Sunflower Biodiesel: Efficiency And Emissions
Free (open access)
25 - 36
J. A. Ali & A. Abuhabaya
With economic development, energy needs have grown, utilizing natural resources such as wood, fossil fuels, and nuclear energy in the last century. However, rising concerns on energy security and climate change in recent years have focused attention on using alternative sources of energy such as bio-fuels. Bio-fuels are produced from renewable resources, particularly plant derived materials, and their production provides alternative nonfossil fuels without the need to redesign current engine technology. This study presents an experimental investigation into the effects of using biodiesel blends on diesel engine performance and its emissions. The biodiesel fuels were produced from sunflower oil using the transesterification process with low molecular weight alcohols and sodium hydroxide then tested on a steady state engine test rig using a four cylinder compression ignition (CI) engine. The paper also shows that blending biodiesel with diesel fuel can reduce harmful gas emissions while maintaining similar performance output and efficiency. Production optimization was achieved by changing the variables which included methanol/oil molar ratio, NaOH catalyst concentration, reaction time, reaction temperature, and rate of mixing to maximize biodiesel yield. In addition, a second-order model was developed to predict the biodiesel yield if the production criteria is known. It was determined that the catalyst concentration and molar ratio of methanol to sunflower oil were the most influential variables affecting percentage conversion to fuel. Keywords: biodiesel, transesterification, optimization, sunflower oil, engine performance and emission.
biodiesel, transesterification, optimization, sunflower oil, engine performance and emission.