Biodiesel either in neat form or as a mixture with diesel fuel is widely investigated to solve the twin problem of depletion of fossil fuels and environmental degradation. The main objective of the present study is to compare performance, emission and combustion characteristics of biodiesel derived from non edible Jatropha oil in a dual fuel diesel engine with base line results of diesel fuel. The performance parameters evaluated were: brake thermal efficiency, brake specific fuel consumption, power output. As a part of combustion study, in-cylinder pressure, rate of pressure rise and heat release rates were evaluated. The emission parameters such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, un-burnt hydrocarbon, oxides of nitrogen and smoke opacity with the different fuels were also measured and compared with base line results. The different properties of Jatropha oil after transestrification were within acceptable limits of standards as set by many countries. The brake thermal efficiency of Jatropha methyl ester and its blends with diesel were lower than diesel and brake specific energy consumption was found to be higher. However, HC, CO and CO
2 and smoke were found to be lower with Jatropha biodiesel fuel. NO
x emissions on Jatropha biodiesel and its blend were higher than Diesel. The results from the experiments suggest that biodiesel derived from non edible oil like Jatropha could be a good substitute to diesel fuel in diesel engine in the near future as far as decentralized energy production is concerned. In view of comparable engine performance and reduction in most of the engine emissions, it can be concluded and biodiesel derived from Jatropha and its blends could be used in a conventional diesel engine without any modification.
► To overcome depletion of fossil fuels and environmental considerations. ► To study performance and emission parameters of non edible Jatropha methyl esters in a diesel engine against diesel fuel. ► Results suggest that Jatropha biodiesel could be a substitute fuel for diesel engine in the near future.