Brookhaven releases jatropha oil performance, emissions results

By Ron Kotrba | February 22, 2011

Results were released today by Brookhaven National Laboratory and SG Biofuels on BNL’s performance and emissions study of jatropha oil as a drop-in fuel in industrial furnaces used for heating and power generation. Study results show that jatropha oil can be blended with residual oil without fuel separation problems or modifying industrial legacy burners.

Testing by BNL head researcher C.R. “Krish” Krishna, project lead, showed that 100 percent jatropha oil emitted 50 percent less NOx emissions than conventional fuel oil.

“From these results, we can conclude that the blending of jatropha oil with residual oil is a viable option for fueling industrial furnaces, with significant reductions in pollutant emissions such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulates,” Krishna said.

Blends of 20 and 60 percent, in addition to straight jatropha oil, were tested in a 1.5 million Btu/hour boiler with a burner modified to use residual oil.

Jatropha oil was found to have much lower viscosity, indicating that it does not need to be heated to as high a temperature as what’s required for residual fuel oil, which means energy savings increase as more jatropha oil is blended.

SG Biofuels supplied the jatropha oil for the research. “The results of the study provide further validation of the quality, performance and broad-ranging benefits of jatropha oil,” said Kirk Haney, president and CEO of SG Biofuels. “Use of jatropha oil for electric power generation opens a significant new market in many regions of the world that continue to struggle with the challenge to identify locally produced, sustainable and cost-effective sources of energy.”

For an earlier story on this work published by Biodiesel Magazine, click here.


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