Durability testing modified compression ignition engines fueled with straight plant oil

M. Basinger, T. Reding, F. S. Rodriguez-Sanchez, K. S. Lackner, V. Modi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Many short-run studies point to the potential for direct fueling of compression ignition engines with plant oil fuels. There is a much smaller body of work that examines the potential for these fuels in long-run tests that illuminate engine endurance and longevity issues. Generally, longevity studies involving direct fueling of engines with straight plant oils have shown significant impact to the life of the engine, though test results vary widely depending on the oil, engine type, test conditions, and measurement approach. This study utilizes a previously designed modification kit [1] to investigate the longevity implications of directly fueling straight plant oil in an indirect injection (IDI) listeroid type, slow speed stationary engine common in agro-processing applications in developing countries. Specifically this study focuses on the lubrication oil by developing a model to characterize the engine wear and estimate lube oil change frequency. The model is extended to an analysis of the piston rings. Cylinder liner wear, emissions, engine performance, and a visual investigation of several critical engine components are also studied. The 500 hour test with waste vegetable oil fuel resulted in several important findings. The engine break-in period was identified as taking between 200 and 300 h. Emissions analysis supported the break-in definition as smoke opacity and carbon monoxide values fell from 9% and 600 ppm (respectively) during the first few hundred hours, to 5% and 400 ppm in the final 200 h. Lubrication oil viscosity was found to be the limiting degradation factor in the lube oil, requiring oil to be changed every 110 h. Piston ring mass loss was found to correlate very closely with chromium buildup in the lubrication oil and the mathematical model that was developed was used to estimate that piston ring inspection and replacement should occur after 1000 h. Cylinder ovalisation was found to be most sever at top dead center (TDC) at 53 microns of averaged increased diameter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3204-3220
Number of pages17
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • CI engine
  • Diesel engine
  • Emissions
  • Longevity
  • Lubrication oil
  • Performance
  • Plant oils
  • Straight vegetable oil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Pollution
  • Energy(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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