Table of Contents
ISRN Renewable Energy
Volume 2011, Article ID 531510, 12 pages
Research Article

Performance and Emissions of Sunflower, Rapeseed, and Cottonseed Oils as Fuels in an Agricultural Tractor Engine

1Department of Natural Resources & Agricultural Engineering, Agricultural University of Athens, Iera Odos 75, 118 55 Athens, Greece
2Department of Agriculture Crop Production and Rural Environment, University of Thessaly, Fytoko street, 384 46 N. Ionia, Greece

Received 20 July 2011; Accepted 18 August 2011

Academic Editors: M. S. Abdel-Mottaleb and C. Muraleedharan

Copyright © 2011 Athanasios Balafoutis et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A comparative experimental investigation was conducted to evaluate the performance and exhaust emissions of an agricultural tractor engine when fueled with sunflower oil, rapeseed oil, and cottonseed oil and their blends with diesel fuel (20/80, 40/60 and 70/30 volumetrically). Tests were also carried out with diesel fuel to be used as a reference point. Engine power, torque, BSFC, thermal efficiency, NOx and CO2 were recorded for each tested fuel. All vegetable oils resulted in normal operation without problems during the short-term experiments. The 20/80 blends showed unstable results, in comparison to higher oil content fuels. Power, Torque and BSFC were higher as oil content was increased in the fuel. Rapeseed oil fuels showed increased power, torque and thermal efficiency with simultaneous lower BSFC in comparison to the other two vegetable oils. Cottonseed oil fuels gave better engine performance than sunflower oil fuels. In all oil types, NOx emissions were augmented when fuel oil percentage was increased. Cottonseed oil fuels led to higher NOx emission increase compared to rapeseed oil fuels. CO2 emissions showed a tendency to be increased as the oil content was evolved. The highest CO2 emissions were given by cottonseed oil fuels, followed by rapeseed and sunflower oil.