Term of Award

Summer 2013

Degree Name

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

Document Type and Release Option


Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Mechanical Engineering

Committee Chair

Valentin Soloiu

Committee Member 1

Aniruddha Mitra

Committee Member 2

Anoop Desai


This study investigates the combustion characteristics of cotton seed FAME (C100 and C20), in a direct injection diesel engine. The research compares the combustion and emissions characteristics of cotton seed FAME to ultra-low sulfur diesel #2 (ULSD#2) to investigate possible use in a startup boiler to produce steam for large boiler operation, and for use in diesel engine generators. Fuel properties including viscosity, oxidation stability, lower heating value, thermo-gravimetric and differential thermal analysis, and spray characteristics were analyzed. Fuel property measurements were comparable to ULSD#2 in every aspect except oxidation stability which showed the C100 being stable for a shorter period of time. Mechanical efficiency of ULSD was 83% and presented a 5% decrease for C100; while the overall efficiency was 36% for ULSD and 33% for C100 at 8 bar IMEP. The NOX for C100 was improved and presented an 11% decrease compared with ULSD. Unburned hydrocarbons value (UHC) for ULSD was 2.8 g/kWh at 8 bar IMEP, and were improved by 18% for C100. The carbon monoxide (CO) and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions for C100 was improved with a 17% reduction compared with ULSD at 3 bar but were relatively constant at 8 bar IMEP, presenting a value of 0.82 g/kWh for both fuels. The soot value for ULSD was 1.5 g/kWh and presented an improved 42% decrease for C100 at 8 bar IMEP. The results suggest a very good performance of cotton seed biodiesel, even at very high content of 100%, especially on the emissions side that showed decreasing values for regulated and non-regulated species.

Research Data and Supplementary Material