitru, Technical University of Liberec, Moldova,


Rapeseed oil as an alternative fuel for CI engines

Rapeseed oil is of vegetable origin and is obtained from crushed rapeseeds by pressing or extraction. Among different kinds of vegetable oils, rapeseed is the best one for use as a fuel, as it is relatively thin, cheap to produce and easy to get hold of. Rapeseed oil can be used as diesel fuel just as it is, without being converted to biodiesel. The downside is that straight vegetable oil is much more viscous (thicker) than conventional diesel fuel or biodiesel and it doesnt burn in the same way in the engine. This problem can be solved by using a two-tank system which pre-heats the rapeseed oil to make it thinner. The vehicle is started up on a thin, highly combustible fuel such as fossil diesel and then switched over to the vegetable oil from second tank and switched back again to the petro-diesel tank before stopping the engine.


Rapeseed oil methyl ester as an alternative fuel for CI engines

Rapeseed oil methyl ester is a biodiesel made from rapeseed oil (consisting mainly of triglycerides) reacted with methanol in presence of a catalyst. This chemical reaction is known as transesterification (fig.1).

Figure 1: The transesterification reaction

The obtained biodiesel rapeseed oil methyl ester has much lower viscosity than straight rapeseed oil and can be used as a fuel for compression ignition engines without operational problems, such as engine deposits, and without the need to install or to adjust special equipment in the fuel system.

The experimental work was carried on a Zetor 1505 (Zetor, Brno, Czech Republic) four-cylinder direct-injection turbocharged diesel tractor engine with a bore of 105 mm, stroke of 120 mm, a displacement of 4.156 liters, a rated power of 90 kW (120 hp) at 2200 rpm and a rated maximum torque of 450 Nm at 1480 rpm; this corresponds to a brake mean effective pressure (BMEP) of 1588 kPa. This engine utilizes a fully mechanically controlled Motorpal (Motorpal, Jihlava, Czech Republic) gear-driven inline fuel injection pump with constant static injection timing. The timing of the beginning of the injection is constant for all rpm and loads (10 before top dead centre). The engine was also equipped with stock alternator, air compressor, and a two-speed radiator/intercooler cooling fan. The tested engine used an exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system, which was observed to be active at both 1480 and 2200 rpm and below approximately 80% of the rated power and inactive along the maximum torque curve and at idle. The engine was coupled to a Schenck Dynabar D-630 water brake dynamometer. The engine was operated alternately on highway diesel fuel (EN 590, from ETK, Liberec, Czech Republic), on locally produced fuel-grade (DIN 51605) rapeseed oil RO (FabioProduct, Holin, Czech Republic) and methylester of rapeseed oil FAME

(Agropodnik, Jihlava, Czech Republic). The rapeseed oil composition by weight was 76.1% carbon, 15.4% hydrogen and 8.5% oxygen. Some of the selected fuels properties are shown in the table 1. The engine was equipped with an auxiliary fueling system, heated by the engine cooling water, allowing the start of the engine on diesel fuel and operation of the engine on either diesel fuel or heated rapeseed oil. Fuel Standard Density for 15C, [kg/m ] Viscosity for 40C, [mm /s] Flash point, [C] Cetane number
2 3

Diesel fuel EN 590 820-845 2.0-4.5 >55 >51

Rapeseed oil DIN 51605 900-930 <36 >220 >39

Biodiesel EN 14214 860-900 3.5-5.5 >120 >51

Table 1: Selected properties of used fuels

For each kind of tested fuel the engine was run following the working cycles: -1- 3 times maximum torque curve (from 1000 to 2400 rpm at full load) -2- Modes 1, 2, 3 of ISO 8178 C-1 test (table 2) -3- ISO 8178 C-1 test -4- ISO 8178 C-2 test without mode 2 (full load at max. torque rpm) (table 3) -5- Modes 4, 5 of ISO 8178 C-2 test Normally, it have been run 6 minutes per mode, some modes in the C-2 test have longer run time to collect the needed amount of particulate matter for analysis. mode Speed, [rpm] Torque, [Nm] 1 2200 330 2 2200 247 3 2200 165 4 2200 33 5 2200 450 6 1480 337 7 1480 225 8 780 0

Table 2: Used ISO 8178 C-1 test cycles

mode Speed, [rpm] Torque, [Nm]

1 2200 88

2 1480 337

3 1480 225

4 1480 112

5 1480 45

8 780 0

Table 3: Used ISO 8178 C-2 test cycles

Indicated combustion pressures inside the cylinder were measured by an uncooled piezoelectric indicated pressure transducer (GM11, AVL, Austria) fitted into an adapter inserted in place of a glow plug of the no. 1 cylinder and by an optomechanical sensor (PSI-Glow, Optrand, Troy, Michigan, USA) inserted in place of the glow plug of the no. 4 cylinder. The concentrations of hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide (CO) and dioxide (CO 2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) were measured by a heated flame ionization detector (Amluk, Germany), NDIR analyzers (0-1000 ppm CO, Horiba, Japan; 0-8% CO and 0-16% CO2, IRAS, Hartmann&Braun, Germany) and heated chemiluminescence analyzer (Horiba, Japan).

3.1 Combustion analysis
The analysis of the combustion performance of the selected fuels rapeseed oil, methyl ester of rapeseed oil will be realized by comparing the indicated pressure diagrams for all three fuels at various regimes of engine operation. For simplicity, five representative regimes were selected: 2200 rpm and 247 Nm (75% engine load) (Fig. 2a); 2200 rpm and 33 Nm (10% engine load) (Fig. 2b); 1480 rpm and 337 Nm (75% engine load) (Fig. 2c); 1480 rpm and 45 Nm (10% engine load) (Fig. 2d); 780 rpm and no load (idling regime) (Fig. 2e). The figures 2a up to 2e show the course of the indicated pressure in the cylinder no. 4, for all three studied fuels rapeseed oil (RO), methyl ester of rapeseed oil (FAME) and classic diesel fuel. Also, in order to analyze and compare the fuels performance, a diagram representing the engine speed and torque output for the studied fuels for the used ISO 8178 C-1 and C-2 test cycles was created and shown in the figure no. 3.

Figure 2a: Indicated pressure diagram for selected fuels at 2200 rpm and 247 Nm

Figure 2b: Indicated pressure diagram for selected fuels at 2200 rpm and 33 Nm

Figure 2c: Indicated pressure diagram for selected fuels at 1480 rpm and 337 Nm

Figure 2d: Indicated pressure diagram for selected fuels at 1480 rpm and 45 Nm

Figure 2e: Indicated pressure diagram for selected fuels at 780 rpm and no load (idling)

Figure 3: Engine speed and torque output for the selected fuels


Exhaust gases emission analysis

Collected emissions data are represented on the real-time diagrams in the figures 4a up to 4c. Emission values were grouped by the type of the exhaust gas: hydrocarbons (HC) Fig. 4a; carbon monoxide (CO) Fig. 4b; nitric oxides (NOx) Fig. 4c. Each diagram represents the dynamics of the emission of the respective gas for all three fuel types during used ISO 8178 C-1 and ISO 8178 C-2 test cycles. Also, on the graphics can be noticed another 2 data-lines reference rpm and reference torque. These curves were represented in order to determine in an easier way the exhaust emission values for the respective modes of the ISO test cycles. As reference values, engine speed and torque output for the classic diesel fuel were used. The reason of the no-representing the torque and speed output for all three fuels was to obtain relevant diagrams, but without excess of information. Another important point to be mentioned is that particles were sampled from the laboratory main exhaust duct on 47 mm PallFlex T60A20 filters, which were weighed before and after the test, along with a blank filter, all weights were then corrected for the change in weight of the blank filter (which was negligible). Flow through the filter over the entire test run was 1.1 m3. Flow of diluted exhaust gases over the entire test run was 8800 m3. Mass accumulated on the filter was: rapeseed oil 366 g for C-1 (8-mode test), 362 g for C-2 (6-mode test); RO methyl ester 116 g for C-1 test, 188 g for C-2 test; diesel fuel 439 g for C-1 test, 254 g for C-2 test. The total mass of the particle matter emissions for the analyzed fuels was calculated by multiplying the mass accumulated on the filter with the flow ratio (total flow of exhaust gases divided by the flow through the filter). Obtained values are represented using a diagram (Fig. 5).

Figure 4a: Hydrocarbons emission dynamics

Figure 4b: Carbon monoxide emission dynamics

Figure 4c: Nitric oxides emission dynamics

Total particle matter emissions for the selected fuels

particle matter emissions [g]

4 3.5 3 2.5 2 1.5 1 0.5 0 1 2 RO FAME Diesel

Figure 5: Particle matter emissions for the selected fuels for C-1 and C-2 test

4.1 Discussion on the combustion process
Figures 2a and 2c represent the values of the indicated cylinder pressure for the selected fuels, figure 2a at 2200 rpm (engine speed for the rated maximum power) and 247 Nm load, figure 2c at 1480 rpm (engine speed for the rated maximum torque) and 337 Nm load. Both the figures are related to the 75% of the engine load at respective speeds. On these two diagrams, there is no apparent difference in combustion pressure between rapeseed oil (RO), methyl ester of rapeseed oil (FAME) and diesel fuel. Also, the combustion starts in the same position of the crank angle. The peak indicated pressure is the same in the case of FAME and diesel (10.8 MPa for 2200 rpm and 247 Nm, 11.6 MPa for 1480 rpm and 337 Nm), the combustion of RO at these regimes generates a slightly lower value for indicated pressure (10.4 MPa for 2200 rpm and 247 Nm, 11.2 MPa for 1480 rpm and 337 Nm). One more thing proper to be noticed is that during the medium-speed and 75% load regime (Fig. 2c), the pressure inside the cylinder before the combustion starts is bigger when using diesel fuel. Figures 2b and 2d present the combustion process for the low-load regimes 2200 rpm and 33 Nm engine load, 1480 rpm and 45 Nm load. In case of high-speed and low-load regime (Fig. 2b) it can be noticed that there is no difference between the values of peak indicated pressure of the used fuels (7.7 MPa). Also, the combustion starts at the same position of the crank angle. One thing can be mentioned here when using diesel fuel, the pressure in the cylinder before the combustion starts is bigger than in case of RO and FAME. At the medium-speed and low-load regime (Fig. 2d), there is the same indicated pressure output of the burning of FAME and diesel (6.6 MPa). The combustion starts in the same position of the engines crankshaft. A deviation from the indicated pressure diagrams of FAME and diesel can be seen during the combustion of RO. A lower value of the peak pressure is obtained 6.2 MPa. It can be easily noticed that the combustion of the RO starts on 2 degrees of crankshaft angle later. Figure 2e describes the combustion process of the selected fuels for the idling regime of the engine (780 rpm, no load). As well as in previous regimes, FAME and diesel generates same indicated pressure inside the cylinder (5 MPa peak pressure at idling) and the combustion starts at the same position of the crankshaft. A bigger deviation can be seen in the case of RO. The peak pressure is 4.6 MPa and the

combustion starts on 5 degrees of crankshaft later than for other two fuels. This deficiency can be attributed to several factors, the most critical of which are the lower temperature of the cylinder charge during mixture formation and the lower cetane number of the RO (Table 1). As an overview of the studied testing regimes for all three fuels, it can be said that thanks to the viscosity, density and cetane number of the methyl ester of rapeseed oil close to the fosil diesels values (Table 1), the combustion process of FAME is very similar to the diesels one. FAME generates aproximately the same indicated cylinder pressure during combustion and the process starts at the same position of the crank angle. This afirmation is not valid for RO, because of lower cetane number, higher viscosity and density (Table 1). It can be noticed that the diference between rapeseed oil and other two fuels is highest at idle and gradually diminishes with increasing load, until no difference is observed. The explanation of this phenomenon is that with increase of the engine load, is increasing the cylinder charge temperature during mixture formation, this leads to the decrease of the RO viscosity and density parameters which have a critical influence on the combustion process. Figure 3 shows that engine rpm and torque output are nearly identical for all three fuels.


Discussion on the exhaust emissions

As stated before, the figures 4a up to 4c represent the dynamics of the emissions exhaust for all three fuel types during used ISO 8178 C-1 and ISO 8178 C-2 test cycles. Figure 4a reveals the emissions of hydrocarbons (HC). There can be easily noticed significant difference of the HC emission during combustion of RO (by comparison with FAME and diesel) at low-speed and no-load engine operating condition. HC emissions during idling are much bigger. Also, higher hydrocarbons emissions for RO were generated during the medium-speed low-load mode of the ISO 8178 C-2 test cycle. These facts report on a poorer combustion of the rapeseed oil during idling and low-speed regimes. In comparison with diesel fuel, FAME combustion generates lower emissions of hydrocarbons during all the modes of C-1 and C-2 tests. Except the idling and low-load medium engine rpm operation cycles, the combustion of RO generated approximately same values of the HC concentration in exhaust gases as in the case of FAME, therefore lower HC emissions in comparison with diesel in these points. Figure 4b deals with the emissions of carbon monoxide (CO). The combustion of rapeseed oil at idling as well as at medium-speed low-load regime of the C-2 test cycle produces significantly higher values of the CO emissions in comparison with other two fuels. This proves one more time poor combustion performance of RO in these operation conditions. Also, at idling the emission of carbon monoxide has higher values for FAME in comparison with diesel. Besides mentioned differences, the CO emission for all three fuels is approximately the same. In the figure 4c are represented the values of the nitric oxides (NOx) emissions. At high-rpm modes of the C-1 test, the emissions of NOx for all three fuels have approximately same values. During the medium-speed modes of the C-1 test, can be noticed that lowest NOx emissions are created by the combustion of diesel and the highest by the combustion of FAME, the difference between the fuels being not too significant. At idling, the emissions in case of diesel and FAME are the same, for RO the concentration of the respective exhaust gas being slightly lower. During the C-2 test modes, the values of the NOx emissions are approximately the same for all fuels,

except the medium-speed 75%-load and 50%-load where the diesel fuel generates lowest emissions and FAME the highest, the difference between them being of not too big proportions. During the experimental work, it was established that particle matter emissions are significantly lower for FAME during both C-1 and C-2 test comparing with both RO and diesel (Fig. 5). Rapeseed oil generated slightly lower emissions of particles during C-1 test and higher during the C-2 test, in comparison with diesel fuel.

In order to compare methyl ester of rapeseed oil with classic diesel fuel, it can be stated that the obtained results prove a very similar combustion performance (indicated cylinder pressure) of the FAME with the fossil diesel. Also, FAME oxidation reaction generated less hydrocarbons emissions than the one of diesel during all the modes of both C-1 and C-2 test cycles. The emissions of CO only at idling are higher for FAME, in rest of the modes they are approximately the same. Combustion of the methyl ester of rapeseed oil creates higher emissions of NOx in medium-speed modes of the C-1 test and medium-speed 75%-load and 50%-load modes of the C-2 test, during the rest of the testing sequences concentration of nitric oxides is approximately similar. The experiments also indicate significantly lower emissions of particle matter for the FAME. All these facts suggest that methyl ester of rapeseed oil could serve as an excellent alternative fuel for compression ignition engines. But another important factor should be considered here as well the economical one. The total cost of the FAME must be calculated rapeseed oil cost, methanol cost, human work cost in order to find out if it is economically reasonable to use it instead of regular diesel fuel. Things are different in case of the straight rapeseed oil, because of poor combustion performance and higher HC and CO emissions at idling and low-load regimes. The decision whether or not to use rapeseed oil as fuel for a given engine should therefore consider its anticipated operating conditions: an engine which experiences frequent starts and low load operation might not be a good candidate, while an engine operated for longer periods of time at medium and higher loads and rpm would be much more suitable. Economical factors should be considered as well cost of the dual fuel system, of the human work used to modify the fueling system.

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