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Energy Conversion and Management 123 (2016) 372380

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Energy Conversion and Management


journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/enconman

An assessment on performance, combustion and emission behavior of a


diesel engine powered by ceria nanoparticle blended emulsified biofuel
M. Annamalai a,, B. Dhinesh a, K. Nanthagopal b, P. SivaramaKrishnan a, J. Isaac JoshuaRamesh Lalvani c,
M. Parthasarathy a, K. Annamalai a
a
b
c

Department of Automobile Engineering, Madras Institute of Technology Campus, Anna University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Department of Automotive Engineering, School of Mechanical Engineering, VIT University, Vellore-632014, Tamil Nadu, India
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Saveetha School of Engineering, Saveetha University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

a r t i c l e

i n f o

Article history:
Received 22 April 2016
Received in revised form 21 June 2016
Accepted 22 June 2016

Keywords:
Lemongrass oil
Lemongrass oil emulsion
Cerium oxide nanoparticle
Emission
Diesel engine

a b s t r a c t
The consequence of using cerium oxide (CeO2) nanoparticle as additive in Lemongrass Oil (LGO) emulsion
fuel was experimentally investigated in a single cylinder, constant speed diesel engine. A novel biofuel
plant was introduced in this project, namely lemongrass whose binomial name is Cymbopogon flexuosus.
The main objective of the project is to reduce the level of harmful pollutants in the exhaust such as
unburned hydrocarbon (HC), carbon monoxide (CO), oxides of nitrogen (NOX), and smoke. The engine
performance could also be increased due to the addition of CeO2 nanoparticle. The LGO emulsion fuel
was prepared in the proportion of 5% of water, 93% of LGO and 2% of span80 by volume basis. Span80
acted as surfactant and it would reduce surface tension between the liquids with a hydrophiliclipophilic balance (HLB) value of 4.2. The ceria nanoparticle was dispersed with the LGO emulsion fuel
in the dosage of 30 ppm (ppm). The diesel engine performance, combustion behavior and emission magnitude were compared with diesel and LGO as the base fuels. The whole investigation was conducted
with a single cylinder diesel engine using the following fuels, namely neat diesel, neat LGO, LGO emulsion
and LGO nano emulsion fuels respectively. The LGO emulsion fuel could reduce smoke and NOX emissions
and could improve Brake Thermal Efficiency (BTE), Brake Specific Energy Consumption (BSEC) compared
with neat LGO despite the marginal increase in HC and CO emissions. For ceria nanoparticle blended test
fuel, the drastic reduction of carbon monoxide (CO), unburned hydrocarbon (HC), oxides of nitrogen
(NOX) and marginal decrease of smoke opacity emission could be achieved compared with the LGO emulsion and diesel fuel at various power outputs. Improvement in BTE was also observed for LGO nano emulsion test fuel compared to neat LGO and LGO emulsion fuels due to improved atomization and rapid
evaporation rate of fuel owing to large surface area to volume ratio of CeO2 nanoparticle.
2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction
In the recent era, there exists an urge to find an alternative,
biodegradable and environmental friendly fuel to meet the energy
demands. One such positive alternative is the biodiesel which may
replace the energy demand of the future generation with much
greener and cleaner environmental impacts [1]. But the limitations
with biodiesel fuel are NOx and particulate emissions and these
concerns should be properly addressed before implementing real
time practical applications. Over the past three decades, many
analyses have been examined across the globe in order to reduce
the NOX and particulate emissions [2]. In this regard, the recircula Corresponding author.
E-mail address: annamalaiaut@gmail.com (M. Annamalai).
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.enconman.2016.06.062
0196-8904/ 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

tion of exhaust gas, retardation of injection timing, oxygen enrichment, emulsification of biodiesel and addition of nanoparticle in
biodiesel are the various possible methods that are available for
NOx reduction in biodiesel fuelled diesel engine. Among these possible methods, emulsification of fuel is the viable and modest technique which improves the fuel efficiency and reduces the engine
emissions [3,4]. Debnath et al. [5] evaluated the performance and
emission behavior of a compression ignition engine fuelled with
emulsified palm biodiesel under different operating conditions. It
was suggested that the evaporation of water from emulsified palm
biodiesel reduced the NOx emissions inside the cylinder during
combustion process.
The effect of various parameters such as stability, fluidity, fat
content on emulsion characteristics of animal fat was experimentally studied by Kerihuel et al. [6]. They concluded that 50% of

M. Annamalai et al. / Energy Conversion and Management 123 (2016) 372380

373

Nomenclature
ASTM
LGO
CeO2
Ce2O3
BTE
BSEC
BSFC
CA
CI
CO
HC
NOx

American Society for Testing and Materials


Lemongrass Oil
cerium oxide
cerous oxide
Brake Thermal Efficiency
Brake Specific Energy Consumption
brake specific fuel consumption
crank angle
compression ignition
carbon monoxide
hydrocarbon
oxides of nitrogen

animal fat with 36.4% of ethanol, 3.6% of SPAN 83 and 10% of water
produced best emulsion in terms of stability and fat content. In
another investigation, ethanol-animal fat emulsion was used as
fuel in single cylinder diesel engine and results were compared
with neat animal fat and diesel fuels [7]. The ethanol-animal fat
emulsified fuel showed significant reductions in smoke content,
NOX, HC and CO emissions at higher loads. A comparative study
on performance and combustion characteristics of diesel engine
fuelled with biodiesel and bio-oil based emulsified fuels were
performed by Prakash et al. [8]. The study reveals that the brake
thermal efficiency of both biodiesel and bio-oil based emulsified
fuels was higher than that of diesel at 100% load. This is because
of the combustion kinetic rate is faster and the presence of oxygen
content in the emulsified fuel resulted in higher positive work
done on the piston.
In the recent times, light biofuels derivative from woods,
leaves, biomass and other parts of plants are being considered
as alternative source for diesel fuel by many scientists and
researchers across the globe [9]. These biofuels are completely
differing from vegetable oil based biodiesel that are not in need
of transesterification process. The preferable types of biofuels
are lemongrass oil, eucalyptus oil, pine oil and ethers [10]. The
better atomization and complete mixing of fuel with air are
significant merits of these low viscous biofuels over vegetable
oil based biodiesel [11].
Fewer researchers made significant contributions in the field of
low viscous biofuel applications in diesel engine under different
operating conditions. Alagumalai [12] studied the combustion
behavior of partially pre-mixed charge compression ignition
engine using lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus) oil. It was pointed
out that the neat LGO can be used as a sole fuel in compression
ignition engine without any pre-treatment processes such as
pyrolysis and transesterification. Dhinesh et al. [13] investigated
the performance, combustion behavior and emission magnitude
of diesel engine with C. flexuosus as fuel. The C. flexuosus
biofuel was blended with diesel under different proportions of
10%, 20%, 30% and 40% on volume basis and the results indicated
that 20% raw C. flexuosus biofuel-diesel blend shown better performance and lower emissions compared to other blended fuels.
Sathiyamoorthi and Sankaranarayanan [17] studied the effect of
two antioxidant additives, namely butylated hydroxyanisole and
butylated hydroxytoluene on the performance and emission
behavior of direct injection compression ignition (DICI) engine
fuelled with lemongrass oil-diesel blend. The addition of the
antioxidant additives was carried out for the concentration of
500 ppm, 1000 ppm and 2000 ppm in the blend of 25% lemongrass
oil and 75% diesel. Higher brake thermal efficiency and lower brake
specific fuel consumption were observed for the addition of antioxidant additives with the lemongrass oil-diesel blend.

Ppm
TDC
bTDC
CNT
HRR
DICI
XRD
SEM
HLB
WCO
JCPDS

parts per million


top dead centre
before top dead centre
carbon nano tubes
heat release rate
direct injection compression ignition
X-ray diffraction
Scanning Electron Microscope
hydrophiliclipophilic balance
waste cooking oil
Joint Committee on Powder Diffraction Standards

New approaches of introducing fuel additive of nano dimension


have been the critical area of research to bring down the NOX emissions in biofuel operated diesel engine. Several attempts have been
made to improve the quality of diesel, biodiesel and other biofuels
through doping of nanocatalyst. The recent research work suggested that the addition of nanoparticles with diesel engine fuels
would reduce the delay period and auto-ignition temperature
and evaporation time, enhancement of dispersion rate and minimize the fuel clogging in the fuel injector [18,19]. It was also stated
that the doping a small amount of nano based additives such as
alumina, ceria and carbon nanotubes in biodiesel and emulsified
fuel would act as catalyst and would strengthen the bonding of
water and diesel or biodiesel mixture [20,21].
A comparative study on performance, combustion and emission
characteristics of single cylinder diesel engine for diesel, dieselwater emulsion and diesel-water emulsion with nanoparticle additive was performed by Basha and Anand [22]. Higher brake thermal
efficiency was noted for nanoparticle addition in diesel-waster
emulsion compared to other fuels due to catalytic action of
alumina nanoparticle in the fuel that increases the combustion
efficiency of the fuel. Prabhu and Anand [23] examined the
influence of 10, 30 and 60 ppm of alumina and ceria nanoparticle
in Jatropha oil methyl ester on performance and emission behavior
of diesel engine. The experimental results showed that the brake
thermal efficiency of nanoparticle addition in biodiesel was comparable to diesel fuel. In addition, it resulted in 13% reduction of
NOx and 60% reduction of CO emission when nanoparticle was
added to Jatropha biodiesel.
Basha and Anand [24] investigated the performance and combustion behavior of compression ignition engine using carbon nanotubes (CNT) blended Jatropha methyl ester emulsion. The brake
thermal efficiency of Jatropha biodiesel, Jatropha biodiesel with
5% water emulsion, and 5% water with 100 ppm carbon nano tubes
(CNT) blended Jatropha biodiesel emulsion fuels was found to be
24.80%, 26.34%, and 28.45% respectively. It was observed that the
addition of CNT to the emulsion fuel resulted in drastic reduction
of smoke and oxides of nitrogen emissions. Arulmozhiselvan
et al. [25] investigated the performance and emission behavior of
diesel engine using ceria nanoparticle additive in diesel and
diesel-biodiesel-ethanol blended fuels. The tested results proved
that ceria nanoparticle could be used as fuel additive for the
improvement of combustion rate and exhaust emission reductions.
In addition, the deposition of non-polar compounds on the wall of
the engine cylinder was prevented by the CeO2 nanoparticle and its
activation energy burns off the deposited carbon particles at the
combustion chamber wall temperature which results in lower HC
emission.
Dhinesh et al. [26] studied the influence of cerium oxide
nanoparticle addition in C. flexuosus biofuel in direct injection

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M. Annamalai et al. / Energy Conversion and Management 123 (2016) 372380

compression ignition engine. The cerium oxide nanoparticle was


dispersed into the C. flexuosus biofuel with different proportion of
10, 20 and 30 ppm. A significant benefit was observed by the addition of ceria nanoparticles to the biofuel that resulted in lower
exhaust harmful emissions. This is attributed to the redox nature
of the nanoparticle. Vairamuthu et al. [27] performed an experimental investigation on diesel engine using cerium oxide nanoparticle added with the blend of Calophyllum inophyllum biodiesel
and diesel as fuel for various modified nozzle geometries. It was
pointed out that the addition of cerium oxide nanoparticle beyond
40 ppm to the fuel resulted in inferior performance compared to
diesel fuel.
From the above cited literature review, it was observed that
NOx emission is reduced for emulsified diesel and biodiesel fuels
when nanoparticles are added and this has motivated for the current research work to study the effect of addition of cerium oxide
in lemongrass oil emulsion. From the literature, the optimum
dosage of cerium oxide nanoparticle with biodiesel was limited
by 30 ppm. Hence in this view, an attempt is made in this research
work by introducing 30 ppm cerium oxide in lemongrass oil emulsion to study the influence of lemongrass oil nano emulsion on diesel engine performance, combustion and emission characteristics.
A comparative study on performance, emission and combustion
characteristics is made for diesel, lemongrass oil, lemongrass oil
emulsion and lemongrass oil nano emulsion in direct injection diesel engine in this research work.

in a ratio of 63% and 12% respectively with some minor level of aromatic compounds called 3, 7-dimethyl-2, 6-octadienal [28,29]. The
Properties of lemongrass biofuel such as density, viscosity, calorific
value and flash point were evaluated as per the ASTM standards.
The beauty of the LGO biofuel is its lower viscosity, which is closer
to the diesel fuel without any pre-treatment process.
2.2. Synthesis of cerium oxide nanoparticles
The cerium oxide nanoparticles used in this research work was
prepared through sol-gel combustion method. Appropriate
amounts of cerium nitrate hexahydrate and glycine were dissolved
in a beaker containing 20 ml of deionized water. Cerium nitrate
acted as an oxidizing reactant and glycine acted as a reducing
agent. The solution was kept under constant stirring for 2 h at
60 C and then transferred to an electric mantle at 100 C to form
a transparent viscous gel by dehydration of excess of water. After
some time, the gel underwent a strong self-propagating combus-

2. Materials and methods


2.1. Outline of lemongrass oil and its properties
In this project, the oil extracted from lemongrass plant was
taken as a renewable fuel for single cylinder diesel engine. The
lemongrass belongs to the family of poaceae. The color of the
lemongrass varies from dark yellow to amber including reddishness and it has odour that of similar to the odour of lemon. It grows
in many parts of India namely Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra and
Tamil Nadu. The lemongrass oil was extracted through steam distillation method and an average of 2% of oil was extracted per kg of
resource. Fig. 1 shows the schematic view of the experimental
setup for production of lemongrass oil. C51H84O5 is the chemical
formula of the oil. It consists of Citral (C10H16O) and geranyl acetate

Fig. 2. SEM micrograph of cerium oxide nanoparticles.

Fig. 1. Schematic view of the experimental setup for production of lemongrass oil.

M. Annamalai et al. / Energy Conversion and Management 123 (2016) 372380

tion reaction to yield yellow porous foam of nanoparticles. A large


amount of non-toxic gas like N2, CO2, and H2O were released in the
form of brown fumes during the whole combustion reaction. The
obtained nanoparticles were annealed at 600 C for 3 h and ground
smoothly for characterization.
Crystalline phase and structure of the nanoparticles was analyzed by X-ray diffractometer (PAnalyticalXpert PRO) using Cu
Ka radiation (1.54056). Fig. 3 shows the X-ray diffraction (XRD)
pattern of CeO2 nanoparticles annealed approximately at 620 C.
All diffraction peaks (1 1 1), (2 0 0), (2 2 0), (3 1 1), (2 2 2), (4 0 0),
(3 3 1), and (4 2 0) were indexed to pure cubic fluorite structure of
cerium oxide nano particle and very well matched with the Joint
Committee on Powder Diffraction Standards (JCPDS) card No.
81-07920. Using Debye-Scherer formula, the diameter of average
particle size of the sample was evaluated from the preferential
orientation (1 1 1).

Fv
dcosh

where S is the diameter of average nanoparticle, F is the shape factor and its value is 0.9 here, v is the X-ray wavelength and its value
is 1.5416 for Cu Ka, d is full width at half maximum (FWHM) of
the diffraction peak and h is the Braggs angle. The average particle
size was found to be 16.27 nm.
Fig. 2 shows the SEM micrograph of CeO2 nanoparticles. It
shows a large agglomeration of particles with high porous nature
which was commonly observed in the combustion synthesis of cerium oxides nanoparticles. This is due to expulsion of gases during
the combustion. Based on the earlier research of Hongyun Jin et al.
[33], Sajeevan and Sajith [16] and Dhinesh et al. [26], the CeO2
nanoparticles seem to have good thermal stability and conductivity. Table 1 shows the specification of cerium oxide nanoparticle
[3032].

375

2.3. Test fuels preparation


For the preparation of neat LGO emulsion test fuel a suitable
proportion of 5% of water, 93% of LGO and 2% of span80 by volume basis was mixed using mechanical stirrer with an optimum
speed of 1500 rpm at an operating temperature of 301 K in
atmospheric pressure. Span80 acted as surfactant and it would
reduce surface tension between the liquids with a hydrophiliclipophilic balance (HLB) value of 4.2. For the preparation of
LGO Nano emulsion test fuel a dosage of 30 ppm of cerium oxide
nanoparticle was dispersed with 1000 ml of neat LGO emulsion
fuel with the help of a mechanical stirrer and ultrasonicator
device. Ultrasonicator was used to prepare the nanofluids.
Nanofluid is a fluid which consists mixture of nanoparticles
and water. The nanoparticle was dispersed with the water using
Ultrasonicator device. The prepared Nanofluid was mixed with
neat LGO and surfactant using mechanical stirrer known as
LGO nano emulsion fuel. The prepared fuels were transferred
to fuel tank for the experimental investigation process. Stability
test was carried out for test fuels and found stable for 4 days
without any phase separation. The properties of test fuels are
shown in Table 2.
2.4. Engine set-up
The experimental engine set-up for this study consisted of agricultural and industrial application based single cylinder TV1 model
of Kirloskar water cooled diesel engine, coupled with Benz eddy
current dynamometer for loading. Various loading conditions say
20%, 40%, 60%, 80% and 100% are achieved by this Eddy current
dynamometer. The engine produced rated power of 5.2 kW and
ran at a constant speed of 1500 rpm. The standard injection pressure and the standard injection timing of the manufactured engine
are 200 bar and 23 bTDC respectively. The Engine consisted of
hemispherical combustion chamber with bore diameter of
87.5 mm and stroke length of 110 mm with mechanically operated
MICO inline fuel injection system. This injector consisted of three
holes with a diameter of 0.3 mm. Piezoelectric pressure transducer
was fitted on the engine cylinder head, to measure cylinder pressure and a crank angle encoder was fixed on the flywheel to study
the pressure with respect to crank angle. SeS combustion analyzer
was used to determine the combustion behavior of the engine. As
per the requirement of the analyzer, the charge amplifier and encoder were used to receive the input signals from the engine. An
average of 100 number of cycles are considered for HRR and pressure calculations for reducing cyclic variations. AVL digas analyzer
was used to measure HC, CO and NOX emissions whereas smoke
opacity emission was measured using AVL-415 smoke meter. The
Fig. 4 shows the schematic view of diesel engine experimental
set-up. The engine specifications are shown in Table 3. The engine
tests were carried out three times and then averaged under steady
state condition.

Fig. 3. XRD pattern of cerium oxide nanoparticles.

2.5. Estimation of uncertainty


Table 1
Specification of cerium oxide nanoparticle.
S. no.

Item

Specification

Manufacturer

2
3
4
5
6

Chemical name
Molecular weight
Diameter of average particle size
Specific surface area
Appearance

Anna university MIT campus


(production department)
Cerium oxide (Ce2O3)
172.27
16.27 nm
31.2 m2/g
Yellow

The uncertainty analysis for this experiment has been calculated by the square root of the sum of squares the values of load,
brake power, pressure, speed, brake thermal efficiency, brake
specific energy consumption, hydrocarbon, carbon monoxide,
smoke opacity and oxides of nitrogen as given in the below equation. The value thus obtained has a deviation of 1.989% variation
for the experiments conducted which is well agreeing with the
earlier findings of Kaimal and Vijayabalan [39]. The calculated
uncertainties were listed in Table 4.

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M. Annamalai et al. / Energy Conversion and Management 123 (2016) 372380

Table 2
Properties of test fuels.
Property
3

Density (kg/m )
Kinematic viscosity (cSt)
Calorific value (MJ/kg)
Flash Pt (C)
Cetane number
Latent heat of vaporization (kJ/kg)

Diesel fuel

Neat LGO

LGO emulsion

LGO nano emulsion

ASTM method

820
2.9
44.12
76
50
252

905
4.6
37
55
48
343

906
4.67
35.8
74
46.3
445

916.4
4.99
36.2
67
48.8
422

ASTM
ASTM
ASTM
ASTM
ASTM
ASTM

D 4052
D 445
D 4809
D 93
D 613
E2071

Fig. 4. Schematic sketch of experimental diesel engine setup.

fUncertainty % of the experiment conductedg


p
fW2 BP2 P2 N2 BTE2 BSEC2 HC2

Table 3
Specification of diesel engine.
Engine detail
Type of cooling and ignition system
Rated brake power
Displacement, bore  stroke
Compression ratio
Injection timing and injection
pressure
Combustion chamber
Nozzle hole number and nozzle
hole diameter

Kirloskar, four stroke single cylinder


diesel engine
Water cooled and compression
ignition
5.2 kW @ 1500 rpm
661 cc, 87.5  110 mm
17.5:1
23 bTDC (rated) and 200 bar
Hemispherical combustion chamber
3 holes and 0.3 mm

Table 4
Percent of uncertainty.
Parameter

Percent uncertainty (%)

Load
Brake power
Pressure
Speed
Brake thermal efficiency
Brake specific energy consumption
Hydro carbon
Carbon monoxide
Smoke opacity
Oxides of nitrogen

0.4
0.5
1.0
1.0
0.5
0.8
0.2
0.2
0.3
0.7

CO2 HSU2 NOx 2 g 1:989%


3. Results and discussion
3.1. Performance characteristics
3.1.1. Brake thermal efficiency
The variation of BTE with respect to brake power for diesel, neat
lemongrass oil (LGO), LGO emulsion and LGO Nano emulsion are
shown in Fig. 5. The load applied to the engine was varied from
1.26 kW to 5.02 kW. For all the fuels, the BTE was increased with
increase in engine load due to increase of engine cylinder wall temperature. Diesel showed the highest BTE compared with all other
fuels because of optimum viscosity and faster volatility which
resulted in higher vaporization rate and better air-fuel mixture
for complete combustion. The neat LGO is a raw oil of
Non-Transesterified fuel consisting of some fatty acid, which is late
burning substance, led to poor volatility, lower vaporization rate
and poor air-fuel mixture, resulting in poor combustion rate and
lowered BTE compared with all other fuels. The LGO emulsion
demonstrated higher BTE compared with the neat LGO because
of micro explosion and secondary atomization of fuel, which
ensued in rapid evaporation of fuel [34]. When the temperature
of LGO Emulsion fuel reaches beyond 100 C, water molecules

M. Annamalai et al. / Energy Conversion and Management 123 (2016) 372380

377

The LGO showed the higher BSEC compared with all the other fuels
because of higher viscosity, leading to poor atomization of raw
fuel. The LGO emulsion had lesser BSEC compared with neat LGO
because of micro explosion and secondary atomization which
enhanced the evaporation rate [34]. The LGO Nano emulsion had
shown lesser BSEC compared with LGO emulsion because of faster
evaporation rate due to the addition of cerium oxide nanoparticle.
It oxides the unburned hydrocarbon got deposited in the engine
cylinder wall leading to reduced energy consumption [40]. BSEC
of LGO Nano emulsion have 12.99 MJ/kW-h whereas the LGO and
diesel fuel have 13.8 MJ/kW-h and 13.8 MJ/kW-h respectively at
full load condition.
3.2. Emission behavior

Fig. 5. Variation of brake thermal efficiency with brake power.

present in the emulsified fuel evaporate more rapidly and are broken into small and finer droplets. This would result in a complete
vaporization and would aid in better mixing of the fuel with air
by inducing better turbulence. The process of bursting the fuel
inside the combustion chamber is known as micro-explosion and
the process of splitting larger fuel droplets into small and fine droplets fuel is known as secondary atomization. The LGO nano emulsion showed further increase in BTE compared with the neat LGO
emulsion due to improved atomization and rapid evaporation rate
of fuel owing to large surface area to volume ratio of nanoparticle
[40] and also it split the hydrogen atom from the waterlemongrass emulsion fuel, with the hydrogen taking part in
combustion resulting in improved BTE [22]. At full load condition,
the BTE of LGO Nano emulsion increased by 17.02% and dropped by
7.7% compared with LGO and diesel fuels respectively.
3.1.2. Brake specific energy consumption
The variation of BSEC with respect to brake power of diesel, neat
lemongrass oil (LGO), LGO emulsion and LGO Nano emulsion is
shown in Fig. 6. Due to the increase of wall temperature of the
engine, the BSEC decreased with increasing the power outputs
for all fuels. The engine power was varied from no-load to full load.

Fig. 6. Variation of brake specific energy consumption with brake power.

3.2.1. Hydrocarbon emission


Fig. 7 represents the variation of hydrocarbon emission with
respect to brake power of diesel, neat lemongrass oil (LGO), LGO
emulsion, and LGO Nano emulsion. The magnitude of unburned
hydrocarbon increased with increase in power output, because of
large amount of fuel was injected into the cylinder to maintain
the constant speed of the engine. The neat diesel produced large
magnitude of unburned hydrocarbon due to insufficient oxygen
content and incomplete combustion. The LGO had lowered value
of HC emission compared with neat diesel because of oxygen content in the fuel, whereas the LGO emulsion had higher HC emission
compared with neat LGO because of higher latent heat of vaporization of water molecule present in the emulsion fuel, which reduced
the localized temperature in combustion chamber, thereby
enhancing the HC emission [15]. The LGO nano emulsion had lowered HC emission compared with all other fuels, because of cerium
oxide nanoparticle acting as oxygen buffer. Deposition of non-polar
compounds on the wall of the engine cylinder was prevented by
the CeO2 nanoparticle, its activation energy burns off the deposited
carbon particles within the engine combustion chamber at the wall
temperature, which significantly reduced the HC emission [21]. At
full load condition, the HC emission of LGO Nano emulsion reduced
by 16.03% and 35.5% compared with LGO and diesel fuels respectively. The cerium oxide (CeO2) reacts with hydrocarbon to form
cerous oxide (Ce2O3), water vapor (H2O) and carbon dioxide
(CO2). The above reactions can be represented by the following
equation:

2y xCeO2 Hx Cy ! 2y x=2Ce2 O3 x=2H2 O y=2CO2

Fig. 7. Variation of hydrocarbon emission with brake power.

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M. Annamalai et al. / Energy Conversion and Management 123 (2016) 372380

3.2.2. Carbon monoxide emission


The variation of carbon monoxide emission with respect to
brake power of diesel, neat lemongrass oil (LGO), LGO emulsion,
and LGO Nano emulsion is shown in Fig. 8. Up to 80% of power output, the CO emission decreased due to the temperature rise of combustion chamber; at rated power output the CO emission increased
drastically owing to the fuel richness for all the fuels. The carbon
monoxide emission for diesel fuel was very high at full load condition; this was due to the fuel richness and deficiency of oxygen
content in the combustion chamber. The LGO had lesser CO emission compared with diesel fuel because of oxygen content, whereas
the LGO emulsion had higher value because of higher latent heat of
vaporization of water molecule present in the emulsion which
resulted in the reduced engine cylinder temperature and poor
combustion rate [24]. The LGO Nano emulsion had less carbon
monoxide emission compared with all the other fuels because of
complete combustion and oxygen content in the fuel and also cerium oxide nanoparticle acting as an oxidation catalyst and thus
providing oxygen to the fuel in which CO gets converted to carbon
dioxide [21]. At full load condition, the carbon monoxide emission
of LGO Nano emulsion reduced by 15.69% and 26% compared with
LGO and diesel fuels respectively. The above reactions are represented by the following equation:

2CeO2 CO ! Ce2 O3 CO2

3.2.3. Oxides of nitrogen


The variation of NOX emission with respect to brake power of
diesel, neat lemongrass oil (LGO), LGO emulsion, and LGO nano
emulsion is shown in Fig. 9. Increasing the power output led to
increase in high peak cycle temperature of the combustion chamber which resulted in increased NOX emission for all the fuels. The
neat LGO had high oxides of nitrogen emission compared with all
the other fuels because of oxygenated fuel which enhanced the
combustion rate; it contributed to increased high peak cycle temperature, whereas the diesel fuel had lower value because of oxygen deficiency. The LGO emulsion had lower NOX emission
compared with the neat LGO because of higher latent heat of
vaporization of water molecule present in the emulsion fuel and
it absorbed the engine overall temperature which resulted in the
reduction in peak cycle temperature [35]. The LGO nano emulsion
had lower oxides of nitrogen compared with all the other fuels
because of the nanoparticle acting as reduction agent. The oxides
of nitrogen reduced to form nitrogen and oxygen, due to high

Fig. 8. Variation of carbon monoxide emission with brake power.

Fig. 9. Variation of oxides of nitrogen emission with brake power.

thermal stability of cerous oxide formed from the oxidation of


unburned hydrocarbon and the soot remained stable and active
after enhancing the initial combustion cycle, which resulted in significant reduction of NOX emission [36]. At full load condition, the
NOX emission of LGO nano emulsion reduced by 24.8% and 20.3%
compared with LGO and diesel fuels respectively. The above reactions are represented by the following equation:

Ce2 O3 NO ! 2CeO2 1=2N2


3.2.4. Smoke opacity
The variations of smoke opacity emission with respect to brake
power of diesel, neat LGO, LGO emulsion and LGO nano emulsion
fuels are shown in Fig. 10. To ensure the constant speed of the
engine for various power outputs, the engine had to supply more
amount of fuel which resulted in increased smoke emission for
all the fuels. The neat LGO had lower smoke opacity emission compared with diesel fuel because of complete combustion due to oxygenated fuel consisting of 10% by its whole weight, whereas the
LGO emulsion had lower smoke value compared with neat LGO
due to the important factor called micro explosion and secondary
atomization which resulted in faster evaporation rate and better
air-fuel mixture preparation [8]. The LGO nano emulsion had lower

Fig. 10. Variation of smoke opacity emission with brake power.

M. Annamalai et al. / Energy Conversion and Management 123 (2016) 372380

smoke emission compared with all the other fuels because of complete combustion and ceria nanoparticle improving the premixed
combustion phase and it caused faster evaporation rate and
improved ignition characteristics [37]. At full load condition, the
smoke opacity emission of LGO nano emulsion reduced by 6.4%
and 19.8% compared with LGO and diesel fuels respectively.

3.3. Combustion behavior


3.3.1. Cylinder pressure and heat release rate
The variations of cylinder gas pressure and heat release rate
(HRR) with respect to crank angle for the neat diesel, neat LGO,
LGO emulsion and LGO nano emulsion fuels at the rated power
output are shown in Figs. 11 and 12. The neat diesel fuel shows
higher heat release rate and cylinder pressure was observed compared with other fuels, due to the sudden burning of fuel during
premixed combustion phase. The neat LGO had lower cylinder
pressure compared with all other fuels, due to its higher viscosity,
density and poor volatility, which led to poor atomization and
evaporation of fuel, whereas the LGO emulsion produced higher
cylinder pressure compared with neat LGO and LGO nano emulsion
because of the water content in the fuel leading to longer ignition

379

delay and its induced more amount of fuel to get accumulated in


the engine cylinder and it was suddenly burned [23]. The LGO nano
emulsion fuel had lower cylinder pressure compared with LGO
emulsion fuel due to the advancement of premixed combustion
zone [38]. The HRR of LGO nano emulsion fuel had lowered compared with diesel and LGO emulsion fuel. The presence of water
molecule in the LGO emulsions fuel decreased the cetane number
of the fuel and increased the ignition delay period [14]. The presence of cerium oxide nano particles in the LGO nano emulsion fuel
also increased cetane number of the fuel and reduced ignition
delay period [24]. Due to its high thermal conductivity, nanoparticles absorbed the engine cylinder temperature. At full load, the diesel had high cylinder pressure of 71.443 bar at 9 after TDC,
whereas it was 64.948 bar, 68.50 bar, and 67.084 bar for the neat
LGO, LGO emulsion and LGO nano emulsion fuel respectively.
Similar trend was adopted by the HRR of the diesel which had
78.5 kJ/m3 degree, whereas the neat LGO, LGO emulsion, and LGO
nano emulsion fuel had 63.7 kJ/m3 degree, 74.006 kJ/m3 degree,
and 72.01 kJ/m3 degree respectively.
4. Conclusion
The performance, combustion and emission characteristics of a
direct injection diesel engine using neat diesel, neat LGO, LGO
emulsion and LGO nano emulsion fuels were investigated. Based
on the experimental investigations, the following conclusions were
drawn:

Fig. 11. Variation of cylinder pressure with crank angle.

 The BTE and the BSEC of ceria blended LGO nano emulsion fuel
were enhanced owing to their improved combustion characteristics due to the high surface area to volume ratio of cerium
oxide nanoparticle compared with neat LGO and LGO emulsion
fuels. At the full load, the BTE and the BSEC for the LGO fuel
were 24.80% and 15.2 MJ/kW-h, whereas they were 26.34%,
13.8 MJ/kW-h and 28.45%, 12.99 MJ/kW-h for the LGO emulsion
and LGO nano emulsion fuels respectively.
 The LGO nano emulsion fuel had the reduction of unburned HC
and CO emission by 35.5%, 16.03% and 15.69%, 26%, compared
with LGO and neat diesel fuel respectively, due its oxidation
agent of cerium oxide nanoparticle. The reduction of NOX emission for LGO nano emulsion fuel by 24.8% and 20.3% compared
with neat LGO and neat diesel fuel due its high latent heat of
vaporization of water molecule present in the fuel as well as
reduction agent of cerium oxide nanoparticle. The LGO nano
emulsion fuel had the reduction of smoke by 6.4% and 19.8%
compared with neat LGO emulsion and neat diesel fuel due its
micro explosion, secondary atomization; and ceria nanoparticles enhanced the combustion rate which caused fast evaporation of air-fuel mixture and improved ignition characteristics.
 There was reduction in cylinder peak pressure and HRR for LGO
nano emulsion fuel due to the reduced ignition delay period and
advancement of premixed combustion zone compared with
LGO emulsion fuel.
 From the overall observation, it could be stated that the
nanoparticle blended lemongrass emulsified biofuel was the
promising fuel for reducing the harmful tailpipe emission compared with the conventional diesel fuel and improved performance compared with the LGO emulsion fuel without any
engine modifications.

Acknowledgment

Fig. 12. Variation of heat release rate with crank angle.

The authors wish to convey their heartfelt thanks to the Faculty


of the Department of Automobile Engineering, Madras Institute of

380

M. Annamalai et al. / Energy Conversion and Management 123 (2016) 372380

Technology, Anna University, Chennai, for their support in carrying


out the research project work.
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