Performance of a drop-in biofuel emulsion on a single-cylinder research diesel engine

Maria Bogarra Macias, Omid Doustdar, Fayad Fayad, Mirek Wyszynski, Athanasios Tsolakis, Andrzej Pacek

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Current targets in reducing CO2 and other greenhouse gases as well as fossil fuel depletion have promoted the research for alternatives to petroleum-based fuels. Pyrolysis oil (PO) from biomass and waste oil is seen as a method to reduce life-cycle CO2, broaden the energy mix and increase the use of renewable fuels. The abundancy and low prices of feedstock have attracted the attention of biomass pyrolysis in order to obtain energy-dense products. Research has been carried out in optimising the pyrolysis process, finding efficient ways to convert the waste to energy. However, the pyrolysis products have a high content in water, high viscosity and high corrosiveness which makes them unsuitable for engine combustion. Upgrading processes such as gasification, trans-esterification or hydro-deoxynegation are then needed. These processes are normally costly and require high energy input. Thus, emulsification in fossil fuels or alcohols is being used as an alternative. In this research work, the feasibility of using PO-diesel emulsion in a single-cylinder diesel engine has been investigated. In-cylinder pressure, regulated gaseous emissions, particulate matter, fuel consumption and lubricity analysis reported. The tests were carried out of a stable non-corrosive wood pyrolysis product produced by Future Blends Ltd of Milton Park, Oxfordshire, UK. The product is trademarked by FBL, and is a stabilized fraction of raw pyrolysis oil produced in a process for which the patent is pending. The results show an increase in gaseous emissions, fuel consumption and a reduction in soot. The combustion was delayed with the emulsified fuel and a high variability was observed during engine operation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-16
JournalCombustion Engine PTNSS
Issue number166
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016


  • pyrolysis oil
  • emulsion
  • wood pyrolysis
  • engine testing


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