Future of Fuel

Future of Fuel

Future of Fuel : The increasing industrialization and motorization of the world have led to a steep rise in the demand for petroleum-based fuels. Petroleum-based fuels are obtained from limited reserves. These finite reserves are highly concentrated in certain regions of the world.

Therefore, those countries not having these resources are facing an energy/foreign exchange crisis, mainly due to the import of crude petroleum.

Hence, it is necessary to look for alternative fuels which can be produced from resources available locally within the country such as alcohol, biodiesel, vegetable oils, etc. This paper reviews the production, characterization, and current statuses of vegetable oil and biodiesel as well as the experimental research work carried out in various countries. This paper touches upon well-to-wheel greenhouse gas emissions, well-to-wheel efficiencies, fuel versatility, infrastructure, availability, economics, engine performance and emissions, effect on wear, lubricating oil, etc.

The world is presently confronted with the twin crises of fossil fuel depletion and environmental degradation. Indiscriminate extraction and lavish consumption of fossil fuels have led to a reduction in underground-based carbon resources. The search for alternative fuels, which promise a harmonious correlation with sustainable development, energy conservation, efficiency, and environmental preservation, has

become highly pronounced in the present context. Various biofuel energy resources explored include biomass, biogas, primary alcohols, vegetable oils, biodiesel, etc. These alternative energy resources are largely environment-friendly but they need to be evaluated on a case-to-case basis for their advantages, disadvantages, and specific applications.

Some of these fuels can be used directly while others need to be formulated to bring the relevant properties closer to conventional fuels. Due to the recent widespread use of petroleum fuels in various sectors, this study concentrates on assessing the viability of using alternative fuels in the existing internal combustion engines.

Fuels being used in IC Engines

Ethanol has been known as a fuel for many decades. Indeed, when Henry Ford designed the Model T, it was his expectation that ethanol, made from renewable biological materials would be a major automobile fuel. However, gasoline emerged

as the dominant transportation fuel in the early twentieth century because of the ease of operation of gasoline engines with the materials then available for engine construction, and a growing supply of cheaper petroleum from oil field discoveries.

The new fuel had a lower octane rating than ethanol, was much more toxic, was generally more dangerous, and emitted harmful air pollutants. Gasoline was more likely to explode and burn accidentally, gum would form on storage surfaces,

and carbon deposits would form in the combustion chamber. Petroleum was much more physically and chemically diverse than ethanol, necessitating complex refining procedures to ensure the manufacture of a consistent ‘‘gasoline’’ product. Because of its lower octane rating relative to ethanol, the use of gasoline meant the use of lower compression engines and larger cooling systems. Diesel engine technology, which developed soon after the emergence of gasoline as the dominant transportation fuel, also resulted in the generation of large quantities of pollutants.

Ethanol is one of the possible fuels for diesel replacement in compression ignition (CI) engines also. The application of ethanol as a supplementary CI engine fuel may reduce environmental pollution, strengthen the agricultural economy, create job opportunities, reduce diesel fuel requirements, and thus contribute to conserving a major commercial energy source. Ethanol was first suggested as an automotive

fuel in the USA in the 1930s but was widely used only after 1970. Nowadays, ethanol is used as fuel, mainly in Brazil, and as a gasoline additive for octane number enhancement and improved combustion in the USA, Canada, and India.

Alcohol is an alternative transportation fuel since it has properties, which would allow its use in existing engines with minor hardware modifications. Alcohols have a higher octane number than gasoline. A fuel with a higher octane number can endure higher compression ratios before the engine starts knocking, thus giving the engine the ability to deliver more power efficiently and economically.

Vegetable Oils as Engine Fuels

Dr. Rudolf Diesel invented the diesel engine to run on a host of fuels including coal dust suspended in water, heavy mineral oil, and vegetable oils. Dr. Diesel’s first engine experiments were catastrophic failures, but by the time he showed his engine at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900, his engine was running on 100% peanut oil. Dr. Diesel was visionary. In 1911 he stated ‘‘The diesel engine can be fed with vegetable oils and would help considerably in the development of agriculture of the countries which use it’’.

In 1912, Diesel said, ‘‘The use of vegetable oils for engine fuels may seem insignificant today. But such oils may become in course of time as important as petroleum and the coal tar products of the present time’’. Since Dr. Diesel’s death, the engine was modified to run on the polluting petroleum fuel, now known as Diesel. 

The advantages of using vegetable oils as fuels are:

-Vegetable oils are liquid fuels from renewable sources.

-They do not over-burden the environment with emissions.

-Vegetable oils have the potential for making marginal land productive by their property of nitrogen fixation in the soil.

-Vegetable oil’s production requires lesser energy input in production.

-Vegetable oils have higher energy content than other energy crops like alcohol. Vegetable oils have 90% of the heat content of diesel and they have a favorable output/input ratio of about 2–4:1 for un-irrigated crop production.

In its simplest form, the carbon cycle of vegetable oil consists of the fixation of carbon and the release

of oxygen by plants through the process of photosynthesis and then combining oxygen and carbon to form CO2 through processes of combustion. It is appropriate to mention here that the CO2 released by petroleum diesel was fixed from the atmosphere during the formative years of the earth, whereas the CO2 released by biodiesel gets continuously fixed by plants and may be recycled by the next generation of crops.

The EU’s new vitality system speaks to a test and a lift for enterprises and analysts pushing them to discover new arrangements to supply the vitality request following 

new natural solicitations. The vehicle area is a standout amongst the most dependent on oil items and afterward poison. Another bio-energized age is being considered, yet the utilization of the ones officially accessible ought to be expanded. The utilization of vegetable oils (VO) and waste cooking oils (WCO) could speak to intriguing option powers for Diesel motors in some particular applications (i.e., open transportation, half breed or marine impetus, and so forth.).

Additionally, VO can be delivered everywhere on the planet in moderately little plants, and WCO would speak to the utilization of a waste material that generally ought to be arranged. In any case, working a Diesel motor (DE) with an alternate fuel may bring about a few issues.

WCO has diverse attributes contrasted with Diesel fuel (i.e, a littler warming quality, a bigger thickness, and consistency), what’s more, this can influence the operation of a DE. Specifically, the DE is required to have some issue at the infusion framework what’s more, control misfortune. In this work, diverse vegetable oils (both straight and waste) are utilized to fuel a DE in car design and concentrate its conduct. Tests are performed utilizing a turbocharged, four-stroke, four barrels, water-cooled, regular rail multijet DE. The impact of fuel utilized on motor power, particular utilization, proficiency, and fumes mistiness, are contrasted and those gotten fuelled with Diesel fuel.

Bio-diesel as an engine fuel

Biodiesel is the name of a clean-burning mono-alkyl ester-based oxygenated fuel made from natural, renewable sources such as new/used vegetable oils and animal fats. The resulting biodiesel is quite similar to conventional diesel in its main characteristics. Biodiesel contains no petroleum products, but it is compatible with conventional diesel and can be blended in any proportion with mineral diesel to create a stable biodiesel blend. The level of blending with petroleum diesel is referred to as Bxx, where xx indicates the amount of biodiesel in the blend (i.e. B10 blend is 10% biodiesel and 90% diesel. It can be used in a CI engine with no major modification in the engine hardware.


Using ethanol as a fuel additive to unleaded gasoline causes an improvement in engine performance and exhaust emissions. Using an ethanol-unleaded gasoline blend leads to a significant reduction in exhaust emissions of CO and HC for all engine speeds. On the other hand, CO2 emissions increase marginally.

Biodiesel has become more attractive recently because of its environmental benefits and the fact that it is made from renewable resources. A continuous transesterification process is a method of choice to lower the production cost. The motor is in genuine car design, outfitted with its unique electronic unit. Seat tests demonstrate that power misfortune because of the utilization of RO and BD is applicable chiefly at low loads (going from 18 to 22 %).

At higher burdens, the three energizers demonstrate comparative conduct up to around 2800 rpm, then BD gives a bigger power yield. This conduct might be attributed to the joint impacts of various thickness and consistency of vegetable oils, electronic unit mediation, and the infusion time which is changed by the stack. Mistiness tests showed the adequacy of the tried biofuels in decreasing residue development, and afterward particulate discharges. Poison emanations are tantamount to or not exactly those of DF, aside from HC discharge from RO which achieves the most abnormal amount.

Future of Fuel Written By Vishwaa Narayanan

Dr. Laine Mears of Clemson University on Tesla