Investigation of the effects of renewable diesel fuels on engine performance, combustion, and emissions

Dolanimi Ogunkoya, William L. Roberts, Tiegang Fang, Nirajan Thapaliya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


A study was undertaken to investigate renewable fuels in a compression-ignition internal combustion engine. The focus of this study was the effect of newly developed renewable fuels on engine performance, combustion, and emissions. Eight fuels were investigated, and they include diesel, jet fuel, a traditional biodiesel (fatty acid methyl ester: FAME), and five next generation biofuels. These five fuels were derived using a two-step process: hydrolysis of the oil into fatty acids (if necessary) and then a thermo-catalytic process to remove the oxygen via a decarboxylation reaction. The fuels included a fed batch deoxygenation of canola derived fatty acids (DCFA), a fed batch deoxygenation of canola derived fatty acids with varying amounts of H2 used during the deoxygenation process (DCFAH), a continuous deoxygenation of canola derived fatty acids (CDCFA), fed batch deoxygenation of lauric acid (DLA), and a third reaction to isomerize the products of the deoxygenated canola derived fatty acid alkanes (IPCF). Diesel, jet fuel, and biodiesel (FAME) have been used as benchmarks for comparing with the newer renewable fuels. The results of the experiments show slightly lower mechanical efficiency but better brake specific fuel consumption for the new renewable fuels. Results from combustion show shorter ignition delays for most of the renewable (deoxygenated) fuels with the exception of fed batch deoxygenation of lauric acid. Combustion results also show lower peak in-cylinder pressures, reduced rate of increase in cylinder pressure, and lower heat release rates for the renewable fuels. Emission results show an increase in hydrocarbon emissions for renewable deoxygenated fuels, but a general decrease in all other emissions including NOx, greenhouse gases, and soot. Results also demonstrate that isomers of the alkanes resulting from the deoxygenation of the canola derived fatty acids could be a potential replacement to conventional fossil diesel and biodiesel based on the experiments in this work.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)541-554
Number of pages14
StatePublished - Jan 2015

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This material is based on work partly supported by the National Science Foundation EFRI program under Grant EFRI-093772. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the funding agencies. The authors would also like to thank Dr. Robert Natelson of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at NCSU for his help and suggestions.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Organic Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology


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