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Properties and effects of organic additives on performance and emission characteristics of diesel engine: a comprehensive review

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Fast depletion of conventional automobile fuels and environmental pollution due to exhaust emission are the issues of great importance. Improvement in engine performance and emission control is quite difficult to handle simultaneously. The fuel properties can be improved substantially by incorporation of additives in different proportions to get better emission standard without deteriorating the engine performance. The aim of current study is to review/summarize the effects of various organic additives on the engine performance (i.e., brake thermal efficiency, brake specific fuel consumption, volumetric efficiency, etc.) and emissions (i.e., carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, particulate matter, and other harmful compounds). The physico-chemical and combustion properties (i.e., density, latent heat, dynamic viscosity, flash point, boiling point, cetane number, oxygen content, lower heating value, auto-ignition temperature, etc.) of various additives were also discussed to check the suitability of additives with diesel. Finally, limitations and opportunities using organic additives with respect to engine performance and combustion were discussed to guide future research and improvement in this field.

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Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8



After top dead center


Brake power


Brake mean effective pressure


Brake specific energy consumption


Brake specific fuel consumption


Before top dead center


Brake thermal efficiency


Degree centigrade


Crank angle


Compression ignition


Carbon monoxide

CO2 :

Carbon dioxide


Compression ratio


Common rail direct injection




Direct injection


Dimethyl ether


Dimethyl furan


Di-n-buthyl ether


2-Ethoxy ethyl acetate


Ethylene glycol monoacetate


Exhaust gas recirculation


Ethyl ter-butyl ether


2-Ethoxy ethyl ether


Energy Information Administration




Homogeneous charge compression ignition


Indicated mean effective pressure


Indicated thermal efficiency










2-Methoxy ethyl acetate


Mega joule


Mega Pascal


Metric tons


2-Methoxy ethyl ether






Nitrogen oxides


Particulate matter


Parts per million


Revolutions per minute


Reactivity controlled compression ignition


Selective catalytic reduction


Ter-amyl ethyl ether


Unburnt hydrocarbon


Ultralow sulfur diesel


Variable compression ratio


Volumetric efficiency




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The authors are grateful to Rajasthan Technical University (RTU), Kota and Swami Keshvanand Institute of Technology, Management and Gramothan (SKIT), Jaipur, for providing the research facility to conduct this study. Special thanks to Prof. S. L. Surana (Director Academics), Mrs. Rachna Meel (Registrar) and Prof. R. K. Pachar (Principal) SKIT, Jaipur for their kind support and motivation.

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Correspondence to Chandan Kumar.

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Kumar, C., Rana, K.B., Tripathi, B. et al. Properties and effects of organic additives on performance and emission characteristics of diesel engine: a comprehensive review. Environ Sci Pollut Res 25, 22475–22498 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-018-2537-6

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  • Combustion properties
  • Diesel engine
  • Emission
  • Organic additives
  • Performance
  • Physico-chemical properties