INAE Letters

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 33–39 | Cite as

Formulation and Extension of Diesel-Based Microemulsion Fuels for Compression Ignition Engines

  • Iyman Abrar
  • Ashok N. Bhaskarwar
Original Article


There is a need for sustainable alternative fuels which can address and alleviate both economical and environmental issues. The current work is based on alcohol–diesel–water microemulsion fuels. Microemulsions are thermodynamically stable and isotropic dispersions of oil, water, and an amphiphile. Diesel is used as the oil phase in microemulsion while water in it reduces the combustion temperature which, in turn, reduces the NOx and smoke emissions. In this work, an alcohol has been used, that acts both as a surfactant and a co-surfactant, thereby making the process facile and economical. The microemulsion regions are mapped out in ternary phase diagrams. The initial measurements suggest that the microemulsions have a higher calorific value, and lesser soot and residue formation as compared to that with neat diesel. The microemulsions also have properties such as density, viscosity, flash and fire points, and cloud and pour points close to those of neat diesel. The effect of various ionic and non-ionic surfactants on the extent of microemulsion region has also been studied. Hydrophilic surfactant expands the microemulsion domain while hydrophobic surfactant shrinks the same. Cationic surfactant does not have much influence on the microemulsion domain, while an anionic surfactant surprisingly does not yield any microemulsions by the current methodology.


Diesel replacement Microemulsions Alternative fuels CI engines Surfactant 



The authors would like to acknowledge DST INSPIRE (IF150907) Fellowship to Ms. Iyman Abrar, and DST SERB (EMR/2016/004152) research grant for the current research work.


  1. Abrar I, Bhaskarwar AN (2016) A microemulsion fuel composition and method of formulating. Indian patent application no. 201611039919Google Scholar
  2. ASTM: D975-15b (2015) Standard specification for diesel fuel oils. ASTM Int. Google Scholar
  3. Balamurugan T, Nalini R (2014) Experimental investigation on performance, combustion and emission characteristics of four stroke diesel engine using diesel blended with alcohol as fuel. Energy 78:356–363. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bhattacharya TK, Chandra R, Mishra TN (2006) Performance characteristics of a stationary constant speed compression ignition engine on alcohol-diesel microemulsions. Agric Eng Int CIGR J 8:1–18Google Scholar
  5. Chandra R, Kumar R (2007) Fuel properties of some stable alcohol–diesel microemulsions for their use in compression ignition engines. Energy Fuels 21:3410–3414CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chandra R, Mishra TN, Bhattacharya TK (2006) Exhaust emission characteristics of alcohol–diesel microemulsions in a low bhp constant speed compression ignition engine. J Inst Eng Agric Eng Div 87:15–19Google Scholar
  7. Danielsson I, Lindman B (1981) The definition of microemulsion. Colloids Surf 3:391–392. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Davies JT (1957) A quantitative kinetic theory of emulsion type. I. Physical chemistry of the emulsifying agent. In: Gas/liquid and liquid/liquid interfaces. In: 2nd international congress surface activity. Butterworths, London, pp 426–438Google Scholar
  9. Debnath BK, Saha UK, Sahoo N (2015) A comprehensive review on the application of emulsions as an alternative fuel for diesel engines. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 42:196–211. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Do LD, Singh V, Chen L, Kibbey TCG, Gollahalli SR, Sabatini DA (2011) Algae, canola, or palm oils—diesel microemulsion fuels: phase behaviors, viscosity, and combustion properties. Int J Green Energy 8:748–767. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fahd MEA, Wenming Y, Lee PS, Chou SK, Yap CR (2013) Experimental investigation of the performance and emission characteristics of direct injection diesel engine by water emulsion diesel under varying engine load condition. Appl Energy 102:1042–1049. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fernando S, Hanna M (2005) Phase behavior of the ethanol–biodiesel–diesel micro-emulsion system. Trans Am Soc Agric Eng 48:903–908CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Griffin WC (1949) Classification of surface-active agents by “HLB”. J Cosmet Sci 1:311–326Google Scholar
  14. Ithnin AM, Ahmad MA, Bakar MAA, Rajoo S, Yahya WJ (2015) Combustion performance and emission analysis of diesel engine fuelled with water-in-diesel emulsion fuel made from low-grade diesel fuel. Energy Convers Manag 90:375–382. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Khan MY, Karim ZAA, Aziz RA, Tan IM (2014a) Experimental investigation of microexplosion occurrence in water in diesel emulsion droplets during the Leidenfrost effect. Energy Fuels 28:7079–7084. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Khan MY, Karim ZAA, Hagos FY, Aziz ARA, Tan IM (2014b) Current trends in water-in-diesel emulsion as a fuel. Sci World J 2014:1–15. Google Scholar
  17. Lin C, Wang K (2003) The fuel properties of three-phase emulsions as an alternative fuel for diesel engines. Fuel 82:1367–1375. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Mehta RN, Barad JM, Chakraborty M, Parikh PA (2012) A stability and performance study of ethanol–diesel microemulsion fuel. Pet Sci Technol 30:159–169. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Neto AAD, Fernandes MR, Neto ELB, Dantas CTN, Moura MCPA (2011) Alternative fuels composed by blends of nonionic surfactant with diesel and water: engine performance and emissions. Braz J Chem Eng 28:521–531. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Neto DAA, Fernandes MR, Neto ELB, Dantas CTN, Moura MCPA (2013) Effect of biodiesel/diesel-based microemulsions on the exhaust emissions of a diesel engine. Braz J Pet Gas 7:141–153. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Rakopoulos DC, Rakopoulos CD, Giakoumis EG, Dimaratos AM, Kyritsis DC (2010) Effects of butanol–diesel fuel blends on the performance and emissions of a high-speed DI diesel engine. Energy Convers Manag 51:1989–1997. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Rakopoulos DC, Rakopoulos CD, Papagiannakis RG, Kyritsis DC (2011) Combustion heat release analysis of ethanol or n-butanol diesel fuel blends in heavy-duty DI diesel engine. Fuel 90:1855–1867. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Varatharajan K, Cheralathan M, Velraj R (2011) Mitigation of NOx emissions from a jatropha biodiesel fuelled DI diesel engine using antioxidant additives. Fuel 90:2721–2725. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Indian National Academy of Engineering 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology DelhiNew DelhiIndia

Personalised recommendations