Heat and Mass Transfer

, Volume 55, Issue 5, pp 1513–1534 | Cite as

Evaluation of methyl ester derived from novel Chlorella emersonii as an alternative feedstock for DI diesel engine & its combustion, performance and tailpipe emissions

  • Lingesan Subramani
  • Harish VenuEmail author


This work examines the feasibility of fueling methyl ester derived from green algae species, Chlorella emersonii in a compression ignition engine. This work also proposes Chlorella emersonii methyl ester (CEME) as a potential alternative energy source since the above species is available extensively in freshwater, marine and aquatic ecosystems throughout the world. CEME was blended with petroleum diesel fuel at various volume proportions of 10%, 20%, 30%, 40% and 100% and their properties were analyzed as per ASTM standards for its application as biofuel. The prepared test fuels were analyzed experimentally in a single cylinder diesel engine at a constant speed (1500 rev/min) for its performance, combustion and emission (regulated and unregulated) characteristics. Test results indicated that, the characteristics of 20% CEME+80% DIESEL fuel blend was in par with neat DIESEL fuel in terms of thermal efficiency, THC (total hydrocarbon), CO (carbon monoxide) and smoke emissions. However, CEME blends resulted in slightly higher levels of CO2 (carbon dioxide) and NOx (oxides of nitrogen) emissions. In terms of unregulated emissions, CEME blends in DIESEL showed lowered toluene and acetaldehyde emissions. However, acetone and formaldehyde emissions increased with higher percentage of CEME in DIESEL blend. At full load, the attained cylinder pressure and heat release rate of CEME were comparatively lower than DIESEL fuel. Overall, it can be concluded that B20 (20% CEME +80% DIESEL fuel) blend can be a positive variant feedstock and it can be utilized in an unmodified diesel engine with minimal tailpipe emissions.



American Society for Testing and Materials


Brake Specific Fuel Consumption


Brake Thermal Efficiency


Chlorella Emersonii Methyl Ester


Chlorella Emersonii Oil


Cumulative Heat Release Rate


Carbon monoxide


Carbon dioxide


Exhaust Gas Temperature




Heat Release Rate


Ignition delay


Methanol-to-oil ratio


Oxides of Nitrogen




Total unburned Hydrocarbon

Symbols and nomenclatures


Instantaneous heat release rate, N/m2


Instantaneous cylinder volume, m3


Uncertainty of measured variables


Number of readings

\( \overline{{\mathrm{X}}_{\mathrm{i}}} \)

Experimental readings


Crank angle, degree


Ratio of specific heats (Cp/Cv), kJ/kgK


Blow-by losses, J/oCA

\( \frac{d{Q}_{lw}}{d\theta} \)

Heat transfer to combustion chamber walls, J/oCA

\( \frac{{\mathrm{d}\mathrm{Q}}_{\mathrm{n}}}{\mathrm{d}\uptheta} \)

Net heat release rate, J/oCA

\( \frac{{\mathrm{d}\mathrm{Q}}_{\mathrm{g}}}{\mathrm{d}\uptheta} \)

Gross heat release rate, J/oCA



The authors thank Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), University Grand Commission (UGC), New Delhi and Government of India for its technical support for this investigation; thank Centre for Biotechnology, Anna University for its assistance in algal growth, culture and oil extraction. The authors also thank the Chemical engineering department, Anna University for fuel property characterization.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Automobile Engineering, Madras Institute of Technology CampusAnna UniversityChennaiIndia
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringSaveetha Institute of Medical and Technical Sciences (SIMATS)ChennaiIndia

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