Vegetable Oil Derived Fuels for Civil Works Diesel Engine Applications
CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERING RESEARCH LAB (ARMY) CHAMPAIGN IL
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This report describes the final phase of research into ways of using renewable vegetable oil products as fuel alternatives for modern diesel engines supporting Civil Works. A survey of the literature revealed that vegetable oil in its neat form has three major deficiencies with respect to use as a fuel nozzle coking, combustion chamber fouling, and excessive lubricating oil dilution. By modifying the vegetable oil through a transesterification process, a product known as methyl ester soyate MESO can be produced which significantly alleviates the nozzle coking and combustion chamber fouling difficulties, while decreasing lubricating oil dilution. Laboratory experiments were conducted to study dilution and lubricating oil degradation. The conclusion was that, for dilutions of 5 percent or less, diesel engines can be operated on MESO, provided that lubricating oil condition is monitored properly. Finally, a field test of MESO in a diesel generator set is described. Keywords Diesel fuels, Vegetable oils.