Experimental Investigations on a Rubber seed oil Methyl Ester Fueled Compression Ignition Engine 2008-28-0073
The proposed paper highlights the results of experimental investigations on the scope of utilizing biodiesel produced from rubber seed oil as an alternative diesel fuel. In view of its very high free fatty acid contents, it was observed that biodiesel can be effectively produced from the rubber seed oil in a three stage transesterification processes such as two acid catalyzed transesterification processes and one base catalyzed transesterification process in sequence. Transesterification is the chemical reaction between triglycerides and alcohol in the presence of catalyst to produce monoesters. In the present work, with an effort to facilitate the transesterification processes, methanol was used as the alcohol, sulphuric acid as acid catalyst and potassium hydroxide crystals as the base catalyst. Production of biodiesel was optimized and the effect of molar ratio of alcohol to oil, reaction temperature, catalyst amount and reaction time were optimized during the transesterification process. The cold flow properties and storage stability of the biodiesel produced from rubber seed oil were found to be better than the biodiesel produced in the laboratory from several non edible oil seeds. The fuel quality of the biodiesel was also analyzed by using thin layer chromatography, magnetic resonance spectroscopy and infrared spectroscopy. These studies confirmed the formation of methyl ester concentration in the biodiesel.
Experimental investigations were carried out on a single cylinder air cooled, four stroke diesel engine using diesel, several blends of biodiesel with diesel and, neat biodiesel. The engine performance characteristics such as fuel consumption, thermal efficiency, and brake mean effective pressures were evaluated for several operating conditions. Exhaust gas emissions such as CO, UBHC, NOx and smoke were also recorded using appropriate instruments. The lower blends of biodiesel showed an improvement on the brake thermal efficiency and also reduced the fuel consumption. Results show that the rubber seed oil based biodiesel can be effectively used as an alternative fuel in existing compression engine without any significant engine hardware modification.