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AMF - Implementing Agreement on Advanced Motor Fuels

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Annex 13: Emission performance of selected biodiesel fuels

Final Report

Emission Performance of Selected Biodiesel Fuels - VTT's Contribution


Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) carried out the project with complementary work plans. The work generated an extensive analysis of the exhaust emissions using biodiesel in new diesel engines. Several different engines were tested at the two sites, and some engines were tested also with emission control catalysts, both at ORNL and at VTT. ORNL concentrated on light and medium duty engines, while VTT emphasized a heavy-duty engine and also used a light duty car as a test bed. Common test fuels for two sites were rape methyl ester in 30% blend and neat, soy methyl ester in 30% blend and neat, used vegetable oil methyl ester (UVOME) in 30% blend, and the Swedish environmental class 1 reformulated diesel (RFD). Results covered regulated emissions, aldehydes, composition of particulate matter, polyaromatic hydrocarbons and limited results of Ames tests on the mutagenicty (particulate matter).

Generally, the biodiesel fuels had higher NOx emissions but lower values of HC, CO, and particulates. Unregulated emissions varied greatly between fuels and engines. VTT’s tests showed that the particulates generally seemed to be less harmful for neat bioesters than for diesel fuel. The changes in emissions were not as significant when 30% bioester blends were compared with EN590 or RFD as when neat esters were used. No major differences were seen in emission performance between RME, SME and UVOME, even though some benefit was seen for the UVOME fuel regarding CO, HC and aldehyde emissions with the TDI vehicle. The ethanol emulsion fuel gave some emission benefits regarding particulates. The hydrated tall oil blend gave worse emission figures than the other fuels, which is believed to be due to differences in the base fuel.


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Operating Agent

Päivi Aakko
VTT Energy, Engine Technology, Espoo, Finland