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Increasing demand and rapid depletion of fossil fuels have together prompted the researchers of many countries to look for alternate renewable fuels. This study is an attempt to test the feasibility of rice bran oil as fuel in C. I. engine in its original and in its refined form. It is generally produced from rice bran which is a by-product produced during paddy processing. Its viscosity though relatively higher than diesel can be reduced by natural sedimentation process. In this attempt, the performance and emission characteristics of rice bran oil and its refined form were studied and compared with diesel by employing them as a fuel in a single cylinder, direct injection, 4.4 KW, air cooled diesel engine. The performance characteristics revealed that the brake thermal efficiency of the rice bran oil was higher than its refined form and were marginally lower than that of diesel. Emission measurements were carried out using MRU Delta 1600L gas analyzer and the soot concentration was measured with AVL smoke meter. It was found that though blends of rice bran oil with ethanolexhibited greater soot concentration characteristics than rice bran oil and diesel at all loads, it exhibited desirable characteristics for other emissions such as lower CO, HC, NOx emissions and lower exhaust gas temperatures with increasing load.
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