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Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Applied Engineering in Agriculture. VOL. 13(1):71-79. (doi: 10.13031/2013.21578) @1997
Authors:   C. L. Peterson, D. L. Reece, B. L. Hammond, J. Thompson, S. M. Beck
Keywords:   Fuels, Vegetable oils, Transesterification

Test quantities of ethyl and methyl esters of four renewable fuels were processed, characterized and performance tested. Canola, rapeseed, soybean oils, and beef tallow were the feedstocks for the methyl and ethyl esters. A complete set of fuel properties and a comparison of each fuel in engine performance tests are reported. The study examines short term engine tests with both methyl and ethyl ester fuels compared to number 2 diesel fuel (D2). Three engine performance tests were conducted including an engine mapping procedure, an injector coking screening test, and an engine power study.

The gross heat contents of the biodiesel fuels, on a mass basis, were 9 to 13% lower than D2. The viscosities of biodiesel were twice that of diesel. The cloud and pour points of D2 were significantly lower than the biodiesel fuels. The biodiesel fuels produced slightly lower power and torque and higher fuel consumption than D2.

In general, the physical and chemical properties and the performance of ethyl esters were comparable to those of the methyl esters. Ethyl and methyl esters have almost the same energy. The viscosity of the ethyl esters is slightly higher and the cloud and pour points are slightly lower than those of methyl esters. Engine tests demonstrated that methyl esters produced slightly higher power and torque than ethyl esters. Fuel consumption when using the methyl and ethyl esters is nearly identical. Some desirable attributes of the ethyl esters over methyl esters were: significantly lower smoke opacity, lower exhaust temperatures, and lower pour point. The ethyl esters tended to have more injector coking than the methyl esters, and the ethyl esters had a higher glycerol content than the methyl esters

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