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Fuel 85 (2006) 26462652

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Ethanol animal fat emulsions as a diesel engine fuel Part 2:


Engine test analysis
M. Senthil Kumar, A. Kerihuel, J. Bellettre *, M. Tazerout
Departement Syste`mes Energetiques et Environnement, Ecole des Mines de Nantes, 4 rue Alfred Kastler,
BP 20722, 44307 Nantes, Cedex 03, France
Received 9 March 2005; received in revised form 22 May 2006; accepted 23 May 2006
Available online 23 June 2006

Abstract
This work aims on the ecient use of animal fat in a diesel engine by making its stable emulsions with ethanol and water. A single
cylinder direct injection diesel engine is tested using neat diesel, neat animal fat and animal fat emulsion (optimal emulsion) as fuels under
variable load operating conditions. Results show increased peak pressure and ignition delay with ethanol animal fat emulsion as compared to neat fat. Heat release pattern shows improvement in the premixed combustion phase with animal fat emulsion as compared to
neat animal fat. Drastic reduction in smoke, nitric oxide, hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions are observed with the emulsion as
compared to neat fat and neat diesel mainly at high power outputs. Only, hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions are found as high
with the emulsion at light loads. In general, animal fat emulsion shows considerable reduction in all emissions and improvement in engine
performance as compared to neat fat.
2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Diesel engine; Ethanol; Animal fat emulsion

1. Introduction
Diesel engines are mainly used in industrial, transport
and agricultural applications due to their high eciency
and reliability. However, they suer from high smoke and
nitric oxide emissions [13]. The increase in prices of diesel
fuel, reduced availability, more stringent governmental regulations on exhaust emissions and the fast depletion of
world-wide petroleum reserves provide a strong encouragement to the search for alternative fuels. It is commonly
accepted that clean combustion in diesel engines can be
achieved only if engine development with fuel reformulation and the use alternative fuels are implemented [46].
In the name of energy security, regional air quality and
greenhouse gas emissions reduction, use of oxygenated
alternative fuels are advocated to reduce emissions in diesel

Corresponding author. Tel.: +33 251858296.


E-mail address: Jerome.Bellettre@emn.fr (J. Bellettre).

0016-2361/$ - see front matter 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.fuel.2006.05.023

engines. In this regard, animal fats have come across good


choice to use as fuel in diesel engines [7,8]. As a compression
ignition engine fuel animal fats have cetane number and caloric value very close to diesel. The added advantage is that
animal fats have xed oxygen present in it [9]. Hence they
can increase the local oxygen concentration in the fuel mixture when used as fuel in diesel engines. Contrary to fossil
fuels animal fats are free from sulfur. However, the high viscosity and poor vaporization characteristics of animal fats
indicate that they need modications before using them in
diesel engines.
Animal fats oer the advantage of freely mixing with
alcohols (both methanol and ethanol) and these blends
can be used in the existing diesel engines without modications. This is a simple process. The major advantages of the
blending are the absence of technical modications and the
ease of implementation. Blending of animal fats with alcohols results in signicant improvement in physical properties [10]. Viscosity and density are considerably reduced.
Volatility is also improved. Although both methanol and

M.S. Kumar et al. / Fuel 85 (2006) 26462652

ethanol reduce emissions in diesel engines, ethanol has the


advantage of having higher miscibility with diesel, vegetable oils and animal fats. Besides being a biomass-based
renewable fuel, ethanol has cleaner burning characteristics
and a high cetane rating than methanol [11,12]. It has been
reported that the application of ethanol as a supplementary
compressionignition fuel can reduce environmental pollution, strengthen the agricultural economy and reduce diesel
fuel requirements [1316]. Therefore, the use of ethanol in
compression ignition engines has received considerable
attention in recent years.
Though several research projects have been carried out
on a number of alternative fuels in diesel engines, not much
data is available on the performance of constant speed stationary diesel engine fuelled with animal fat. Moreover,
study of ethanol animal fat emulsions on diesel engines
seems to be not done anywhere in the past. In Europe,
the production of animal fat is very high. Hence it nds
attraction to use as fuel in diesel engines. Since low horsepower stationary diesel engines are commonly used in agricultural and transport sectors, there is a need to study their
performance using alternative fuels. This can be further
extended to high power output multi cylinder engines also.
Therefore, a study is undertaken with the objective of nding out the performance of a diesel engine operated on the
fuels completely obtained from renewable energy sources
such as animal fat and ethanol. The chemical composition
and the dierent properties of the tested fat and its

emulsion have been measured in the rst part of this work


[17].
2. Experimental setup and experimental procedure
2.1. Engine test cell
A single cylinder air cooled Lister Petter diesel engine
developing a power output of 2.8 kW at 1500 rev/min is
used for the work. The Schematic of the experimental set
up is shown in Fig. 1. An electrical dynamometer is used
for loading the engine. An orice meter connected to a
large tank is attached to the engine to make air ow measurements. The fuel ow rate is measured on the volumetric
basis using a burette. Chromel alumel thermocouples in
conjunction with a slow speed digital data acquisition system is used for measuring the exhaust gas temperature.
2.2. Combustion data acquisition
A high-speed digital data acquisition system (AVLIndiwin) in conjunction with two AVL piezoelectric transducers is used for the measurement of cylinder pressure and
fuel line pressure histories. An optical shaft position encoder is used to give signals at TDC. Engine in cylinder pressure and crank angle are sampled for 100 consecutive cycles
at increments of 0.1 crank angle and averaged to obtain
combustion parameters.

13

7
20

16

15
10

Diesel
Tank
3

10
5

Diesel
Tank
4

14

12
19

2647

11

17
2
18

1. Test Engine
2. Dynamometer
3. Animal Fat Tank
4. Diesel Tank
5. A/D Card for Pressure
6. A/D Card for Analyser
7. Air Tank
8. Burette for diesel
9. Burette for Animal Fat
10. Charge Amplifier

11. Fast Data Acquisition Sysytem


12. Slow Data Acquisition system
13. Cylinder Pressure Sensor
14. Injection Pressure Sensor
15. Diesel Filter
16. Animal fat Filter
17. TDC Encoder
18. Speed Sensor
19 Exhaust gas Analyser
20. Smoke Meter

Fig. 1. Schematic of experimental setup.

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M.S. Kumar et al. / Fuel 85 (2006) 26462652

2.3. Emission instrumentation

90

Peak Pressure (bar)

An infrared (COSMA) exhaust analyzer is used for measuring hydrocarbon (HC) and carbon monoxide (CO)
emissions. NO in the exhaust is measured by using a Beckman chemiluminescence NOx analyzer. Smoke levels are
measured using a standard HARTRIDGE smoke meter
which works on light absorption technique (passing a light
beam through the exhaust sample and the fraction of light
is absorbed by the exhaust gas). Light extinction coecient
K is used as the measure of smoke density.

100

80
70
60

Neat Diesel
50

2.4. Experimental procedure

Speed : 1500 rpm


Inj. Timing : 20 BTDC

3.1. Combustion parameters


The variation of maximum cylinder gas pressure at dierent power outputs for neat diesel, neat animal fat and its ethanol emulsion is shown in Fig. 2. Neat animal fat results in
lower peak pressure as compared to neat diesel. The maximum cylinder pressure is found as 92 bar with neat diesel
and 80.7 bar with neat fat at peak power output. However,
except at lightest loads the maximum cylinder pressure
increases with the animal fat emulsion. It is found as
87 bar with animal fat emulsion at peak power output.
The increase in peak pressure with the emulsion of animal
fat can be explained by the higher premixed burning rate
of emulsion due to the long ignition delay (will be seen later).
The low cetane number and high latent heat of vaporization
of ethanol in the emulsion results in increased ignition delay.
The increase in ignition delay results in a strong premixed
combustion phase and gives rise to the cylinder gas pressure
with the emulsion. This behavior becomes more obvious at
high engine loads. The increase in the ignition delay with
the ethanol animal fat emulsion increases the amount of fuel
burned within the premixed burning phase. At high engine
loads more fuel is burned in the premixed burning phase,
causing high value of peak pressure and rate of pressure rise.

700

1100

1500

1900

2300

2700

3100

Power (watts)

Fig. 2. Variation of cylinder pressure with animal fatethanol emulsion.

Fig. 3 illustrates the heat release pattern with neat diesel,


neat animal fat and its ethanol emulsion at maximum
power output. Neat animal fat and its emulsion follow
the trend similar to diesel. It can be seen that the combustion is more pronounced at the diusion phase rather than
premixed phase with neat fat. However, ethanol animal fat
emulsion indicates improvement in heat release rate at
the premixed combustion period. It clearly shows a delay
at the starting position of heat release as compared to that
of the diesel fuel and neat animal fat. The presence of ethanol and water fraction in the emulsion decreases the
cetane number of the emulsion and increases the ignition
delay period. This results in increased amount of combustible fuel to be prepared within the period of ignition delay
and increases the heat release rate. It is important to note
that although more fuel is needed for the emulsion to
obtain the same power as compared to diesel, the increase
in fraction of the premixed burning phase and shortening
in diusive burning phase could be still achieved with the
emulsions. At low engine loads (not shown), the heat
release curve revealed a sharp and short premixed burning
100
Neat Fat
Heat Release Rate (kJ/m3 deg)

3. Results and discussion

Ethanol Emulsion

40
300

Experiments are initially carried out on the engine using


diesel and neat fat as fuels. The injection timing is set at 20
before TDC for all the tested fuels. The engine is stabilized
before making all measurements. Readings for engine
speed, fuel ow, air ow, exhaust gas temperature etc.
are recorded for obtaining performance parameters.
Exhaust gas analyzers are calibrated before making measurements. Observations are made for smoke, NO, HC
and CO to analyze the emission characteristics. In all cases
pressure crank angle data are recorded and processed to get
combustion parameters. Optimum animal fat emulsion
obtained, based on viscosity, stability and micro-structure
is nally tested in the same engine at the same operating
conditions. Performance, emission and combustion characteristics of the optimum emulsion are analyzed and compared with neat fat and neat diesel.

Neat Fat

Ethanol Emulsion

80

Neat Diesel

60

Speed : 1500 rpm


Inj.Timing : 20 BTDC
Load : 100 %

40
20

-20
15

25

35

45

55

65

75

Crank Angle (CA)

Fig. 3. Variation of heat release rate with animal fatethanol emulsion.

M.S. Kumar et al. / Fuel 85 (2006) 26462652


18

60
Speed : 1500 rpm
Inj. Timing : 20 BTDC

Combustion Duration (CA)

16
14
Ignition delay (CA)

2649

12
10
8
6

Neat Diesel
Neat Fat

50
40
30
20
Neat Diesel
10

Neat Animal Fat

Speed : 1500 rpm


Inj. Timing : 20 BTDC

Ethanol Emulsion

Ethanol Emulsion

2
300

700

1100

1500

1900

2300

2700

300

3100

700

1100

Power (watts)

pattern. This can also be explained by the inuence of the


ignition delay as long ignition delay will make the combustion to postpone to a late stage. At low power outputs the
combustion becomes inferior with the emulsions due to
very low temperature of the cylinder. Hence the heat
release becomes very weak at low power outputs.
Fig. 4 shows the ignition delay for neat diesel, neat animal fat and its emulsion with ethanol and water at all
power outputs. As expected, ignition delay decreases with
increase in power outputs for all the tested fuels. The
decrease in ignition delay with the increase in engine load
is due to the inuence of cylinder gas temperature within
the ignition delay period. The gas temperature is higher
at high engine loads than that at low engine loads. It is seen
that the ignition delay is more with the emulsions as compared to neat fat and diesel at all power outputs. It is found
as 8 CA with neat fat, 6 CA with neat diesel and 10 CA
with ethanol animal fat emulsion at peak power output.
The increase in ignition delay with the emulsion can be
explained by the vaporization of ethanol and water in the
emulsion which causes the injected fuel spray into a relatively low gas temperature environment and increases the
period of ignition delay. It can be further explained by
the low cetane number of ethanol emulsion.
The total combustion duration decreases with the animal fat emulsion as compared to neat fat as seen in
Fig. 5. This is mainly due to the increase in rapid burning
rate of the emulsion. The addition of ethanol with the animal fat emulsion promotes combustion and shortens the
combustion duration. As being explained in the above section of heat release analysis, the faster combustion rate in
the premixed burning phase and shorter diusive burning
phase decrease the total combustion duration of the animal
fat ethanol emulsion.
3.2. Performance parameters

1900

2300

2700

3100

Fig. 5. Variation of combustion duration with animal fatethanol


emulsion.

emulsion is shown in Fig. 6. The specic energy consumption decreases with the increase in engine load. After a certain percentage of maximum load, any further increase in
brake load causes only a small increase in brake horsepower. This results in increased specic energy consumption at very high power outputs. It is seen that neat
animal fat results in higher SEC as compared to neat diesel.
This can be explained by the poor combustion of the
injected fat as a result of high viscosity and density. However, there is an improvement in SEC with the emulsions of
animal fat. Minimum value of SEC is found at 60% of the
maximum load with the emulsion. The improvement in
specic energy consumption with the emulsion is attributed
to the changes occurring in the combustion process. The
physical and chemical dierences in fuel structure of ethanol and fat lead to a combination of changes in the combustion process. The physical properties of animal fat are
changed when ethanol is added. The addition of ethanol
causes the viscosity of animal fat to decrease. Presence of

70000
Neat Diesel

60000

Neat fat
Ethanol Emulsion

50000
SEC (kJ/kW.hr)

Fig. 4. Variation of ignition delay with animal fatethanol emulsion.

1500

Power (watts)

40000
30000
20000
10000
0
300

Speed : 1500 rpm


Inj. Timing : 20 BTDC
700

1100

1500

1900

2300

2700

3100

Power (watts)

The relationship between power output and specic


energy consumption with neat animal fat and its ethanol

Fig. 6. Variation of specic energy consumption with animal fatethanol


emulsion.

2650

M.S. Kumar et al. / Fuel 85 (2006) 26462652

700

700
Speed : 1500 rpm
Inj. Timing : 20 BTDC

Neat Diesel
600

500

Hydrocarbon (ppm)

Exhaust gas temperature (C)

600

400
300
200

Neat Diesel

Neat Fat
Ethanol Emulsion

500

Speed : 1500 rpm


Inj . Timing : 20 BTDC

400
300
200

Neat fat

100

100

Ethanol Emulsion
0

0
700

1100

1500
1900
Power (watts)

2300

2700

3100

Fig. 7. Variation of exhaust gas temperature with animal fatethanol


emulsion.

water in the emulsion leads to secondary atomization


(micro-explosion) of the fuel and results in more complete
combustion and rapid energy release. All these factors
result in low specic energy consumption with the
emulsion.
The variation of exhaust gas temperature at dierent
power output conditions for neat diesel, neat animal fat
and its emulsion with ethanol and water is shown in
Fig. 7. It is clear from the gure that as the power
increases, the exhaust gas temperature increases with all
the fuels. The maximum exhaust gas temperatures of
540 C, 595 C and 480 C are observed at maximum
power output when the engine is running on diesel, neat
animal fat and ethanol animal fat emulsion respectively.
The variations in exhaust gas temperature indicate that
the type of fuel and engine brake load have a signicant
eect on exhaust gas temperature. It is seen that animal
fat emulsion has lowest exhaust gas temperature as compared to neat diesel and neat animal fat. This can be
explained by the high latent heat of vaporization of water
and ethanol which results in lower burning temperatures
with the emulsion. In addition to that, the shorter diusive
combustion reduces the late burning of fuel. Neat fat due
to its slow burning (late combustion) characteristics produces highest exhaust gas temperature.
3.3. Emission parameters
Hydrocarbon emissions emitted from neat diesel, neat
animal fat and its emulsions are shown in Fig. 8. Compared
to neat diesel, neat animal fat emits more hydrocarbon
emissions at all operating conditions. The maximum
hydrocarbon emission is found as 126 ppm with neat diesel
and 625 ppm with neat fat at peak power output. The main
reason for the higher hydrocarbon is the result of incomplete combustion of neat fat. Animal fat emulsion shows
lower hydrocarbon emissions (about 215 ppm) as compared to neat fat mainly at high power outputs. Improved

300

700

1100

1500

1900

2300

2700

3100

Power (watts)

Fig. 8. Variation of hydrocarbon emission with animal fatethanol


emulsion.

vaporization and atomization of the emulsions result in


better mixing with air and leads to complete combustion
of the fuel at high loads. However, at low power outputs
emulsion shows higher hydrocarbon emissions. The hydrocarbon emissions tend to increase because of the quench
layer of unburned ethanol present in the combustion chamber at low power outputs. In addition to that the high
latent heat of vaporization of water produces slow vaporization and mixing of fuel and air. In homogeneity of the air
fuel mixture may also contribute to leaner mixture in some
regions of combustion chamber and results in more
unburned fuels at low power outputs.
Neat animal fat results in higher carbon monoxide emissions as compared to neat diesel as shown in Fig. 9. Neat
animal fat results in fuel richness and leads to more carbon
monoxide emissions. It is observed that animal fat emulsion also results in higher carbon monoxide emission than
neat diesel and neat fat at low power outputs. The increase

3000
Neat Diesel
2500
Carbonmonoxide (ppm)

300

Neat fat
Ethanol Emulsion

2000
Speed : 1500 rpm
Inj. Timing : 20 BTDC
1500

1000

500

0
300

600

900

1200 1500

1800

2100 2400 2700

3000

Power (watts)

Fig. 9. Variation of carbon monoxide emission with animal fatethanol


emulsion.

M.S. Kumar et al. / Fuel 85 (2006) 26462652

in the carbon monoxide levels with ethanol emulsions is the


result of incomplete combustion of the ethanolair mixture
at light loads. Factors causing combustion deterioration
such as high latent heats of vaporization can be responsible
for the poor oxidation reaction rate of carbon monoxide
and increased CO production. As mentioned earlier, a
thickened quench layer created by the cooling eect of
vaporizing alcohol can play a major role on CO production
at part loads. Although the CO level is higher at light loads
for the ethanol animal fat emulsion, the CO level is fairly
lower than that of neat animal fat and neat diesel at high
power outputs. Since ethanol has less carbon than diesel
fuel and its oxygen content increases the oxygen to fuel
ratio in the fuel rich regions. The increased airfuel ratio
due to the increased volumetric eciency leads to more
complete combustion of the fuel. The presence of atomic
bound oxygen in the fuel satises positive chemical control
over CO formation.
The black smoke emission resulting from combustion of
diesel, neat animal fat and its emulsions is plotted in
Fig. 10. Smoke levels are high at high power outputs with
diesel and neat animal fat. This is due to the presence of
fuel rich core at high loads. The maximum smoke level is
found as 7.7 K with neat diesel and 3.6 K with neat fat.
It is seen that the smoke level is lower with neat animal
fat than neat diesel. The result of low smoke emission with
neat animal fat is due to the presence of low carbon content
in the fat. In addition to that the oxygen present in the fat
helps in smoke reduction. Smoke emission is further
reduced with animal fat emulsion. The trend shows drastic
reduction (about 0.3 K) in smoke emissions with ethanol
animal fat emulsion. The reduced smoke at high loads
can be explained by the reasons that the use of ethanol,
an oxidizer is eectively introduced to the fuel-rich regions
and suppress soot formation in combustion chamber. Ethanol does not provide the initial radicals for the formation
of aromatic rings. The charge cooling increases ignition

delay and thus, enhances the mixing of fuel with air which
in turn makes better air utilization. The high oxygen content of the emulsion combined with low C/H ratio and aromatic fractions contributes to the reduction of smoke. High
level of oxygen atoms present in the fuel also results in
overall leaner mixture. All these factors result in overall
reduction in smoke emission.
The NO emission of the engine operating on diesel,
neat animal fat and ethanolanimal fat emulsions is given
in Fig. 11. It shows that the NO emission is reduced with
neat fat as compared to neat diesel. The maximum NO
emission is found as 1480 ppm with neat diesel and
965 ppm with neat animal fat. The reduction in NO emission with neat fat is due to the reduced premixed combustion as a result of slow burning. The NO emission is
further reduced with the emulsions of animal fat as compared to neat diesel and neat fat. The minimum value of
246 ppm at maximum power output is found with the animal fat emulsion. The main reason for the drastic reduction in NO emissions is again due to the high latent heat
of vaporization of water. In the absence of nitrogen in the
tested fuels, the formation of NO mainly depends on thermal NO and prompt NO. The kinetics formation of thermal NO are governed by the extended Zeltovitch
mechanisms. Since the latent heat of vaporization of
water is high, the charge temperature becomes low when
the fuel is injected into the combustion chamber. As a
result the peak combustion temperature becomes low
and leads NO to diminish. Presence of ethanol in the
emulsions also helps to suppress the formation of thermal
NO. The formation of prompt NO is initiated by the reaction between hydrocarbon radicals and molecular nitrogen. This kind of NO is principally formed in fuel rich
conditions. As the appearance of micro-explosion results
in a better air/fuel mixture, it prevents rich pockets.
Indeed, with animal fat emulsions the formation of
prompt NO is reduced to.

1800

Neat Diesel

Neat Diesel

Neat fat

1500

Neat fat

Ethanol Emulsion

Ethanol Emulsion
6

Nitric Oxide (ppm)

Smoke No. (m-1)

2651

Speed : 1500 rpm


Inj. Timing : 20 BTDC

5
4
3
2
1

1200

Speed : 1500 rpm


Inj. Timing : 20 BTDC

900

600

300

0
-1

300

700

1100

1500

1900

2300

2700

3100

Power (watts)

Fig. 10. Variation of smoke density with animal fatethanol emulsion.

300

700

1100

1500

1900

2300

2700

3100

Power (watts)

Fig. 11. Variation of nitric oxide with animal fatethanol emulsion.

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M.S. Kumar et al. / Fuel 85 (2006) 26462652

4. Conclusions
Inuence of ethanol on engine performance, emissions
and combustion characteristics of a diesel engine fuelled
with the optimum animal fat emulsion (explained in Part
1) is studied experimentally. Ethanol animal fat emulsion
shows increased cylinder peak pressure and ignition delay.
Higher premixed combustion and lower combustion duration are found with the emulsions as compared to neat fat.
Further, improvement in performance and signicant
reduction in smoke, nitric oxide emissions, hydrocarbon
and carbon monoxide emissions are achieved mainly at
high power outputs.
Emulsication of animal fat with ethanol and water can
be a promising technique for using animal fat eciently in
diesel engines without any modications in the engine.
Simultaneous reduction in nitric oxide and smoke can be
achieved with the use of animal fat emulsions. However,
poor part load performance needs attention. Techniques
like exhaust gas recirculation, cetane improvers etc. can
further improve the emulsion performance at part loads.
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