Experimental Studies on Utilization of Prunus armeniaca L. (Wild Apricot) Biodiesel as an Alternative Fuel for CI Engine
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In present research work, Prunus armeniaca L. (Wild Apricot) Seed oil has been investigated to produce biodiesel. The free fatty acid (FFA) content of the Prunus armeniaca oil (PAO) was <2%, so a single stage alkali catalyzed transesterification process was used to produce Prunus armeniaca methyl ester (PAME). The transesterification was conducted using optimum condition of 1% (w/w) potassium hydroxide as catalyst, 55 °C reaction temperature and 60 min reaction time with constant stirring at 400 rpm. Transesterification process gave a maximum yield of 96.5% by weight of Prunus armeniaca biodiesel. Fuel properties determined in the study conform to standards set for the ASTM D6751 and EN 14214. PAME exhibited a satisfying oxidative stability of 6.3 h and high cetane number (58.7) compared to petrodiesel (49.7). The experiments were conducted using various blends (B5, B10, B20 and B30) of the methyl ester of PAO with diesel in a single cylinder, four strokes, and direct injection diesel engine. The test results show that the brake thermal efficiency (BTE), in general, was found to be decreased and brake specific fuel consumption (BSFC) increased with increased volume fraction of P. armeniaca biodiesel (PAME) in the blends. A marginally higher BTE and lower BSFC noticed for B5 blend than diesel. At higher load conditions, CO, UHC and smoke opacity were found lower for all PAME blends in comparison to neat diesel. The NOx emissions were found to be increased for PAME based fuel in comparison to neat diesel. It may be concluded from the experimental investigations that PAME, can be an alternative for petrodiesel that can be used in a diesel engine without any major modification in the engine.
KeywordsPrunus armeniaca L. oil Prunus armeniaca methyl ester (PAME) Transesterification Physico-chemical characteristics Engine performance and emission
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