An interesting study was carried out by a team of researchers in which the performance characteristics of Mustard Oil Methyl Ester were analysed through laboratory testing by advancing the fuel injection on constant speed Compression Ignition (CI) engines. The study published in the Indian Journal of Science and Technology sought to explore the possibility of using Mustard Oil Methyl Ester as a potential alternative fuel.
In the past, it has been possible to convert vegetable oil into biodiesel using a process known as Trans-esterification which reduces the viscosity of the oil. However, in these earlier research and experiments the biodiesel made from vegetable oil was found to have lower brake thermal efficiency and higher fuel consumption.
By using Mustard Oil Methyl Ester, the research team was able to improve both the abovementioned parameters.
The study found that by advancing the fuel injection angle by 6o brake thermal efficiency increased by 4.85% using the Mustard Oil-based fuel. Moreover, Brake-Specific Fuel Consumption (BSFC) was reduced by 3.19% – and peak pressure increased by 6.61%
Other researchers have also explored the potential for manufacturing biodiesel from Mustard Oil. In fact, the University of Idaho has a bright yellow Volkswagen called the “Mustard Bug” that runs on fuel made from Mustard Oil. The Idaho research team used this fuel on various vehicles – for instance, by using this fuel in a 1999 Cummins 5.9-litre Dodge truck they operated the vehicle for 56,465 miles with no glitches or technical issues. In another road test with the 1.9-litre diesel engine of a 2001 Volkswagen, they accumulated 36,524 miles of smooth, hassle-free driving.
The wonders of Mustard Oil never cease to amaze! It’s a flavoursome and healthy cooking medium, great for natural skincare, superb for moisturising and massage, ideal for cardiovascular health – and now, a potential alternative fuel for the future.