Differences in the evolution of combustion in a single cylinder, DI (direct injection) diesel engine fuelled by B20 were observed upon processing of the respective indicator diagrams. Aiming to further investigate the effects of biodiesel on the engine injection and combustion process, the injection characteristics of B0, B20, B40, B60, B80 and B100 were measured at low injection pressure and visualized at low and standard injection pressures. The fuel atomization characteristics were investigated in terms of mean droplet velocity, Sauter mean diameter, droplet velocity and diameter distributions by using a spray visualization system and Laser Doppler Velocimetry. The jet break-up characteristics are mainly influenced by the Weber number, which is lower for biodiesel, mainly due to its higher surface tension. Thus, Sauter mean diameter (SMD) of sprays with biodiesel blended-fuel is higher. Volume mean diameter (VMD) and arithmetic mean diameter (AMD) values also increase with blending ratio. Kinematic viscosity and surface tension become higher as the biodiesel blending ratio increases. The SMD, VMD and AMD of diesel and biodiesel blended fuels decreased with an increase in the axial distance from spray tip. Comparison of estimated fuel burning rates for 60,000 droplets’ samples points to a decrease in mean fuel burning rate for B20 and higher blends.
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