Tree seeds, rather than biomass or fuel crop plants, could represent an abundant source of renewable energy, according to research published in the International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management. The study suggests that seeds from the Indian mahua and sal trees have almost as good a thermal efficiency as biodiesel but would produce lower emissions of carbon monoxide, waste hydrocarbons and NOx (nitrogen oxides).
Sukumar Puhan of the GKM College of Engineering and Technology and colleagues N. Vedaraman and K.C. Velappan of the Central Leather Research Institute, in Chennai, India, explain how tree seeds represent a vast untapped biomass resource for the production of automotive fuels in India. The use of tree seed oils as a source could have several additional benefits over vegetable seed oils including lower viscosity and greater volatility, both of which would reduce injector fouling, carbon deposits and piston ring sticking, common issues with some biodiesel formulations.
Tags: Madhuca indica, Shorea robusta, transesterification, oily triglyceride, wasteland, biodiesel, engine performance, engine emissions; Neem oil, Mahua oil, Sal oil, tree borne seed oils, liquid biofuels, direct injection diesel engines, brake thermal efficiency, exhaust emissions
Source: Phys.org, 2013-01-09.