Performance, emission and combustion characteristics of an indirect injection (IDI) multi-cylinder compression ignition (CI) engine operating on neat jatropha and karanj oils preheated by jacket water

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Renewable non-edible plant oils such as jatropha and karanj have potential to substitute fossil diesel fuels in CI engines. A multi-cylinder water cooled IDI type CI engine has been tested with jatropha and karanj oils and comparisons made against fossil diesel. The physical and chemical properties of the three fuels were measured to investigate the suitability of jatropha and karanj oils as fuels for CI engines. The engine cooling water circuit and fuel supply systems were modified such that hot jacket water preheated the neat plant oil prior to injection. Between jatropha and karanj there was little difference in the performance, emission and combustion results. Compared to fossil diesel, the brake specific fuel consumption on volume basis was around 3% higher for the plant oils and the brake thermal efficiency was almost similar. Jatropha and karanj operation resulted in higher CO 2 and NO x emissions by 7% and 8% respectively, as compared to diesel. The cylinder gas pressure diagram showed stable engine operation with both plant oils. At full load, the plant oils gave around 3% higher peak cylinder pressure than fossil diesel. With the plant oils, cumulative heat release was smaller at low load and almost similar at full load, compared to diesel. At full load, the plant oils exhibited 5% shorter combustion duration. The study concludes that the IDI type CI engine can be efficiently operated with neat jatropha (or karanj) oil preheated by jacket water, after small modifications of the engine cooling and fuel supply circuits.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-342
Number of pages11
JournalBiomass and Bioenergy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2012


  • biofuel, CI engine, combustion, emissions, non-edible plant oil, performance