An effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) is to use rurally produced straight jatropha oil as a substitute for diesel fuel. However, the different physical and chemical properties of straight vegetable oils (SVOs) require a customized setup of the combustion engine, particularly of the injection timing and quantity. Therefore, this study demonstrates the differences in the injection and combustion processes of jatropha oil compared to diesel fuel, particularly in terms of its compatibility with exhaust gas recirculation (EGR).A 2.2 l common-rail diesel engine with a two-stage turbocharging concept was used for testing. To examine the differences in injection rate shaping of diesel fuel and jatropha oil, the injector was tested with an injection rate analyzer using both the fuels. To investigate the combustion process, the engine was mounted at an engine test bench and equipped with a cylinder pressure indication system. All limited emissions, as well as fuel consumption, were measured.Various injection strategies, boost and rail pressure levels were tested at different EGR rates in terms of their impact on the combustion process. EGR in particular offers a great potential in the case of jatropha oil combustion due to its oxygen content. In addition, the investigation of injection rate shaping in combination with cylinder pressure analysis allowed a detailed thermodynamic evaluation of the combustion process. Ignition delay (ID) was also analyzed using a new method to calculate the start of combustion (SOC).