Comparison of an Engine Operated on Canola Based Biodiesel to an Engine Operated on Petroleum Diesel

EPA Grant Number: SU833506
Title: Comparison of an Engine Operated on Canola Based Biodiesel to an Engine Operated on Petroleum Diesel
Investigators: Ahuja, Sandeep , Adom, Kwame , Bhardwaj, Harbans , Prins, Robert
Institution: Virginia State University , James Madison University
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Phase: I
Project Period: August 31, 2007 through July 31, 2008
Project Amount: $9,674
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2007) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Agriculture , P3 Awards , Sustainability


Low prices for agricultural products in combination with high and unpredictable energy prices challenge the self-sustainability of small scale farms. Canola, a biodiesel feedstock, can be grown, converted to fuel, and utilized all on the same farm. The fuel produced from canola can be used to supply power to farm equipment either directly as fuel for diesel powered implements or indirectly via a diesel powered electric generator. This project demonstrates a route to increased self-sustainability of small scale farms that relies on green engineering.


We will use the award to purchase diesel powered electric generators that will be operated by students as part of our canola-to-fuel project. Our expected output is demonstration of the use of pure biodiesel (B100) to operate electric generators. Our results will include comparisons of fuel consumption rate, tail pipe emissions, and engine wear between engines that are fueled by petroleum diesel and biodiesel. The outcome of the research will be the realization by small scale farmers that prosperity can be achieved through self-sustainability, and that self-sustainability can be realized through the production and use of biodiesel.

Expected Results:

The educational mission of the university will be met in two ways. First, students who are involved in the project will enhance their learning through their participation in the interdisciplinary solution of a real-world problem. Second, the students will demonstrate the viability of the solution to farmers and other consumers at a “field day” put on by the Agricultural Research Station.

Supplemental Keywords:

biofuel, global warming, climate change,, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Air, Sustainable Industry/Business, POLLUTION PREVENTION, Environmental Chemistry, Sustainable Environment, Energy, climate change, Air Pollution Effects, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Atmosphere, environmental monitoring, sustainable development, environmental sustainability, alternative materials, biomass, energy efficiency, energy technology, alternative fuel, biodiesel fuel, alternative energy source

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final