Table of Contents
ISRN Renewable Energy
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 352024, 12 pages
Research Article

Sunflower Methyl Ester as an Engine Fuel: Performance Evaluation and Emissions Analysis

Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA

Received 5 September 2013; Accepted 26 September 2013

Academic Editors: K. T. Lee and Y.-C. Lin

Copyright © 2013 Bjorn S. Santos 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.


Biodiesel from sunflower oil offers a potential as an alternative to petroleum-based diesel fuel and must be evaluated in terms of the resulting engine performance and exhaust emissions. Two diesel engines rated at 14.2 kW (small) and 60 kW (large) were operated on pure sunflower methyl ester (SFME) and its blends with a reference diesel (REFDIESEL). Results showed that less power and torque were delivered by both the small and large engines when ran on pure SFME than on REFDIESEL, while brake-specific fuel consumption (BSFC) was found to be higher in pure SFME. Blends of SFME with REFDIESEL (B5 and B20) showed negligible power loss and similar BSFC with the REFDIESEL. Higher concentrations of nitrogen oxides ( ), carbon dioxide (CO2), and total hydrocarbons (THC) in the exhaust emissions were observed for both pure SFME and SFME-REFDIESEL fuel blends. Comparison with soybean methyl ester indicates similar engine performance. Thus, blends of SFME with diesel may be used as a supplemental fuel for steady-state nonroad diesel engines to take advantage of the lubricity of biodiesel as well as contributing to the goal of lowering the dependence to petroleum diesel.