Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 9, pp 8650–8664 | Cite as

Techno-economic assessment of coconut biodiesel as a potential alternative fuel for compression ignition engines

  • Thangaraja Jeyaseelan Email author
  • Vignesh Srinivasan
Research Article


Over the past years, there were dramatic improvements in identifying and assessing various feedstocks for the production of biodiesel fuels. To promote a particular feedstock as a renewable source of energy, it is important to analyze their energy, economic, and engine performance characteristics. The current work attempts to evaluate the net energy and economic indices for both fossil diesel and coconut-blended diesel (B20) considering the diesel consumption by the Indian railways. Further, we present the experimental results of a multi-cylinder diesel engine operated with neat coconut biodiesel (B100) and fossil diesel at various load and speed conditions. The engine experiments reveal that the coconut biodiesel exhibits leaner combustion and shorter ignition delay than fossil diesel. Lower amount of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbon, and smoke emission is observed in the case of coconut biodiesel, with higher levels of nitric oxide (14%) and fuel consumption than diesel. The coefficient of variation in indicated mean effective pressure is within the range of better driveability zone for both the fuels at all test conditions. Overall the engine performance, emission and combustion results with neat coconut biodiesel are favorable with a penalty in NO emission at high load conditions. The techno-economical study highlights higher production cost per liter of B20 than the cost of fossil diesel. However, the net energy ratio (NER) for B20 is 1.021, favoring higher output than diesel and thus lowers the dependency on crude oil.


Coconut biodiesel Ignition delay Combustion phasing NOx emission Net energy ratio Land use efficiency Economic assessment Energy analysis 


Funding information

The authors acknowledge the Science and Engineering Research Board, Department of Science and Technology (DST), India [No. ECR/2016/001059] for providing the necessary funding.


  1. Aldhaidhawi M, Chiriac R, Badescu V (2017) Ignition delay, combustion and emission characteristics of diesel engine fueled with rapeseed biodiesel – a literature review. Renew Sust Energ Rev 73:178–186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Allen CAW, Watts KC, Ackman RG (1999) Predicting the surface tension of biodiesel fuels from their fatty acid composition. JAOCS 76:317–323CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Amigun B, Müller-Langer F, Von Blottnitz H (2008) Predicting the costs of biodiesel production in Africa: learning from Germany. Energy Sustain Dev 12:5–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Apostolakou AA, Kookos IK, Marazioti C, Angelopoulos K (2009) Techno-economic analysis of a biodiesel production process from vegetable oils. Fuel Process Technol 90:1023–1031CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bamgboye AI, Hansen AC (2008) Prediction of cetane number of biodiesel fuel from the fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) composition. Int Agrophys 22:21–29Google Scholar
  6. Boehman AL, Morris D, Szybist J (2004) The impact of the bulk modulus of diesel fuels on fuel injection timing. Energy Fuel 18:1877–1882CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bromberg L, Cheng WK (2010) Methanol as an alternative transportation fuel in the US: options for sustainable and/or energy-secure transportation. Sloan Automotive Laboratory Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge MA 02139, Accessed 20 December 2017
  8. Calorific values of Different fuels n.d. Accessed 02 December 2017
  9. Canacki M, Van Gerpan JH (2003) Comparison of engine performance and emissions for petroleum diesel fuel, yellow grease biodiesel and soybean oil biodiesel. Trans ASAE 46:937–944Google Scholar
  10. Canakci M (2009) NOx emissions of biodiesel as an alternative diesel fuel. Int J Veh Des 50:213–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Canakci M, Gerpen JV (2001) Biodiesel production from oils and fats with high free fatty acids. Trans ASAE 44:1429–1436CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Compound Summary CID 753 n.d.,
  13. Compound Summary for CID 14798 n.d., Accessed 22 December 2017
  14. Corma A, Sauvanaud L, Mathieu Y, Al-Bogami S, Bourane A, Al-Ghrami M (2018) Direct crude oil cracking for producing chemicals: thermal cracking modelling. Fuel 211:726–736CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Density of heavy fuel oil n.d. Accessed 22 December 2017
  16. Dhar A, Kevin R, Agarwal AK (2012) Production of biodiesel from high-FFA neem oil and its performance, emission and combustion characterization in a single cylinder DICI engine. Fuel Process Technol 97:118–129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Eaton SJ, Harakas GN, Kimball RW, Smith JA, Pilot KA, Kuflik MT, Bullard JM (2014) Formulation and combustion of glycerol−diesel fuel emulsions. Energy Fuel 28:3940–3947CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ejim CE, Fleck BA, Amirfazli A (2007) Analytical study for atomization of biodiesels and their blends in a typical injector: surface tension and viscosity effect. Fuel 86:1534–1544CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ghadge SV, Raheman H (2005) Biodiesel production from mahua (Madhucaindica) oil having high free fatty acids. Biomass Bioenergy 28:601–605CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Global crude oil price Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. Government of India 2017. Accessed 4 October 2017
  21. Graboski MS, McCormick RL (1998) Combustion of fat and vegetable oil derived fuels in diesel engines. Prog Energy Combust Sci 24:125–164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Heywood JB (1988) Internal combustion engine fundamentals. McGraw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  23. Holman JP (2007) Experimental methods for engineers. McGraw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  24. Jitputti J, Kitiyanan B, Rangsunvigit P, Bunyakiat K, Attanatho L, Jenvanitpanjakul P (2006) Transesterification of crude palm kernel oil and crude coconut oil by different solid catalysts. Chem Eng J 116:61–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kalam MA, Husnawan M, Masjuki HH (2003) Exhaust emission and combustion evaluation of coconut oil-powered indirect injection diesel engine. Renew Energ 28:2405–2415CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kaplan C, Arslan R, Sürmen A (2006) Performance characteristics of sunflower methyl esters as biodiesel. Eng Sourc A, Recovery Util Env Eff 28:751–755Google Scholar
  27. Kim DS, Hanifzadeh M, Kumar A (2017) Trend of biodiesel feedstock and its impact on biodiesel emission characteristics. Environ Prog Sustain Energy 37:7–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kinoshita E, Myo T, Hamasaki K, Tajima H, Ru Kun Z (2006) Diesel combustion characteristics of coconut oil and palm oil biodiesels. SAE Technical paper 2006-01-3251Google Scholar
  29. Korres N, O’Kiely P, Benzie JAH, West JS (2013) Bioenergy production by anaerobic digestion using agricultural biomass and organic waste. Routledge, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Krishna AGG, Raj G, Singh BA, Kumar PKP, Chandrashekar P (2010) Coconut oil: chemistry, production and its applications - a review. Indian Coconut J 53:15–27Google Scholar
  31. Kumar S, Chaube A, Jain SK (2012) Sustainability issues for promotion of Jatropha biodiesel in Indian scenario: a review. Renew Sust Energ Rev 16:1089–1098CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lapuerta M, Armas O, Rodriguez-Fernandez J (2008) Effect of biodiesel fuels on diesel engine emissions. Prog Energy Combust Sci 34:198–223CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Liaquat AM, Masjuki HH, Kalam MA, Rizwanul Fattah IM, Hazrat MA, Varman M, Mofijur M, Shahabuddin M (2013) Effect of coconut biodiesel blended fuels on engine performance and emission characteristics. Procedia Eng 56:583–590CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Ma F, Hanna MA (1999) Biodiesel production: a review. Bio resource Technol 70:1–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Marchetti JM, Miguel VU, Errazu AF (2008) Techno-economic study of different alternatives for biodiesel production. Fuel Process Technol 89:740–748CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Mishra S, Anand K, Santhosh S, Mehta PS (2017) Comparison of biodiesel fuel behaviour in a heavy duty turbocharged and a light duty naturally aspirated engine. Appl Energy 202:459–470CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Mohammadshirazi A, Akram A, Rafiee S, Kalhor EB (2014) Energy and cost analyses of biodiesel production from waste cooking oil. Renew Sust Energ Rev 33:44–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Monyem A, Van Gerpen JH (2001) The effect of biodiesel oxidation on engine performance and emissions. Int J Engine Res 2:249–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Mueller C, Boehman A, Martin G (2009) An experimental investigation of the origin of increased NOx emissions when fueling a heavy-duty compression-ignition engine with soy biodiesel. SAE Int J Fuels Lubr 2(1):789–816.
  40. Murugesan A, Umarani C, Subramanian R, Neduchezhian N (2009) Bio-diesel as an alternative fuel for diesel engines – a review. Renew Sust Energ Rev 13:653–662CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Nakpong P, Wootthikanokkhan S (2010) High free fatty acid coconut oil as a potential feedstock for biodiesel production in Thailand. Renew Energ 35:1682–1687CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. National biodiesel mission plan (2003) Accessed 26 October 2017
  43. National biodiesel mission plan (2009) Accessed 26 October 2017
  44. Nelson RG, Howell SA, Weber JA (1994) Potential feedstock supply and costs for biodiesel production. In: Proceedings of the Sixth National Bioenergy Conference, United States. Acessed 5 Aug 2018
  45. Nogueira LAH (2011) Does biodiesel make sense? Energy 36:3659–3666CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Noordam M, Withers RV (1996) Producing biodiesel from canola in the inland northwest: an economic feasibility study, Idaho Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin, vol 785,
  47. Ntihuga JN, Senn T, Gschwind P, Kohlus R (2013) Estimating energy- and eco-balances for contimuous bio-ethanol production using a Blenke Cascade system. Energies 6:2065–2083CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Previous prices of Diesel 2017 Accessed 18th October 2018
  49. Quaye AK, Hall CAS, Luzadis VA (2010) Agricultural land use efficiency and food crop production in Ghana. Environ Dev Sustain 12:967–983CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Ramos MJ, Fernández CM, Casas A, Rodríguez L, Pérez A (2009) Influence of fatty acid composition of raw materials on biodiesel properties. Bioresour Technol 100:261–268CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Report on price policy for copra for season 2017–18, Accessed 16 November 2017
  52. Reserve Bank of India n.d. Accessed 20 December 2017
  53. Sahoo PK, Das LM, Babu MKG, Naik SN (2007) Biodiesel development from high acid value polanga seed oil and performance evaluation in a CI engine. Fuel 86:448–454CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Soma Y, Nakajima M, Yoshida K, Shoji H, Iijima A (2007) The application of coconut-oil methyl ester for diesel engine. SAE Technical paper 2007-32-0065Google Scholar
  55. Staffell I (2011) The energy and fuel data sheet, University of Birmingham. Accessed 2 October 2017
  56. Statistical summary Indian Railways (2016–2017),–17/Annual_Report_Accounts_Eng/Statistical_Summary.pdf
  57. Stumpf E, Mühlbauer W (2002) Plant oil cooking stove for developing countries. Boiling Point 48:37–38Google Scholar
  58. Suryawanshi JG (2006) Performance and emission characteristics of CI engine fuelled by coconut oil methyl ester. SAE Technical paper 2006-32-0077Google Scholar
  59. Tat ME, Van Gerpen JH (2003) Measurement of biodiesel speed of sound and its impact on injection timing. National Renewable Energy Laboratory NREL/SR-510-31462, Report 4Google Scholar
  60. Thangaraja J, Anand K, Mehta PS (2014) Experimental investigations on the increase in nitric oxide emissions using biodiesels and their mitigation. J Automobile Eng 228:1274–1284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. You YD, Shie JL, Chang CY, Huang SH, Pai CY, Yu YH, Chang CH (2008) Economic cost analysis of biodiesel production: case in soybean oil. Energy Fuel 22:182–189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Zhang Y, Dube M, McLean D, Kates M (2003a) Biodiesel production from waste cooking oil: 1. Process design and technological assessment. Bioresour Technol 89:1–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Zhang Y, Dube M, McLean D, Kates M (2003b) Biodiesel production from waste cooking oil: 2. Economic assessment and sensitivity analysis. Bioresour Technol 90:229–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Automotive Research CentreVellore Institute of TechnologyVelloreIndia

Personalised recommendations