This experiment investigates the combustion and emissions characteristics of a common rail direct injection (CRDI) diesel engine using various blends of pure diesel fuel and palm biodiesel. Fuel injection pressures of 45 and 65 MPa were investigated under engine loads of 50 and 100 Nm. The fuels studied herein were pure diesel fuel 100 vol.% with 0 vol.% of palm biodiesel (PBD0), pure diesel fuel 80 vol.% blended with 20 vol.% of palm biodiesel (PBD20), and pure diesel fuel 50 vol.% blended with 50 vol.% of palm biodiesel (PBD50). As the fuel injection pressure increased from 45 to 65 MPa under all engine loads, the combustion pressure and heat release rate also increased. The indicated mean effective pressure (IMEP) increased with an increase of the fuel injection pressure. In addition, for 50 Nm of the engine load, an increase to the fuel injection pressure resulted in a reduction of the brake specific fuel consumption (BSFC) by an average of 2.43%. In comparison, for an engine load of 100 Nm, an increase in the fuel injection pressure decreased BSFC by an average of 0.8%. Hydrocarbon (HC) and particulate matter (PM) decreased as fuel pressure increased, independent of the engine load. Increasing fuel injection pressure for 50 Nm engine load using PBD0, PBD20 and PBD50 decreased carbon monoxide (CO) emissions. When the fuel injection pressure was increased from 45 MPa to 65 MPa, oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions were increased for both engine loads. For a given fuel injection pressure, NOx emissions increased slightly as the biodiesel content in the fuel blend increased.
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