A comparative study on the performance of biodiesel in a modern 1.9L turbo diesel engine
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis comprises of the testing and evaluation of a modern diesel engine running on both biodiesel and mineral diesel on the upgraded Bio-fuels Testing Facility (BTF) at Stellenbosch University. The project was motivated by the need to install a modern diesel engine onto the existing BTF test rig for biodiesel testing. In this project, the BTF was re-designed to support a new Volkswagen 1.9L TDI engine. The capabilities of the BTF were then expanded further by the implementation of a low-cost pressure indicating system, utilising an optical pressure transducer. During the testing of biodiesel, it was found that the calorific value of the biodiesel was 14% lower than that of the tested mineral diesel. The ignition quality (cetane index) of the biodiesel was also lower than that of the mineral diesel. Even so, the engine only experienced a maximum power loss of 4.2%. During heat-release analysis, it was determined that there was no significant difference in the combustion process of biodiesel and that of mineral diesel. The conclusion could be made that biodiesel is suitable for use in modern TDI engines. Testing validated the operation of the upgraded test cell, and in trials it was determined that the test results are highly repeatable. The pressure indicating set proved to have some limitations. Only simplified heat-release analyses and reasonable indicated power calculations could be performed with the indicating set. Recommendations were made for improvement in future research.