Open Access

Experimental Studies and Theoretical Modelling of Diesel Engine Running on Biodiesels from South African Sunflower and Canola Oils


The attributes of cost-effectiveness, reliability, consistency and better understanding, have made researchers prefer studying engine characteristics of IC engines fuelled with alternative fuels/diesel blends with computer simulation compared to conventional experimental study. For the first time, the study attempted to simulate combustion, performance, and emission characteristics of biodiesels from Canola and Sunflower oil domiciled in South Africa. The properties of biodiesel vary from one region to another depending on the local properties of the feedstock used for its production. In this study, a computer model-based C++ was used to evaluate the performance characteristics of biodiesel fuels produced from local South African sunflower and canola oil feedstocks. The developed model was validated using experimental results. The performance characteristics of biodiesel and biodiesel-diesel blends from these oils were tested in a Mercedes Benz OM 364A turbocharged four-stroke, four-cylinder direct ignition industrial diesel engine. Results show similar combustion characteristics for all the tested samples. Diesel shows a higher brake power and higher exhaust gas temperature than all the tested fuel samples. The brake thermal efficiency increases with the amount of biodiesel in the biodiesel-diesel blends. Biodiesel and its diesel blends show higher specific fuel consumption than diesel. In terms of emissions, nitrogen oxide emission was higher for biodiesel and its blends with diesel compared with diesel while smoke emission from biodiesel and its diesel blends was lower compared with diesel.

Publication timeframe:
2 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, other