Volume 8, Issue 2 (February 2011)
Performance Characteristics of a Dual Fuel Engine Operated with Mahua Biodiesel and Liquefied Petroleum Gas
Fuel crisis because of dramatic increase in vehicular population and environmental concerns have renewed the interest of the scientific community to look for alternative fuels of bio-origin such as vegetable oils and ethanol. India is looking at biodiesel derived from Mahua oil (MO), as one of the renewable alternative fuels for compression ignition (CI) engine. Although MO biodiesel (MOB) has several advantages over fossil diesel, in the present scenario, the use of biodiesel is restricted due to its high cost. In India, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is easily available and is one of the cheapest gaseous fuels. Hence, use of LPG to fuel a CI engine along with MOB seems to be an option for substitution of fossil diesel. In the present work, LPG, which was fumigated along with the air and biodiesel was admitted into the engine cylinder through conventional fueling device as an igniter. A single cylinder CI engine was modified to work in dual fuel mode and engine tests were carried out at rated speed under variable load conditions. The performance of the engine in dual fuel mode was compared with the diesel. The dual fuel operation results in thermal efficiency close to the diesel and also reduces the NOx and smoke emissions significantly. From the experimental results, we concluded that biodiesel in dual fuel mode with cheaper gaseous fuel induction is an option for reducing the operating cost of the biodiesel fuelled CI engine.