Straight Vegetable Oil (SVO) is a promising biofuel with a low energy input to energy output ratio. Successful use of SVO in engines depends on engine performance, wear and emissions. This study focuses on short term engine emissions and performance. This research uses oils produced in Colorado as a full diesel fuel substitute in a modified single cylinder engine. This engine testing was conducted in the laboratory. The test engine was a Yanmar TF140E, which is naturally aspirated and uses low pressure (～140 bar) mechanical direct injection. The engine fuel system was modified to accommodate a 2-tank custom SVO kit. The SVO was heated to 75 °C. Fuel economy and emissions measurements were performed for petroleum diesel, four different vegetable oils (sunflower, canola, camelina, and soybean) and their biodiesel derivatives. Fuel mass flow, oxides of nitrogen (NOX), total hydrocarbons (THC), carbon monoxide (CO), and particulate matter were measured. No engine degradation was experienced through approximately 50 hrs of testing on SVO and 50 hrs of testing on biodiesel. Overall engine emissions for SVO and biodiesel, with the exception of THC for biodiesel, were higher than petroleum diesel. More favorable biofuel emissions comparisons to diesel are expected with other engine designs based on data from various literature sources. Data comparing raw and refined SVO indicate that refined vegetable oil produces lower particulate matter (PM) emissions. General trends were observed showing that oils with higher levels of polyunsaturated fats (e.g. C18:1, C18:2, and C18:3) produce higher levels of NOX and THC’s.
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