Biodiesel is prepared using linseed oil and methanol by the process of transesterification. Use of linseed oil methyl ester (LOME) in compression ignition engine was found to develop a highly compatible engine-fuel system with low emission characteristics. Two similar engines were operated using optimum biodiesel blend and mineral diesel oil respectively. These were subjected to long-term endurance tests. Lubricating oil samples drawn from both engines after a fixed interval were subjected to elemental analysis. Quantification of various metal debris concentrations was done by atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS). Wear metals were found to be about 30% lower for biodiesel-operated engine system. Lubricating oil samples were also subjected to ferrography indicating lower wear debris concentrations for biodiesel-operated engine.
The additional lubricating property of LOME present in the fuel resulted in lower wear and improved life of moving components in biodiesel-fuelled engine. However, this needed experimental verification and quantification. A series of experiments were thus conducted to compare the lubricity of various concentrations of LOME in biodiesel blends. Long duration tests were conducted using reciprocating motion in SRV optimol wear tester to evaluate the coefficient of friction, specific wear rates, etc. The extent of damage, coefficient of friction, and specific wear rates decreased with increase in the percentage of LOME in the biodiesel blend. Scanning Electron microscopy was conducted on the surfaces exposed to wear. The disc and pin using 20% biodiesel blend as lubricating oil showed lesser damage compared to the one subjected to diesel oil as lubricating fluid, confirming additional lubricity of biodiesel.