Ramesh Babu Nallamoth,Tesfahun Tegegne, & B.V. Appa Rao
This paper presents the results of investigations carried out in extracting, transesterifying, studying the fuel properties of Castor oil Methyl Ester (CME) and its blend with diesel fuel and in running a diesel engine with these fuels. Engine tests have been carried out with the aim of obtaining comparative measures of torque, power, and specific fuel consumption. In this research, castor oil was extracted by using a mechanical pressing machine, transesterified by using methyl alcohol and potassium hydroxide as a catalyst so that its viscosity and density are reduced and its volatility is increased and can be used in the existing diesel engines without requiring extensive modifications. The fuel characteristics were studied following the standard procedures given in ASTM book so that whether it fulfills the requirements needed to be used as a fuel in internal combustion engines or not. From the characterization result, it was proved that transesterified castor oil was found to be a promising alternative fuel for compression ignition (diesel) engines. But the viscosity of CME is still higher and the energy content is a little bit less as compared to petrodiesel. To solve these problems CME was blended with petrodiesel in some proportion (B5, B10, B20, B40, B80). The torque, power and brake specific fuel consumption performances of CME and its blends with petrodiesel were tested in a four stroke diesel engine, analyzed and compared with that of petrodiesel and found to be very nearly similar making CME a suitable alternative fuel for petrodiesel.