The alternative to expensive fuel?

Former students of Acharya Polytechnic have come up with a biodiesel that is efficient and also emits less toxic gases.

Published: 04th January 2012 12:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 06:08 PM   |  A+A-


Biodiesel engine.

BANGALORE: With soaring price hikes in diesel and other fuels, the necessity of taking an initiative for choosing alternative sources of energy has to be cultivated. Needless to say, it has become necessary to bring forth changes in using our resources efficiently. At a time where the cost of fuels are surging beyond imagination and the availability of non renewable resources is limited to a couple of decades; opting for better solutions seems to be the need of the hour.

For instance, biodiesel can completely substitute fuel in the veins of modern auto vehicle engines. One such initiative has been taken by students (who passed out recently) of Automobile engineering department of Acharya Polytechnic, Soldevenahalli, Hesaraghatta Road.

Rathish A P, Rahul Roy, Rajnish Kumar, Ravi Sharma, Sidharth Sharma and Mohammed Imtiaz performed tests on four-stroke single-cylinder diesel engines with Pongamia biodiesel (extracted from its seeds). The biodiesel was tested in proportion with the regular diesel as well as for different engine rmp.

The fuel not only served well for the engine but also showed its best result in decreased amounts of toxicants such as carbon monoxide (CO), nitrous oxide (NOx), sulphuric and phosphoric content, which eventually proved this fuel to be best for the prosperity of the world with respect to fuel economy and pollution.

Biodiesel is blended with diesel at an 80 per cent (diesel) and 20 per cent (biodiesel) proportion. “The use of biodiesel has been made only 20 per cent in this test, since nowhere in the world biodiesel has been made 100 per cent useable. We have used Ape engine for the test and except for minor adjustments like FPI, no other changes have been made in the engine with the biodiesel (supplied by GKVK Agriculture Institute)”, explained Chennegowda , the HOD of Automobile engineering, Acharya Polytechnic.

Biodiesel which can be obtained from twelve different sources including corn fibre, coconut oil, jatropha, etc, has numerous advantages, which makes it one of the most dependable alternative fuel in the coming years.

“The most important feature about biodiesel is that it is natural , renewable and dissolves in water faster than sugar”, said one of the students Rathish P K. Biodiesel is 11 per cent oxygen by weight and contains no sulphur. It takes the black smoke from the back of the vehicle and makes the exhaust fumes smell like popcorn. Infact, it also increases lubricancy by 30 per cent.

As far as environmental and health effects are concerned, biodiesel is the first and only alternative fuel to have a complete evaluation of emission result and potential health effects submitted to the US Environmental Agency (EPA) under the clean Air Act Section 211(b). These programs include the most stringent emissions testing protocols ever required by EPA for certification of fuels or fuel additives.

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