Characterising vehicle emissions from the burning of biodiesel made from vegetable oil

L. Zou, S. Atkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Biodiesel manufactured from canola oil was blended with diesel and used as fuel in two diesel vehicles. This study aimed to test the emissions of diesel engines using blends of 100%, 80%, 60%, 40%, 20% biodiesel and 100% petroleum diesel, and characterise the particulate matter and gaseous emissions, with particular attention to levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) which are harmful to humans. A real time dust monitor was also used to monitor the continuous dust emissions during the entire testing cycle. The ECE(Euro 2) drive cycle was used for all emission tests. It was found that the particle concentration was up to 33% less when the engine burnt 100% biodiesel, compared to 100% diesel. Particle emission reduced with increased percentages of biodiesel in the fuel blends. Reductions of NOx, HC and CO were limited to about 10% when biodiesel was burned. Levels of CO2 emissions from the use of biodiesel and diesel were similar. Eighteen EPA priority PAHs were targeted, with only 6 species detected in the gaseous phase from the samples . 9 PAHs were detected in particulate phases at much lower levels than gaseous PAHs. Some marked reductions were observed for less toxic gaseous PAHs such as naphthalene when burning 100% biodiesel, but the particulate PAH emissions, which have more implications to adverse health effects, were virtually unchanged and did not show a statistically significant reduction. These findings are useful to gain an understanding of the emissions and environmental impacts of biodiesel.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)1253-1260
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Technology (United Kingdom)
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2003


  • Air quality
  • Biodiesel
  • Fuel blends
  • Particles
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
  • Vehicle emissions


Dive into the research topics of 'Characterising vehicle emissions from the burning of biodiesel made from vegetable oil'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this