Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2012

Degree Type


Degree Name



Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Ming-Chia Lai


Recently, topics including global warming, increased environmental awareness, recycling, and organically produced meat and vegetables have been prevalent in the media and research arenas. The rapidly increasing cost for fossil fuels and the pursuit of environmental conservation has brought about the interest in a renewable and clean burning fuel, specifically biodiesel. Biodiesel, or vegetable oil ester as it was originally referred to, has been improving and progressing since the early 1900's. Fortunately, significant advancement in the understanding of raw vegetable oil as a fuel as well as converting it to ethyl or methyl esters, now known as biodiesel, has been evolving for nearly a century after.

The objective of this study is predicated on the potential marketing of biodiesel blends, up to 20% by volume, without modification to standard production available engines to be used by the average consumer. The NextEnergy Biodiesel program is a collaborative effort involving a variety of disciplines and expertise. Objectives include developing manufacturing methods for soy-based biodiesel, evaluating and recording parameters such as cetane number, oxidative stability, and lubricity made from different feedstocks to be used for engine testing. The evaluations of these selected fuels are then blended with ULSD and tested in single and multi-cylinder engines. The proceeding work specifically focuses on results from a multi-cylinder engine coupled with a diesel oxidation catalyst, diesel particulate filter and a selective catalytic reduction catalyst and the effect that biodiesel blends has on their performance and effectiveness.