The performance characteristics of groundnut (Arachis hypogea, L.) biodiesel in a diesel engine
The performance of groundnut ethyl ester blended with diesel in a compression ignition engine was experimentally determined. Groundnut oil reacted with ethanol to produce ethyl esters in a two-step transesterification process. The ethyl-esters were blended with automotive gas oil at (0 to 20%) mix with 5% increment of groundnut ethyl-esters to produce biodiesel. The performance of a 2.46 kW diesel engine was evaluated using the groundnut biodiesel at five loading conditions (0, 25, 50, 75 and 100% of full load). Automotive gas oil was used as a reference diesel fuel. The engine torque had a peak value of 8.5 Nm at full load, while the peak value of speed was 1300 rev/min at 25% full load when using 15% groundnut ester-AGO blend. The exhaust gas temperature had a peak value of 420°C at full load when using 5% groundnut ester-AGO blend. There were no significant differences (p>0.05) in average values of torque, speed and exhaust gas temperature of the engine for groundnut biodiesel and automotive gas oil. Groundnut biodiesel can be used to fuel a diesel engine.
Key words: Groundnut oil, ethyl esters, biodiesel, diesel engine.