NOx emission reduction using permanent/electromagnet-based fuel reforming system in a compression ignition engine fueled with pine oil


In this experimental study, pine oil is identified as low viscous low cetane (LVLC) fuel for compression ignition engine replacing diesel. Numerous advantages of LVLC fuels include improved combustion due to favorable physical properties than diesel. This leads to reduced hydrocarbon, smoke and carbon monoxide emissions with improved thermal efficiency. However, utilization of pine oil as a drop in fuel is challenging, due to its low cetane index. This leads to higher nitrogen oxide (NOx) emission due to prominent heat release rate. A novel fuel reforming system based on the principle of electrochemical liquid vortex ionization was used with permanent magnet/electromagnet to reduce NOx emission with pine oil as base fuel. Electrochemical liquid vortex ionization system converts the fuel molecules to ions; this leads to enhanced atomization and faster air–fuel mixing process leading to lower ignition delay. A two-cylinder commercial CI engine was used for this experimental study. Performance, emission and combustion characteristics were studied for pine oil with and without ionization system at 3, 6, 9 and 12 kW power output and compared with diesel. According to engine test results, compared to diesel, brake thermal efficiency for pine oil is higher and further improved with ionization system. Emissions like smoke, hydrocarbon, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide are reduced for pine oil in comparison with diesel and further reduce with the ionization system. Longer ignition delay with pine oil operation leads to higher NOx emission compared to diesel. Nevertheless, the use of magnetic-based fuel reforming system reduces the ignition delay leading to lower NOx emission.

Graphical abstract

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 11
Fig. 12
Fig. 13
Fig. 14


  1. Agarwal AK, Gupta JG, Dhar A (2017) Potential and challenges for large-scale application of biodiesel in automotive sector. Prog Energy Combust Sci 61:113–149.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Al-Fagaan S, Al-Ajmi S, Yamin J (2015) Relative performance of a direct ignition diesel engine using biodiesel as fuel under magnetic fuel conditioner. In: 2015 International conference on sustainable mobility applications, renewables and technology (SMART).

  3. Bhuiya MMK, Rasul MG, Khan MMK, Ashwath N, Azad AK (2016) Prospects of 2nd generation biodiesel as a sustainable fuel—part: 1 selection of feedstocks, oil extraction techniques and conversion technologies. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 55:1109–1128.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Bhunia P, John RP, Yan S, Tyagi RD, Surampalli RY (2010) Algal biodiesel production: challenges and opportunities. Bioenergy Biofuel Biowastes Biomass 1:313–345.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Davidson CI, Phalen RF, Solomon PA (2005) Airborne particulate matter and human health: a review. Aerosol Sci Technol 39(8):737–749.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Du E, Cai L, Huang K, Tang H, Xu X, Tao R (2018) Reducing viscosity to promote biodiesel for energy security and improve combustion efficiency. Fuel 211:194–196.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Holman JP (2004) Experimental techniques for engineers, 7th edn. Tata McGraw Hill, New Delhi

    Google Scholar 

  8. Huang H, Teng W, Liu Q, Zhou C, Wang Q, Wang X (2016) Combustion performance and emission characteristics of a diesel engine under low-temperature combustion of pine oil–diesel blends. Energy Convers Manag 128:317–326.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Joshi G, Pandey JK, Rana S, Rawat DS (2017) Challenges and opportunities for the application of biofuel. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 79:850–866.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Kasiraman G, Edwin Geo V, Nagalingam B (2016) Assessment of cashew nut shell oil as an alternate fuel for CI (compression ignition) engines. Energy 101:402–410.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Khiari K, Awad S, Loubar K, Tarabet L, Mahmoud R, Tazerout M (2016) Experimental investigation of Pistacia lentiscus biodiesel as a fuel for direct injection diesel engine. Energy Convers Manag 108:392–399.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Mansour ARS (2017) System containing nanoparticles and magnetizing components combined with an ultrasonic atomizer used for saving diesel in an internal combustion engine. U.S. patent application 14/826,881

  13. May I, Pedrozo V, Zhao H, Cairns A, Whelan S, Wong H, Bennicke P (2016) Characterization and potential of premixed dual-fuel combustion in a heavy duty natural gas/diesel engine. SAE technical paper series.

  14. Nufus TH, Setiawan RPA, Hermawan W, Tambunan AH (2017) The effect of electro magnetic field intensity to biodiesel characteristics. J Pendidik Fisika Indones 13(2):119–126.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Panneerselvam N, Ramesh M, Murugesan A, Vijayakumar C, Subramaniam D, Kumaravel A (2016) Effect on direct injection naturally aspirated diesel engine characteristics fuelled by pine oil, Ceiba pentandra methyl ester compared with diesel. Transp Res Part D Transp Environ 48:225–234.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Reşitoğlu İA, Altinişik K, Keskin A (2014) The pollutant emissions from diesel-engine vehicles and exhaust aftertreatment systems. Clean Technol Environ Policy 17(1):15–27.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Ryan T, Maly RR (2008) Fuel effects on engine combustion and emissions. Flow Combust Recipr Eng 1:381–420.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Senthil R, Sivakumar E, Silambarasan R (2015) Effect of di ethyl ether on the performance and emission characteristics of a diesel engine using biodiesel–eucalyptus oil blend. RSC Adv 5(67):54019–54027.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  19. Skeete J-P (2017) Examining the role of policy design and policy interaction in EU automotive emissions performance gaps. Energy Policy 104:373–381.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Subramanian T, Varuvel EG, Martin LJ, Beddhannan N (2017) Effect of lower and higher alcohol fuel synergies in biofuel blends and exhaust treatment system on emissions from CI engine. Environ Sci Pollut Res 24(32):25103–25113.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  21. Subramanian T, Varuvel EG, Leenus JM, Beddhannan N (2018) Effect of electrochemical conversion of biofuels using ionization system on CO2 emission mitigation in CI engine along with post-combustion system. Fuel Process Technol 173:21–29.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  22. Tamilselvan P, Nallusamy N (2015) Performance, combustion and emission characteristics of a compression ignition engine operating on pine oil. Biofuels 6(5–6):273–281.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  23. Thiyagarajan S, Geo VE, Leenus JM, Nagalingam B (2017) Experimental investigation to reduce CO2 emission in a single cylinder CI engine using low carbon fuel blend with Karanja oil methyl ester and amine injection in the exhaust manifold. Int J Glob Warm 13(3/4):278.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Tutak W, Lukács K, Szwaja S, Bereczky Á (2015) Alcohol–diesel fuel combustion in the compression ignition engine. Fuel 154:196–206.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  25. Vallinayagam R, Vedharaj S, Yang WM, Lee PS, Chua KJE, Chou SK (2014) Pine oil–biodiesel blends: a double biofuel strategy to completely eliminate the use of diesel in a diesel engine. Appl Energy 130:466–473.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  26. Vallinayagam R, Vedharaj S, Yang WM, Roberts WL, Dibble RW (2015) Feasibility of using less viscous and lower cetane (LVLC) fuels in a diesel engine: a review. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 51:1166–1190.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  27. Varatharajan K, Cheralathan M, Velraj R (2011) Mitigation of NOx emissions from a jatropha biodiesel fuelled DI diesel engine using antioxidant additives. Fuel 90(8):2721–2725.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  28. Wan Ghazali WNM, Mamat R, Masjuki HH, Najafi G (2015) Effects of biodiesel from different feedstocks on engine performance and emissions: a review. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 51:585–602.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to S. Thiyagarajan.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Thiyagarajan, S., Edwin Geo, V., Ashok, B. et al. NOx emission reduction using permanent/electromagnet-based fuel reforming system in a compression ignition engine fueled with pine oil. Clean Techn Environ Policy 21, 815–825 (2019).

Download citation


  • Pine oil
  • Electrochemical liquid vortex ionization system
  • NOx emission
  • Ignition delay
  • Electromagnet
  • Permanent magnet