Term of Award

Summer 2011

Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Engineering (M.S.A.E.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Department

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Committee Chair

Valentin Soloiu

Committee Member 1

Anoop Desai

Committee Member 2

Gustav Molina

Committee Member 3

Norman Schmidt

Abstract

Author's abstract: To meet evolving standards set forth by the U.S. EPA and U.S. Energy Policy it is necessary to consider a variety of feedstock for biofuels synthesis and to understand the role individual fatty acids contribute to the overall performance. It is the belief of the authors that excess peanut production would provide an excellent source for high quality biodiesel feedstock, and the complete property and combustion analysis of the fatty acid components will provide insight for future biofuel developments. The preliminary investigations of the project focused on the combustion performance and thermal efficiency of peanut FAME and its main FAME component the methyl oleate using a single cylinder naturally aspirated compression ignition engine. The ignition delay at 2200 rpm, 4.78 bmep (100% load) remained constant for all biodiesel-diesel blends tested. The rate of heat release for 50 % peanut FAME diesel blend (P50) reached a slightly higher maximum of 20.0 J/Crank Angle Degrees (CAD) D100 at 17.5 J/CAD. The heat release rate for O50 attained a slightly lower maximum at 15.5 J/CAD versus 17.5 J/CAD for D100. The combustion duration decreased by approximately 5 CAD from D100 to P50 and O50. The analysis of mechanical efficiency while operating with peanut FAME diesel blends indicated a 4 % loss over the transition from D100 to P50. The engine's mechanical efficiency using O50 decreased by 8 % compared to D100 and the overall efficiency of the engine remained constant for all tested fuels at the same speed and bmep. Preliminary findings support peanut FAME as a viable option when blended and used with diesel engines and begins to account the effect methyl oleate has on the performance of the full bodied peanut FAME.

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