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Publication Title | ADAPTING OF AUTOMOBILE VW GOLF FOR USING PURE RAPESEED OIL AS FUEL

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ENGINEERING FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT Jelgava, 28.-29.05.2009.
ADAPTING OF AUTOMOBILE VW GOLF FOR USING PURE RAPESEED OIL AS FUEL
Ilmars Dukulis, Aivars Birkavs, Gints Birzietis, Vilnis Pirs
Latvia University of Agriculture
Ilmars.Dukulis@llu.lv, Aivars.Birkavs@llu.lv, Gints.Birzietis@llu.lv, Vilnis.Pirs@llu.lv
Abstract. The use of straight vegetable oil in diesel engines is one of the available alternatives nowadays how to introduce in practice the EU biofuel Directive with a target of 5.75 % biofuels in 2010, but it usually requires modification of the engine or fuel system components. This article presents adapting of automobile VW GOLF for using pure rapeseed oil as a fuel. The car was modified using the ELSBETT one-tank conversion kit, and the first exploitation tests were carried out in winter time when the air temperature reached -7 °C. Starting the engine and driving in such weather conditions did not cause any problems. Fuel consumption was estimated in two different routes – in intensive traffic conditions in Jelgava city and outside the urban area. The first test results show that pure rapeseed oil fuel consumption is slightly behind fossil diesel, but quite significantly overtakes biodiesel. The modified diesel engine was successfully operated not only with rapeseed oil, but also with fossil diesel and biodiesel, and with various mixtures of these fuels. Analyses of rapeseed oil manufactured in Latvia were performed in Latvia and Germany. They showed that in order to avoid problems of using this oil as a fuel is substantially to control the quality of seeds and pressing process regimes.
Keywords: biofuels, straight vegetable oil (SVO), rapeseed oil, fuel consumption, one-tank system Introduction
Rapidly growing interest in biofuels is being spurred by the realization that they represent only a large near-term substitute for the petroleum fuels that provide more than 95% of the world’s transportation energy. Today, the question is not whether renewable biofuels will play a significant role in providing energy for transportation, but rather what the implementations of their use will be – for economy, for the environment, for global security, and for the health of societies.
The liquid biofuels most widely used for transport today are ethanol and biodiesel, which can both be used in existing vehicles where ethanol is blended with gasoline and biodiesel is blended with conventional diesel fuel. The use of straight vegetable oil (SVO) and pure biodiesel in diesel engines as well as neat bioethanol in spark-ignition engines are other available alternatives nowadays, but they may require modification of the engine or fuel system components.
Due to SVO relatively high viscosity (approximately 12 times higher than ordinary diesel), using SVO in unmodified engines can result in poor atomization of the fuel in the combustion chamber, incomplete combustion, cooking of the injectors, and accumulation of soot deposits in the piston crown, rings and lubricating oil [1]. In order to run on SVO, these engines must either be refitted (often by attaching a mechanism for pre-heating oil), or they must be dedicated engines, such as the Elsbett engine [2]. Vehicle manufacturers generally will not warranty their engines for operation with SVO. Moreover, development of modern engines has led in the direction of increased electronic engine and combustion control systems, which are generally not compatible with operation using SVO. If SVO is to be used in conjunction with diesel in a dual-fuel mode, necessary modifications include an additional fuel tank for SVO, a system to allow for switching between the two fuels, and a heating system for the SVO tank and lines if the vehicle operates in low temperatures. Under this configuration, the engine started on diesel and switched over to SVO as soon as it is warmed up. It is then switched back to diesel shortly before being turned off to ensure that it contains no SVO when it is restarted. Another alternative is to use SVO exclusively. Modifications would include an electric pre-heating system for the fuel (including lines and filters), an upgraded injection system, and the addition of glow plugs in the combustion chamber since vegetable oil is not highly flammable. The modification can be expensive, reaching a cost of € 2 000 or more [1].
The EU biofuels market, under the biofuels Directive with an extrapolated target of 20 % biofuels in 2030 [3], has been modelled with the BIOTRANS model with the aim to conduct quantitative analyses on the production and costs of biofuels, and on the resulting market structure and supply chains. According to the BIOTRANS analysis, of the conventional biofuels PVO proves to be the lowest cost option compared to biodiesel and bioethanol, even with the necessary cost of vehicle adaptation (Table 1) [4].
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