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Renewable Energy 34 (2009) 15331537

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Renewable Energy
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/renene

Effects of biodiesel on a low heat loss diesel engine


Hanbey Hazar*
Department of Automotive, Technical Education Faculty, Firat University, Elazig 23119, Turkey

a r t i c l e i n f o

a b s t r a c t

Article history:
Received 19 May 2008
Accepted 5 November 2008
Available online 9 December 2008

In this study, the cylinder head, exhaust, and inlet valves of a diesel engine were coated with the ceramic
material MgOZrO2 by the plasma spray method, while the piston surface was coated with ZrO2. Thus,
a thermal barrier was provided for the elements of the combustion chamber with these coatings. Using
identical coated and uncoated engines, the effects of canola methyl ester produced by the transesterication method, and ASTM No. 2D fuel on engine performance and exhaust emissions were
studied. Tests were performed on the uncoated engine, and then repeated on the coated engine and the
results were compared. An increase in engine power and decrease in specic fuel consumption, as well as
signicant improvements in exhaust gas emissions and smoke density, were observed for all test fuels
used in the coated engine compared with that of the uncoated engine.
2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords:
Low heat rejection engine
Biodiesel
Emissions

1. Introduction
The energy needs of the world are increasing rapidly. The
decrease in fossil fuels, emission pollution caused by them and
increasing fuel prices make biomass energy sources more attractive. The increase in energy demand and decrease in oil reserves [1]
have focused attention on biofuels [2].
Biodiesel is a fuel that is manufactured from vegetable oils with
the help of catalysts, and may be directly used in diesel vehicles
with little or no modication.
When biodiesel is used, HC, CO, and PM ratios in exhaust
emissions are lower, while sometimes very small NOx increases
occur [3].
In many studies, it has been reported that biodiesel causes
signicantly lower PM and CO emissions compared with fossil fuels
[47].
Using high-viscosity vegetable oils in diesel engines without any
modication negatively affects both performance and engine parts.
The most important problem in directly using vegetable oils is that
contamination forms and adheres to the piston rings [8].
Several methods exist for making vegetable oils usable in
engines. The most signicant is the transesterication method. In
transesterication, vegetable oil is added to a mono hydroxyl
alcohol (ethanol, methanol) in the presence of a catalyst, and the
vegetable oil is broken into diesel fuel and glycerin; then it is
reacted with triglyceride to form alcohol ester and glycerol [9].
Studies on engine materials and designs for ensuring efcient
combustion of the fuel in the engines and decreasing pollutant

* Tel.: 90 424 2370000x4349.


E-mail address: hanbeyhazar@hotmail.com
0960-1481/$ see front matter 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.renene.2008.11.008

emissions in exhaust gases are continuing very rapidly. One area of


research is to coat combustion chambers with ceramic material. In
these engines, which are called adiabatic or low heat loss engines,
the combustion temperature is increased by coating all or some of
the elements of the combustion chamber with a low thermal
conductivity material. Thus, combustion becomes more efcient
and pollutant emissions are improved [10].
Current low heat loss engine designs, although not fully adiabatic, especially minimize heat losses during normal running of the
engines, decrease the load on the cooling system and the power
consumed by it, and consequently increase the efciency of the
engine [11].
Because the combustion chamber temperatures of ceramiccoated engines are higher than those of uncoated engines, it is
possible to use a fuel with a large distillation range and lowerquality fuels. Furthermore, because heat losses going to the cooling
system are reduced and gas temperatures after compression are
increased in diesel engines, starting is easier in cold weather. In
addition, noisy running caused by uncontrolled combustion
decreases [12].
In various studies, it has been reported that engine performance
and exhaust emissions were improved in diesel engines where all
or some elements of their combustion chambers were coated with
ceramic [13,14].
Although the fuel characteristics of biodiesels have been made
similar to those of diesel fuel by various methods like transesterication, the viscosity values of biodiesels are still higher than
that of diesel fuel. To eliminate this negative effect, biodiesel is
introduced to the combustion chamber after heating and thus can
be used in diesel engines more efciently. However, because
insulation of the combustion chamber elements causes an aftercombustion temperature increase in ceramic-coated diesel engines,

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H. Hazar / Renewable Energy 34 (2009) 15331537

Table 1
Test engine specications.

Table 2
The physical and chemical properties of ASTM No. 2D diesel and CME.

Item

Specication

Type of engine
Stroke
Number of cylinders
Bore/stroke (mm)
Compression ratio
Maximum engine power (kW)
Fuel type
Lubricating
Type of injection
Type of coolant
Maximum engine speed (1/min)
Engine volume (mm3)

Lombardini 6LD 400


4
1
86/68
18:1
6.25 (3600 1/min)
Diesel
Full pressure
Direct injection
Air coolant
3600
382  427  491

biodiesel can be used more efciently in these engines. Thus, biodiesel can be used without pre-heating in these engines [15].
The objective of this study is to examine the effects of using
biodiesel as an alternative fuel in a diesel engine that has had its
combustion chamber elements coated with ceramic, to determine
any signicant effects on performance and exhaust gas emissions.
The effects of reference fuel ASTM No. 2D (2D), and canola methyl
ester (CME) were examined in a single cylinder direct injection
naturally aspirated diesel engine in full load-various speed ratios.
2. Materials and methods
A four-stroke, single cylinder, direct injection, naturally aspirated, air-cooled 6LD 400 Lombardini model diesel engine was used
in the tests. Technical specications of the engine are given in Table
1. All laboratory tests employed an electrical dynamometer (Model
Cussons P8160) as shown in Fig. 1. CO and NOx emissions (in ppm)
were measured with a Madur GA-21 Plus gas analyzer. The smoke
density (%) of the exhaust was measured with a Protech opax 2000
II device. The gas temperatures in the exhaust were measured with
a K-type thermocouple on an electrical dynamometer. The exhaust
emissions data were taken in the exhaust pipe at a distance of 1 m
from the engine. In this study, canola methyl ester (CME) was used
as alternative diesel fuels. Raw canola oil (RCO) was esteried using
the transesterication system developed at the Technical Education
Faculty, Automotive Laboratory of Firat University. RCO and methanol were mixed in certain ratios and kept at 60  C for 9 h and then
converted into methyl ester. Methyl ester from canola oil was
produced in this way. ASTM No. 2D diesel fuel (2D) was supplied
from a commercial gas station in Elazig/Turkey, and raw canola oil
was supplied from oil factories. Physical and chemical analyses of
2D, and CME were performed using the following methods: ASTM
D1798 (density), ASTM D 93 (ash point), ASTM 445 (viscosity), and
ASTM D 4737 (cetane number). Each value is the arithmetic mean of
ve tests. Physical and chemical properties of the test fuels are

Properties
of fuels

Density
at 20  C
(kg/1)

Viscosity
at 20  C
(mm2/s)

Cetane
number

Flash
point
( C)

Caloric
value
(kJ/kg)

Canola methyl
ester (CME)
ASTM No. 2D
(2D)

0.87

4.30

51

84

39573

0.83

3.20

47

58

42300

given in Table 2, and fuels used and mixture ratios are given in Table
3. 2D, and CME were mixed at ratios of 20% and 35%, respectively.
100% pure CME and 100% pure 2D (reference fuel), were also used
in the tests. Mixtures were prepared just before the tests. According
to Table 2, a sharp decline occurred in the viscosity of the vegetable
oil, its ash point decreased, its cetane number increased, and its
caloric value became closer to that of 2D diesel fuel due to the
transesterication method.
Cylinder head, exhaust and inlet valves of the diesel engine used
in the tests were coated with MgOZrO2, which is a ceramic
material, to a thickness of 0.35 mm over a 0.15 mm thickness of
NiCrAl bond coat, by the plasma spray method. The piston surface
was coated with 0.35 mm of ZrO2 over a 0.15 mm layer of NiCrAl
bond coated by the plasma spray method.
The engine was run for 30 min with 2D fuel to achieve a normal
working temperature. First, the uncoated engine was tested and the
results were obtained. Then, the tests were repeated under
the same conditions using coated combustion chamber elements of
the same engine.
The tests were performed at full load conditions for engine
speeds of 1800, 2100, 2400, 2700 and 3000 rpm. These tests were
repeated for both the coated (CE) and uncoated (UE) engines under
the same conditions. The engine was maintained at each speed and
then the measurement results were recorded. All measurements
were repeated at least three times at each speed.
3. Results and discussion
3.1. Engine power (Pe)
The variation of engine power depending on engine speed is
seen in Fig. 2(a) and (b). Engine power increases with the increase
in engine speed in all test fuels for both the UE (a) and CE (b). This
suggests increasing fuel consumption of the engine with the
increase in speed. Average PE increase in the CE (b) was determined
to be 8.4% for 2D, 3.5% for CME-100, 1.6% for CME-20, 1.7% for CME35, compared with that of the UE (a). As seen in Fig. 2(b), the
highest increase among the alternative test fuels, 3.5%, was
observed in the CME-100. An increase in Pe value occurred for all
test fuels used in the CE (b). This increase in Pe value may be
explained by an increase in the temperature of the combustion
chamber elements due to a thermal barrier effect caused by the
ceramic coating, and causing combustion to be improved, as has
been expressed in various studies [12,16,17].
3.2. Specic fuel consumption (SFC)
Fig. 3(a) and (b) shows the SFC variations depending on the
speed of the engine. SFC increases at low speed, decreases at
Table 3
Fuel compositions.

Fig. 1. Schematic of test set-up. (1) Engine; (2) Electrical load bank; (3) Control panel;
(4) Air lter; (5) Air measurement; (6) Fuel tank; (7) Burette; (8) Smoke meter; (9)
Exhaust gas analyzer.

No.

Test fuels

Fuels blended (%vol.)

1
2
3
4

2D-100
CME-100
CME-20
CME-35

100% ASTM No. 2D diesel fuel


100% canola methyl ester
20% canola methyl ester 80% ASTM No. 2D diesel fuel
35% canola methyl ester 65% ASTM No. 2D diesel fuel

H. Hazar / Renewable Energy 34 (2009) 15331537

5
4

Pe ( kW )

2D-100/UE
CME-100/UE
CME-20/UE
CME-35/UE

3
2
1
0

2D-100/CE
CME-100/CE
CME-20/CE
CME-35/CE

Pe ( kW )

1535

3
2
1

1800

2100

2400

2700

3000

1800

Engine speed ( 1/min )

2100

2400

2700

3000

Engine speed ( 1/min )

Fig. 2. Comparison of Pe of test fuels at different speeds in UE (a) and CE (b) engines.

700
600

700

500
400
300
200
100
0

2D-100/CE
CME-100/CE
CME-20/CE
CME-35/CE

800

SFC (g/kWh)

SFC (g/kWh)

2D-100/UE
CME-100/UE
CME-20/UE
CME-35/UE

800

600
500
400
300
200
100

1800

2100

2400

2700

3000

1800

Engine speed (1/min)

2100

2400

2700

3000

Engine speed (1/min)

Fig. 3. Comparison of SFC of test fuels at different speeds in UE (a) and CE (b) engines.

medium speed, and increases again at high speed in both the UE (a)
and the CE (b) for all test fuels. The decrease in SFC was 4.9% for 2D,
5.8% for CME-100, 4.7% for CME-20, and 8.0% for CME-35 in the CE
(b) compared with UE (a). Because the caloric value of biodiesel
fuel is lower than that of 2D fuel [18], the SFC of biodiesel and its
mixtures are higher than that of 2D for both engines. However,
a decrease in SFC was observed for all test fuels in CE (b). This may
occur as a result of more HC addition to the combustion reaction
and the decrease in the heat transferred due to the ceramic coating
of combustion chamber elements. Some studies [12,14,15,19,20]
have shown similar results.
3.3. Carbon monoxide (CO) emissions
Fig. 4(a) and (b) shows variations of CO emissions depending on
the speed of the engine. CO emission is high at low speed in both
the UE (a) and the CE (b) for all test fuels; it decreases at medium
speed and starts to increase above medium speed. For both engines,
the lowest CO emission occurred in CME-35, compared with that of

770

CO (ppm)

2D-100/UE
CME-100/UE
CME-20/UE
CME-35/UE

880
660

880

550
440
330

660
550
440
330

220

220

110

110

1800

2100

2400

2700

Engine speed (1/min)

2D-100/CE
CME-100/CE
CME-20/CE
CME-35/CE

770

CO (ppm)

the 2D reference fuel. Decreases in CO emission in the CE (b),


compared with those of the UE (a), were 25% for 2D, 22% for CME100, 23% for CME-20, and 24% for CME-35. When CO emissions are
compared for all test fuels used in the UE (a) and the CE (b),
a signicant decrease was observed in the CE (b), as seen in Fig. 4.
This decrease in CO emission in the CE (b) may be explained by an
increase in after-combustion temperature as a result of the
decrease in heat losses going to cooling, and outside due to
the ceramic coating, causing more unburned HC to be added to the
combustion [20,21].
Local conditions specifying temperature, pressure, mixture
ratio, and amount of oxygen affect combustion and make the
combustion continuous in diesel engines [22]. Thus, the
results clearly indicate that the ceramic coating improves local
conditions.
Biodiesel causes signicantly lower CO emission compared with
the 2D reference fuel in both the UE (a) and the CE (b). This may be
because the oxygen amount in the biodiesel fuel is approximately
10% higher than in 2D [4].

3000

1800

2100

2400

2700

Engine speed (1/min)

Fig. 4. Comparison of CO of test fuels at different speeds in UE (a) and CE (b) engines.

3000

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H. Hazar / Renewable Energy 34 (2009) 15331537

250

NOx (ppm)

150
100

2D-100/UE
CME-100/UE
CME-20/UE
CME-35/UE

50
0

250
200

200

1800

2100

2400

2700

NOx (ppm)

150
100

2D-100/CE
CME-100/CE
CME-20/CE
CME-35/CE

50
0

3000

1800

2100

2400

2700

3000

Engine speed (1/min)

Engine speed (1/min)

Smoke density (%)

2D-100/UE
CME-100/UE
CME-20/UE
CME-35/UE

35
30
25
20
15
10
5
0

1800

2100

2400

2700

35

Smoke density (%)

Fig. 5. Comparison of NOx of test fuels at different speeds in UE (a) and CE (b) engines.

30
25
20
15
10
5
0

3000

2D-100/CE
CME-100/CE
CME-20/CE
CME-35/CE

1800

2100

2400

2700

3000

Engine speed (1/min)

Engine speed (1/min )

Fig. 6. Comparison of smoke density of test fuels at different speeds in UE (a) and CE (b) engines.

3.4. Nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions


NOx is generally formed at temperatures higher than 1800 K.
High temperatures, especially in the regions containing O2, and
time spent at these temperatures are very conducive to NOx
formation. The amounts of N2 and O2 existing in the region are also
factors in NOx formation [23].
Fig. 5(a) and (b) shows NOx variations depending on the speed of
the engine.
An increase in after-combustion temperature causes an increase
in NOx emission. All factors facilitating and accelerating the reaction between oxygen and nitrogen increase NOx formation. Thus,
the main factor in NOx formation is temperature. However, engine
speed, combustion chamber content, combustion chamber homogeneity, and mixture density in the combustion chamber are also
factors. In fact, according to Fig. 5(a) and (b), NOx emission increases
from low to medium engine speed and then decreases above

500

Exhaust gas temperature


(C)

Exhaust gas temperature


(C)

a
2D-100/UE
CME-100/UE
CME-20/UE
CME-35/UE

400
300
200
100
0

medium engine speed in the UE (a) and the CE (b). NOx emission is
low at low speed for both engines. Considering that the combustion
chamber temperature is low at low speed and that low temperature
reduces NOx formation [24,25], this is an expected result. As seen in
Fig. 5(a) and (b), NOx formation decreases in both engines for all
test fuels as speed increases above medium levels. This is because
there is not sufcient time for NOx formation despite the increase in
temperature.
Increases in NOx emission in the CE (b), compared with the UE
(a), are 4.9% for 2D, 5.3% for CME-100, 4.8% for CME-20, and 7.3% for
CME-35. An increase in NOx emission was observed for all test fuels
used in the CE (b) compared to the UE (a). The NOx increase for all
test fuels used in the CE (b) may be a result of an increase in aftercombustion temperature due to the ceramic coating.
Biodiesel and its mixtures used in both engines cause more NOx
emission compared with that of the reference fuel because of their
higher oxygen contents than that of fossil fuels [4,26].

1800

2100

2400

2700

Engine speed (1/min)

3000

500

2D-100/CE
CME-100/CE
CME-20/CE
CME-35/CE

400
300
200
10
0

1800

2100

2400

2700

Engine speed (1/min )

Fig. 7. Comparison of exhaust gas temperature of test fuels at different speeds in UE (a) and CE (b) engines.

3000

H. Hazar / Renewable Energy 34 (2009) 15331537

3.5. Smoke density


Fig. 6(a) and (b) shows variations of smoke density depending
on the speed of the engine. Smoke density increases for all test fuels
in the UE (a) and the CE (b) as engine speed increases. Combustion
is affected by local conditions rather than the average values in the
combustion chamber. Thus, it is thought that less air circulation in
the engine at low speed, and insufcient time and insufcient air
due to low volumetric efciency at high speed, as well as the richer
mixture formed at increased speed, increases soot formation. The
average decrease in smoke density in the CE (b), compared with the
UE (a), is 9.0% for 2D, 4.7% for CME-100, 7.5% for CME-20, and 8.2%
for CME-35. According to these values, a signicant decrease in
smoke density for all test fuels occurred in the CE (b) as a result of
the coating. However, the smoke density of biodiesel is lower than
that of 2D and biodiesel mixtures for both engines. The lowest
smoke density for all engines speeds was obtained from CME-100
for both engines. Lower smoke density of biodiesel and its mixtures
compared with that of 2D may be caused by higher oxygen content
in biodiesel [4].
3.6. The temperature of the exhaust gas
Temperature measurements are important because they allow
an estimate of the temperature within the combustion chamber.
These are approximate values because variations occur in the
exhaust gases between the combustion chamber and the point at
which measurements were done. Fig. 7(a) and (b) shows variations
of exhaust gas temperature depending on the speed of the engine.
As seen in Fig. 7(a) and (b), exhaust gas temperature increases as
the engine speed increases for all test fuels used in both engines.
This is because the amount of fuel per unit time increases as the
engine speed increases, and consequently more heat energy is
produced. As a result, exhaust gas temperature increases. The
increase in exhaust gas temperature in the CE (b), compared with
the UE (a), is 11.4% for 2D, 5.2% for CME-100, 5.4% for CME-20, and
4.9% for CME-35. The increase in exhaust gas temperature for all
test fuels used in the CE (b), compared with the UE (a), may be
explained by the decrease in heat losses going into the cooling
system and to the outside due to the coating, and transfer of this
heat to the exhaust gas. Similar results have been obtained in
various studies [15,27,28].
4. Conclusions
In this experimental study, the piston surface, cylinder head, and
valves of a diesel engine were coated with ceramic materials. Biodiesel, mixtures of biodiesel, and 2D fuel were used in both coated
and uncoated engines. It was observed that heat transfer decreased
in the coated engine, and consequently, performance and emission
values of the engine were affected positively due to the improvement in combustion. The tests showed that in the CE, compared
with the UE:
 The increase in Pe (kW) value is 8.4% for 2D while it is between
3.5% and 1.6% for alternative fuels.
 The decrease in SFC is 4.9% for 2D while it is between 8.0% and
4.7% for alternative fuels.
 CO emission decreases by 25% for 2D while it decreases by
between 24% and 22% for alternative fuels.
 NOx emission increases by 4.9% for 2D while it increases by
between 7.3% and 4.8% for alternative fuels.
 Smoke density decreases by 9.0% for 2D while it decreases by
between 8.2% and 4.7% for alternative fuels.

1537

 Exhaust gas temperature increases by 11.4% for 2D while it


increases by between 5.4% and 2.6% for alternative fuels.
This study determined that the ceramic coating may be applied
successfully without requiring any signicant modications to the
structural characteristics of the internal combustion engine. It was
concluded that 2D as well as CME-100 and its mixtures may be
applied successfully in coated engines, and harmful emissions may
be reduced.
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