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Applied Thermal Engineering 27 (2007) 2314–2323


Performance and emissions characteristics of Jatropha oil

(preheated and blends) in a direct injection compression ignition engine
Deepak Agarwal a, Avinash Kumar Agarwal b,*

Environmental Engineering and Management Program, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, Kanpur 208 016, India
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, Kanpur 208 016, India

Received 2 July 2006; accepted 9 January 2007

Available online 26 January 2007


The scarce and rapidly depleting conventional petroleum resources have promoted research for alternative fuels for internal combus-
tion engines. Among various possible options, fuels derived from triglycerides (vegetable oils/animal fats) present promising ‘‘greener’’
substitutes for fossil fuels. Vegetable oils, due to their agricultural origin, are able to reduce net CO2 emissions to the atmosphere along
with import substitution of petroleum products. However, several operational and durability problems of using straight vegetable oils in
diesel engines reported in the literature, which are because of their higher viscosity and low volatility compared to mineral diesel fuel.
In the present research, experiments were designed to study the effect of reducing Jatropha oil’s viscosity by increasing the fuel tem-
perature (using waste heat of the exhaust gases) and thereby eliminating its effect on combustion and emission characteristics of the
engine. Experiments were also conducted using various blends of Jatropha oil with mineral diesel to study the effect of reduced blend
viscosity on emissions and performance of diesel engine. A single cylinder, four stroke, constant speed, water cooled, direct injection
diesel engine typically used in agricultural sector was used for the experiments. The acquired data were analyzed for various parameters
such as thermal efficiency, brake specific fuel consumption (BSFC), smoke opacity, CO2, CO and HC emissions. While operating the
engine on Jatropha oil (preheated and blends), performance and emission parameters were found to be very close to mineral diesel
for lower blend concentrations. However, for higher blend concentrations, performance and emissions were observed to be marginally
Ó 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Jatropha; Bio-fuels; Straight vegetable oils; Blending; Preheating; Performance and emission characteristics

1. Introduction Alternative fuels should be easily available at low cost,

be environment friendly and fulfill energy security needs
Diesel engines are the most efficient prime movers. From without sacrificing engine’s operational performance. For
the point of view of protecting global environment and the developing countries, fuels of bio-origin provide a fea-
concerns for long-term energy security, it becomes neces- sible solution to the twin crises of fossil fuel depletion and
sary to develop alternative fuels with properties compara- environmental degradation. Now bio-fuels are getting a
ble to petroleum based fuels. Unlike rest of the world, renewed attention because of global stress on reduction
India’s demand for diesel fuels is roughly six times that of green house gases (GHGs) and clean development mech-
of gasoline hence seeking alternative to mineral diesel is a anism (CDM). The fuels of bio-origin may be alcohol, veg-
natural choice [1]. etable oils, biomass, and biogas. Some of these fuels can be
used directly while others need to be formulated to bring
the relevant properties close to conventional fuels. For die-
Corresponding author. Tel.: +91 512 2597982; fax: +91 512 2597408. sel engines, a significant research effort has been directed
E-mail address: akag@iitk.ac.in (A.K. Agarwal). towards using vegetable oils and their derivatives as fuels.

1359-4311/$ - see front matter Ó 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
D. Agarwal, A.K. Agarwal / Applied Thermal Engineering 27 (2007) 2314–2323 2315

Vegetable oils have comparable energy density, cetane ization, lower volatility, and inefficient mixing of fuel with
number, heat of vaporization, and stoichiometric air/fuel air contributes to incomplete combustion. This results in an
ratio with mineral diesel. In addition, they are biodegrad- increase in higher particulate emissions, combustion cham-
able, non-toxic, and have a potential to significantly reduce ber deposits, gum formations and unburned fuel in the
pollution. Vegetable oils and their derivatives in diesel lubricating oil.
engines lead to substantial reductions in emissions of sulfur Since straight vegetable oils are not suitable as fuels for
oxides, carbon monoxide (CO), poly aromatic hydrocar- diesel engines, they have to be modified to bring their com-
bons (PAH), smoke, particulate matter (PM) and noise bustion related properties closer to diesel. This fuel modifi-
[2–5]. Furthermore, contribution of bio-fuels to greenhouse cation is mainly aimed at reducing the viscosity to
effect is insignificant, since carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted eliminate flow/atomization related problems. Four tech-
during combustion is recycled in the photosynthesis pro- niques can be used to reduce the viscosity of vegetable oils;
cess in the plants [3,6,7]. namely heating/pyrolysis, dilution/blending, micro-emul-
Vegetable oils mainly contain triglycerides (90% to 98%) sion, and transesterification [25–28].
and small amounts of mono- and di-glycerides. Triglycer- Undoubtedly, transesterification is well accepted and
ides contain three fatty acid molecules and a glycerol mol- best suited method of utilizing vegetable oils in CI engine
ecule. They contain significant amounts of oxygen. The without significant long-term operational and durability
fatty acids vary in their carbon chain length and number issues. However, this adds extra cost of processing because
of double bonds present in their molecular structure. Veg- of the transesterification reaction involving chemical and
etable oils contain free fatty acids (generally 1–5%), phos- process heat inputs. In rural and remote areas of develop-
pholipids, phosphatides, carotenes, tocopherols, sulfur ing countries, where grid power is not available, vegetable
compounds and traces of water. Commonly found fatty oils can play a vital role in decentralized power generation
acids in vegetable oils are stearic, palmitic, oleic, linoleic for irrigation and electrification. In these remote areas, dif-
and linolenic acid. Vegetable oils can be produced even ferent types of vegetable oils are grown/produced locally
on a small scale for on-farm utilization to run tractors, but it may not be possible to chemically process them
pumps and small engines for power generation/irrigation. due to logistics problems in rural settings. Hence using
Suitability of vegetable oils as fuels for diesel engines heated or blended vegetable oils as petroleum fuel substi-
depends on their physical, chemical and combustion char- tutes is an attractive proposition. Keeping these facts in
acteristics as well as the type of engine used and operating mind, a set of engine experiments were conducted using
conditions [8]. Jatropha oil on a engine, which is typically used for agricul-
Vegetable oils can be used directly or blended with diesel ture, irrigation and decentralised electricity generation.
to operate compression ignition engines. Use of blends of Heating and blending were used to lower the viscosity of
vegetable oils with diesel has been experimented successfully Jatropha oil in order to eliminate various operational
by various researchers in several countries [9–13]. Caterpil- difficulties.
lar (Brazil) used pre-combustion chamber engines with a
blend of 10% vegetable oil while maintaining same power 1.1. Jatropha curcas
output without any engine modifications [9]. It has been
reported that use of 100% vegetable oil is also possible with It is a non-edible oil being singled out for large-scale
minor fuel system modifications [14]. Short-term engine per- plantation on wastelands. J. curcas plant can thrive under
formance tests have indicated good potential for most vege- adverse conditions. It is a drought-resistant, perennial
table oils as fuel. The use of vegetable oil results in increased plant, living up to fifty years and has capability to grow
volumetric fuel consumption and BSFC [15]. Emissions of on marginal soils. It requires very little irrigation and
CO, HC and SOx were found to be higher, whereas NOx grows in all types of soils (from coastline to hill slopes).
and particulate emission were lower compared to diesel Fig. 1 shows a typical Jatropha plant growing on rocks
[16–20]. Some studies reported lower exhaust emissions in mountainous regions. The production of Jatropha seeds
including PAHs and PM [14,21]. is about 0.8 kg per square meter per year [29]. The oil con-
However, long-term endurance tests reported some tent of Jatropha seed ranges from 30% to 40% by weight
engine durability issues related to vegetable oil utilization and the kernel itself ranges from 45% to 60% [10,30]. Fresh
such as severe engine deposits, piston ring sticking, injector Jatropha oil is slow-drying, odorless and colorless oil, but
coking, gum formation and lubricating oil thickening [22– it turns yellow after aging [10].
24]. These problems are primarily attributed to high viscos- The only limitation of this crop is that the seeds are toxic
ity and poor volatility of straight vegetable oils due to large and the press cake can not be used as animal fodder. The
molecular weight and bulky molecular structure. High vis- press cake can only be used as organic manure. The fact
cosity of vegetable oils (30–200 cSt @ 40 °C) as compared that Jatropha oil can not be used for nutritional purposes
to mineral diesel (4 cSt @ 40 °C) lead to unsuitable pump- without detoxification makes its use as energy/fuel source
ing and fuel spray characteristics. Larger size fuel droplets very attractive. In Madagascar, Cape Verde and Benin,
are injected from injector nozzle instead of a spray of fine Jatropha oil was used as mineral diesel substitute during
droplets, leading to inadequate air-fuel mixing. Poor atom- the Second World War [31,32]. Forson et al. used Jatropha
2316 D. Agarwal, A.K. Agarwal / Applied Thermal Engineering 27 (2007) 2314–2323

Fig. 1. Jatropha curcas plant on rocky substrate.

oil and diesel blends in compression ignition engines and Table 2

found its performance and emissions characteristics similar Engine specifications
to that of mineral diesel at low concentration of Jatropha Manufacturer Kirloskar Oil Engine Ltd., India
oil in blends [11]. Pramanik [10] tried to reduce viscosity Engine type Vertical, 4-stroke, single cylinder, constant speed,
direct injection, water cooled, compression ignition
of Jatropha oil by heating it and also blending it with min-
eral diesel. Model DM-10
The present research is aimed at exploring technical Rated power 7.4 kW at 1500 rpm
feasibility of Jatropha oil in direct injection compression Bore/stroke 102/116 (mm)
ignition engine without any substantial hardware modi- Displacement 0.948 l
Compression 17.5
Start of fuel 26° BTDC
2. Experimental setup injection
Nozzle opening 200–205 bar
A naturally aspirated direct injection diesel engine is pressure
more sensitive to fuel quality. The main problem of using BMEP at 6.34 kg/cm2
Jatropha oil in unmodified form in diesel engine is its high 1500 rpm
viscosity. Therefore, it is necessary to reduce the fuel vis-
cosity before injecting it in the engine. High viscosity of
Viscosity was also measured for different blends of Jatro-
Jatropha oil can be reduced by heating the oil using waste
pha oil with diesel to find the effect of blending on viscosity.
heat of exhaust gases from the engine and also blending the
A typical engine system widely used in the agricultural
Jatropha oil with diesel.
sector has been selected for present experimental investiga-
Several tests were conducted to characterize Jatropha oil
tions. A single cylinder, four stroke, constant speed, water
vis-à-vis diesel in order to compare various physical, chem-
cooled, direct injection diesel engine was procured for the
ical, and thermal properties. Various procedures followed
experiments. The technical specifications of the engines
and the instruments used are given in Table 1 [33–36]. Vis-
are given in Table 2. The engine operated at a constant
cosity of Jatropha oil and diesel was measured at different
speed of 1500 rpm. Fresh lubricating oil was filled in oil
temperatures to find the effect of temperature on viscosity.
sump before starting the experiments.
The engine is coupled with a single phase, 220 V AC
Table 1 alternator. The alternator is used for loading the engine
ASTM methods and instrument to measure various properties
through a resistive load bank. The load bank consists of
Property ASTM Instrument Model eight heating coils (1000 W each). A variac was connected
to one of the heating coils so that load can be controlled
Density and API D 1298 Hydrometer Petroleum precisely by controlling voltage in one of the coils of load
gravity instruments, India
bank. The schematic layout of the experimental setup for
Kinematic D 445 Kinematic Setavis, UK
viscosity viscometer the present investigation is shown in Fig. 2.
Cloud and pour D 97 Cloud and pour Petroleum The main components of the experimental setup are two
point point apparatus instruments, India fuel tanks (Diesel and Jatropha oil), fuel conditioning sys-
Flash and fire D 93 Pensky-Martens Petroleum tem, heat exchanger, exhaust gas line, by-pass line, and per-
point closed cup tester instruments, India
formance and emissions measurement equipment. Two fuel
Conradson D 189 Conradson carbon Petroleum
carbon residue tester instruments, India filters are provided next to the Jatropha oil tank so that
residue when one filter gets clogged, supply of fuel can be switched
Calorific value D 240 Bomb calorimeter Parr, UK over to another filter while the clogged filter can be
C, H, N, O, S Elemental analyzer Leeman Labs., cleaned/replaced without stopping the engine operation.
The engine is started with diesel and once the engine warms
D. Agarwal, A.K. Agarwal / Applied Thermal Engineering 27 (2007) 2314–2323 2317

Jatropha Diesel were conducted using blends of Jatropha oil with mineral
Oil diesel, while operating the engine on optimum fuel injec-
Burette tion pressure. For this purpose, several blends of varying
concentrations were prepared ranging from 0% (mineral
Fuel Three Way
Filter Valve
diesel) to 100% (Jatropha oil) through 10%, 20%, 30%,
40%, 50%, and 75%. These blends were then subjected to
Exit Oil Temp.
By-Pass performance and emission tests on the engine. The perfor-
mance and emissions data were then analyzed for all exper-
Heat iments and the results are reported in the following section.
Exhaust Exchanger Fuel
Line Filter
Exhaust Gas Smoke Temp 3. Results and discussion
Analyzer Meter

Variac The fuels (Diesel and Jatropha oil) were analyzed for
Test Engine
A A.C. several physical, chemical and thermal properties and
Alternator results are shown in Table 3.
Density, cloud point and pour point of Jatropha oil was
Load Bank found higher than diesel. Higher cloud and pour points
Fig. 2. Schematic diagram of experimental setup.
reflect unsuitability of Jatorpha oil as diesel fuel in cold cli-
matic conditions. The flash and fire points of Jatropha oil
was quite high compared to diesel. Hence, Jatropha oil is
up, it is switched over to Jatropha oil. After concluding the
extremely safe to handle. Higher carbon residue from
tests with Jatropha oil, the engine is again switched back to
Jatropha oil may possibly lead to higher carbon deposits
diesel before stopping the engine until the Jatropha oil is
in combustion chamber of the engine. CHNOS were mea-
purged from the fuel line, injection pump and injector in
sured for diesel and Jatropha oil. Low sulfur content of
order to prevent deposits and cold starting problems. This
Jatropha oil results in lower SOx emissions. Presence of
purging typically takes about 15 min at idling. A shell and
oxygen in fuel improves combustion properties and emis-
tube type heat exchanger is designed to preheat the vegeta-
sions but reduces the calorific value of the fuel. Jatropha
ble oil using waste heat of the exhaust gases. In order to
oil has approximately 90% calorific value compared to die-
control the temperature of the Jatropha oil within a range
sel. Nitrogen content of the fuel also affects the NOx emis-
of 80–90 °C, a by-pass valve was provided in the exhaust
sions (by formation of fuel NOx).
gas line before the heat exchanger. A thermocouple was
Higher viscosity is a major problem in using vegetable
provided in the exhaust line to measure the temperature
oil as fuel for diesel engines. In the present investigations,
of the exhaust gases. Voltmeter and ammeter were used
viscosity was reduced by (i) heating and (ii) blending the
to measure the voltage and current consumed by the load
oil with mineral diesel. Viscosity of Jatropha oil was mea-
in the load bank.
sured at different temperatures in the range of 40–100 °C.
Exhaust gas opacity was measured using smoke opaci-
The results are shown in Fig. 3.
meter (Make: AVL Austria, Model: 437). The exhaust
Viscosity of Jatropha oil decreases remarkably with
gas composition was measured using exhaust gas analyzer
increasing temperature and it becomes close to diesel at
(Make: AVL India, Model: DIGAS 444). It measures CO2,
CO, HC, and O2 concentrations in the exhaust gas. The
basic principle for measurement of CO2, CO, and HC emis- Table 3
Properties of mineral diesel and Jatropha oil
sions is non-diffractive infrared radiation (NDIR) and elec-
trochemical method for oxygen measurement. Property Fuel
Mineral diesel Jatropha oil
2.1. Experimental test matrix Density (kg/m3) 840 ± 1.732 917 ± 1
API gravity 36.95 ± 0.346 22.81 ± 0.165
Kinematic viscosity at 40 °C (cSt) 2.44 ± 0.27 35.98 ± 1.3
The engine was run for 49 h in seven non-stop cycles of
Cloud point (°C) 3±1 9±1
7 h each under preliminary running-in. Experiments were Pour point (°C) 6±1 4±1
conducted for optimizing fuel injection pressure for Jatro- Flash point (°C) 71 ± 3 229 ± 4
pha oil and diesel. Finally, performance and emissions tests Fire point (°C) 103 ± 3 274 ± 3
were conducted for diesel, preheated Jatropha oil, Conradson carbon residue (%, w/w) 0.1 ± 0.0 0.8 ± 0.1
Ash content (%, w/w) 0.01 ± 0.0 0.03 ± 0.0
unheated Jatropha oil and Jatropha oil blends. These tests
Calorific value (MJ/kg) 45.343 39.071
were conducted in two phases. In first phase, tests were Carbon (%, w/w) 80.33 76.11
conducted by preheating the Jatropha oil, while changing Hydrogen (%, w/w) 12.36 10.52
the fuel injection pressure. The tests were also conducted Nitrogen (%, w/w) 1.76 0
with diesel to generate baseline data and the optimum fuel Oxygen (%, w/w) 1.19 11.06
Sulfur (%, w/w) 0.25 0
injection pressure was selected. In the second phase, tests
2318 D. Agarwal, A.K. Agarwal / Applied Thermal Engineering 27 (2007) 2314–2323


Kinematic Viscosity (cSt)

Jatropha Blends

Kinematic Viscosity (c St)

Diesel 40
ASTM Limit
30 Jatropha
ASTM Limit

10 10

0 0
20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 0 20 40 60 80 100
Temperature (C) Blend Concentration (%)

Fig. 3. Effect of (i) temperature and (ii) blending with mineral diesel on viscosity of Jatropha oil.

temperature above 90 °C (within ASTM limits). Viscosity ciency, minimum BSFC. Engine was run at different fuel
of diesel was 2.44 cSt at 40 °C. For Jatropha oil, viscosity injection pressure (180, 200, 220, and 240 bars). BSFC,
was found below 6 cSt at a temperature above 100 °C. thermal efficiency, and smoke opacity were measured/ cal-
Therefore, Jatropha oil should be heated to 100 °C before culated at different fuel injection pressures for mineral die-
injecting it into the engine in order to bring its physical sel as well as preheated Jatropha oil.
properties close to mineral diesel (at 40 °C). BSFC decreases as the fuel injection pressure increases
The viscosity of various blends of Jatropha oil and diesel from 180 bars to 200 bars (Fig. 4). Further increase in fuel
was also evaluated at 40 °C and is shown in Fig. 3. Viscos- injection pressure results in increased BSFC. Thermal effi-
ity of Jatropha oil decreases after blending. The viscosity of ciency was found to increase with increasing fuel injection
30:70 and 20:80 blends was slightly higher than diesel but pressure from 180 bars to 200 bars (Fig. 4). However,
these blends are within ASTM limits for viscosity of diesel increase in fuel injection pressure from 200 bars to 240 bars
fuels. For these two Jatropha oil blends, corresponding vis- showed decrease in thermal efficiency. Maximum thermal
cosity was found to be 5.35 and 4.19 cSt @ 40 °C efficiency (31.75%) was found at fuel injection pressure of
respectively. 200 bar. It can be seen from Fig. 4 that increase in fuel
injection pressure from 180 bars to 200 bars resulted in
3.1. Optimum fuel injection pressure for different fuels decreased smoke opacity. However, further increase in fuel
injection pressure from 200 bars to 240 bars showed
Optimum fuel injection pressure is that nozzle opening increased smoke opacity. Therefore, smoke opacity was
pressure, at which engine delivers maximum thermal effi- lowest at a fuel injection pressure of 200 bars. Based on

0.36 35
180 Bar 30
Thermal Efficiency (%)

200 Bar
BSFC (kg/kW-hr)

0.32 220 Bar
240 Bar 20
15 180 Bar
0.28 200 Bar
220 Bar
0.26 5
240 Bar
0.24 0
20 40 60 80 100 0 20 40 60 80 100
Engine Load (% of Rated Load) Engine Load (% of Rated Load)

30 180 Bar
Smoke Opacity (%)

200 Bar
220 Bar
20 240 Bar
0 20 40 60 80 100
Engine Load (% of Rated Load)

Fig. 4. Effect of fuel injection pressure on engine performance parameters of diesel fuelled CI engine.
D. Agarwal, A.K. Agarwal / Applied Thermal Engineering 27 (2007) 2314–2323 2319

180 Bar

Thermal Efficiency (%)

200 Bar 30

BSFC (kg/kW-hr)
220 Bar 25
240 Bar 20
0.35 180 Bar
200 Bar
0.3 10
220 Bar
5 240 Bar
0.25 0
20 40 60 80 100 0 20 40 60 80 100
Engine Load (% of Rated Load) Engine Load (% of Rated Load)

180 Bar
Smoke Opacity (%)

200 Bar
40 220 Bar
30 240 Bar



0 20 40 60 80 100
Engine Load (% of Rated Load)

Fig. 5. Effect of fuel injection pressure on engine performance parameters of preheated Jatropha oil fuelled CI engine.

BSFC, thermal efficiency and smoke opacity, 200 bar was with Jatropha oil. Lower calorific value of Jatropha oil leads
found optimum fuel injection pressure for mineral diesel. to increased volumetric fuel consumption in order to main-
BSFC, thermal efficiency, and smoke opacity were mea- tain similar energy input to the engine. Thermal efficiency of
sured/calculated at different fuel injection pressure for pre- preheated Jatropha oil was found slightly lower than diesel.
heated Jatropha oil (to 100 °C) also. BSFC decreases as the The possible reason may be higher fuel viscosity. Higher fuel
load increases (Fig. 5). But, at higher loads, BSFC viscosity results in poor atomization and larger fuel droplets
increases. Lowest BSFC (0.3 kg/kWh) was found at followed by inadequate mixing of vegetable oil droplets and
200 bars. Maximum thermal efficiency (30.71%) was found heated air. However, thermal efficiency for preheated Jatro-
at 200 bar at 72% of rated load (Fig. 5). Thermal efficiency pha oil was higher than unheated Jatropha oil. The reason
decreases when fuel injection pressure either decreases or for this behavior may be improved fuel atomization because
increases from 200 bar. Smoke opacity was also lowest at of reduced fuel viscosity. Fig. 6 also indicates increase in the
200 bar. Smoke opacity was 32% at 200 bar and at 72% exhaust gas temperatures of the preheated Jatropha oil over
of rated load as shown in Fig. 5. At the same load condi- other fuels. Unheated Jatropha oil shows exhaust tempera-
tion, smoke opacity was 42.6%, 41.9%, and 43.6% at ture lower than preheated Jatropha oil but higher than die-
180 bar, 220 bar, and 240 bar, respectively. sel. Smoke opacity for Jatropha oil operation was greater
Based on BSFC, thermal efficiency, and smoke opacity, than that of diesel. Heating the Jatropha oil result in lower
200 bar was found optimum fuel injection pressure for pre- smoke opacity compared to unheated oil but it is still higher
heated Jatropha oil. Heating the oil reduces the viscosity of than diesel.
Jatropha oil and for pre-heated Jatropha oil also, same Preheated Jatropha oil shows marginal increase in CO2
optimum fuel injection pressure as that for diesel was emission compared to diesel as shown in Fig. 6. Unheated
found. fuel operation showed higher CO2 emissions compared to
other fuels. At lower loads, CO emissions were nearly sim-
3.2. Effect of increased fuel inlet temperature on emissions ilar for these fuels but at higher loads, CO emissions were
and performance of engine higher for Jatropha oil compared to that of diesel (Fig. 6).
This is possibly a result of poor spray atomization and
Engine tests were conducted for performance and emis- non-uniform mixture formation with Jatropha oil. How-
sions using unheated Jatropha oil and preheated Jatropha ever, heating the Jatropha oil results in lower CO emission
oil. The baseline data were generated using mineral diesel. compared to unheated Jatropha oil at higher loads only.
Diesel fuel operation shows lowest BSFC as shown in Fig. 6 also shows that HC emissions are lower at partial
Fig. 6. Higher BSFC was observed when running the engine load, but tend to increase at higher loads for all fuels. This
2320 D. Agarwal, A.K. Agarwal / Applied Thermal Engineering 27 (2007) 2314–2323

Dies el 35

Thermal Efficiency (%)

0.4 Ja tropha PH 30
BSFC (kg/kWh) 25
Ja tropha
0.32 15 Diesel
10 Ja tropha PH
5 Ja tropha
0.24 0
20 40 60 80 100 0 20 40 60 80 1 00
Engine Load (% of Rated Load) Engine Load (% of Rated Load)

500 50
Exhaust Gas Temp. (ºC)

Diesel Dies el
400 40

Smoke Opacity (%)

Ja tropha PH Ja tropha PH
300 Ja tropha 30 Ja tropja

200 20

100 10

0 0
0 20 40 60 80 1 00 0 20 40 60 80 100
Engine Load (% of Rated Load) Engine Load (% of Rated Load)

2 50
1.6 Dies el
CO 2 (kg/kWh)

35 Ja tropha PH
CO (g /kWh)

1.2 30 Ja tropha
0.8 Diesel 20
Jatropha PH 15
0.4 10
0 0
0 20 40 60 80 100 0 20 40 60 80 1 00
Engine Load (% of Rated Load) Engine Load (% of Rated Load)

HC (g/kWh)

Dies el
Jatropha PH
0.5 Jatropha
0 20 40 60 80 100
Engine Load (% of Rated Load)

Fig. 6. Engine performance and emission parameters for Jatropha (unheated and preheated) vis-à-vis mineral diesel.

is due to lack of oxygen resulting from engine operation at 3.3. Emissions and performance tests with jatropha
higher equivalence ratio. Diesel fuel operation produced oil blends
lower HC emissions compared to Jatropha oil.
All the experimental results suggest that heating the Experiments were also conducted using various blends
Jatropha oil using exhaust gases improves their engine per- of Jatropha oil with diesel (Jxx: here xx indicates percent-
formance and emissions and bring their combustion prop- age of Jatropha oil in the Jatropha–diesel blend). The base-
erties close to mineral diesel. line data were generated using mineral diesel.
D. Agarwal, A.K. Agarwal / Applied Thermal Engineering 27 (2007) 2314–2323 2321

BSFC was found to increase with higher proportion of the combustion characteristics but higher viscosity and
Jatropha oil in the blend compared to diesel in the entire poor volatility of vegetable oils lead to their poor atomiza-
load range (Fig. 7). Calorific value of Jatropha oil is lower tion and combustion characteristics. Therefore, thermal
compared to that of diesel, therefore increasing proportion efficiency was found to be lower for higher blend concen-
of Jatropha oil in blend decreases the calorific value of the trations compared to that of mineral diesel.
blend which results in increased BSFC. Thermal efficiency The exhaust gas temperature with blends having higher
of Jatropha blends was lower than that with diesel. How- percentage of Jatropha oil was higher compared to that of
ever, thermal efficiency of blends up to J20 was very close diesel at higher loads (Fig. 7). The smoke opacity increases
to diesel. Oxygen present in the fuel molecules improves with increase in Jatropha oil concentration in blends

Diesel J10 35

Thermal Efficiency (%)

J20 J50 30
BSFC (kg/kWh)

J75 J100 25
0.32 20
15 Diesel J10
0.28 10 J20 J50
5 J75 J100
0.24 0
20 40 60 80 100 0 20 40 60 80 100
Engine Load (% of Rated Load) Engine Load (% of Rated Load)

400 50
Diesel J10 Diesel J10
Exhaust Gas Temp. (ºC)

J20 J50 40 J20 J50

Smoke Opacity (%)

J75 J100 J75 J100

0 0
0 20 40 60 80 100 0 20 40 60 80 100
Engine Load (% of Rated Load) Engine Load (% of Rated Load)

2 50
Diesel J10
1.6 40 J20 J50
CO 2 (kg/kWh)

CO (g/kWh)

1.2 30 J75 J100

0.8 20
Diesel J10
0.4 J20 J50 10
J75 J100
0 0
0 20 40 60 80 1 00 0 20 40 60 80 100
Engine Load (% of Rated Load) Engine Load (% of Rated Load)

HC (g/kWh)


1 Diesel J10
J20 J50
J75 J100
0 20 40 60 80 100
Engine Load (% of Rated Load)

Fig. 7. Engine performance and emission parameters for Jatropha oil blends vis-à-vis mineral diesel.
2322 D. Agarwal, A.K. Agarwal / Applied Thermal Engineering 27 (2007) 2314–2323

particularly at higher loads (Fig. 7). Higher smoke opacity Therefore, either heating or blending the Jatropha oil
may be due to poor atomization of the Jatropha oil. Bulky can be used in compression ignition engines in rural areas
fuel molecules and higher viscosity of Jatropha oil result in for agriculture, irrigation and electricity generation. Modi-
poor atomization of fuel blends. fied maintenance schedule may however be adopted to con-
Lowest CO2 emissions were observed for diesel (Fig. 7). trol carbon deposits formed during long term usage of
CO2 emissions for lower blend concentrations were close to vegetable oils/blends.
diesel. But for higher blend concentrations, CO2 emissions
increased significantly. The emissions of CO increase with
increasing load (Fig. 7). Higher the load, richer fuel–air Acknowledgements
mixture is burned, and thus more CO is produced due to
lack of oxygen. At lower loads, CO emissions for Jatropha The authors acknowledge the assistance of K. Raj
oil are close to mineral diesel. Jatropha oil blends exhibit Manoharan, Mohan Lal Saini and other staff members of
higher HC emissions compared to diesel (Fig. 7). It can Engine Research Laboratory, Department of Mechanical
be observed that HC emissions increase with increasing Engineering, IIT, Kanpur. Help, assistance, and suggestions
proportion of Jatropha oil in the blends. of Sandeep Goyal, Shailendra Sinha and Mritunjay Shukla
are appreciated and acknowledged. Grant from Department
of Science and Technology, Government of India, for con-
4. Conclusions ducting these experiments is highly acknowledged.

The main objective of the present investigation was to References

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