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This is a seminar topics for mechanical and automobile engineering students on Alternative fuels.As per the Recent depletion and fluctuation in prices due to uncertain supplies for fossil fuel, make us to search renewable, safe and non-polluting sources of energy.  India is not self sufficient in petroleum and has to import about two third of its requirements. Presently Indian Government spend Rupees 90,000 crore for petroleum fuel and annual consumption is around 40 millions tons. One of the solutions to the current oil crisis and toward off any future energy and economic crunch is to explore the feasibility of substitution of diesel with an alternative fuel which can be produced in our country on a massive scale to commercial utilization.  Indian Government, research institution and  automobile industries are taking interest on bio-diesel from various non-edible oil bearing trees like Jatropha, Karanji, Mahua & Neem.  As India is short of edible oils even for human consumption and since the cost of edible oil is also very high, it is preferable to use non-edible oils.  Jatropha curcas is one of the prospective bio-diesel yielding crops.   This paper highlights our work on alternate fuels and the importance of choosing jatropha. It reduces pollution drastically in terms of sulphates and carbon mono-oxide. To start with, we reduced the viscosity problem faced to a large extent by carrying out the transesterification process in our chemistry laboratory. we also studied the cost factor involved in the usage of jatropha. Performance test was conducted on an electrical loaded diesel engine and a study on the emissions was made using  Exhaust Gas Analyser in our thermal laboratory. As per the seminar topics studies on alternative fuels, The pollution levels came down drastically and performance was better with various blends of jatropha and diesel.


Bio-diesel is a vegetable oil processed to resemble Diesel Fuel.  The first use of peanut oil was made in 1895 by Dr. Rudolf Diesel himself (1858-1913), who predicted- “The use of vegetable oils engine fuels may seem insignificant today.  But such oils may   become in course of time as important as petroleum and the coal tar products of the present time.” Bio-diesel is the ethyl or methyl ester of fatty acid.  Bio-diesel is made from virgin or used vegetable oils (both edible and non-edible) and animal fats through trans-esterification.  Just like diesel, bio-diesel operates in compression ignition engines, which essentially require very little or no engine modifications up to require very little or no engine modifications up to 20% blends, and minor modifications for higher percentage blends because bio-diesel is similar to diesel but is very eco-friendly.


  • The major problem in using the raw jatropha oil will be choking of the filter and other parts of the engine. Further, due to its high viscosity, raw jatropha oil can cause a lot of trouble during cold seasons. Also, the following major problems could be faced.
  • Due to higher density of jatropha oil, the atomization in combustion becomes difficult.
  • Poor volatility accounts for improper vaporization and ignition incapability. This also cause thermal cracking resulting in heavy smoke emissions and carbon deposits in the engine. Also the durability of the engine will be affected
  • The presence of wax contents in the oil causes formation of gum in the combustion chamber

The above mentioned difficulties cause fluctuation of load after some period of    operation and ultimately lead to breakdown of the engine. Hence it is difficult to use Jatropha oil without further processing as fuel in a direct injection engine. It either requires the oil to be processed further or some modifications should be made in the engine. The viscosity of oil was reduced by the transesterification process.


seminar topics on alternative fuels
paper presentation topics


presentation topics


Major advantage of producing Bio-diesel is the recycling of CO2 and consequent reduction in Global warming because of large scale plantation of oil seeds trees, which recycle the CO2.


  1. The highest cetane no. of bio-diesel compared to petro diesel indicates potential for higher engine performance.
  2. The superior lubricating properties of bio-diesel increases functional engine efficiency.
  3. Their higher flash point makes them to safer to stored.
  4. The bio-diesel molecules are simple hydrocarbon chains, contains no sulphur or aromatic substances associated with fossil fuels.
  5. They contain higher amount of O2 (upto 10%). That ensures more complete combustion of HC.
  6. Bio-diesel almost completely eliminates life cycles CO2 emission.
  7. Production of 1t / ha / year of high protein seed cake that can be used as animal and fish feeds and organic matter that can be used as organic fertilizers.
  8. Various other products from the plant (leaf, bark and seed extracts) have various other industrial and pharmaceutical uses.
  9. Restoration of degraded land over a period of time.
  10. Rural employment generation.


From the above seminar paper presentation topics results, the following can be interpreted:

  1. Mechanical efficiency improves with the increasing percentage of biodiesel in the blend. 100% biodiesel had the best performance in terms of mechanical efficiency.
  2. The brake thermal efficiency was best for the 50% blend and very similar to the brake thermal efficiency of the HSD.
  3. No considerable change in the value of the torque was noticed. The torque remained almost the same for all the blends.
  4. No considerable change in the values of the brake mean effective pressure though the values of the 50% blend and the 25% blend were closer when compared to other blends which had slightly lower values.
  5. The SFC of all the blends was lower when compared to the SFC of the HSD. But the 50% blend had the closest SFC value to that of the HSD.
  6. The emissions came down drastically. Except the NOx emissions which increased slightly, all other pollutants were present in lesser amount in the emissions.

The above results give an indication that the 50% blend of bio diesel and HSD is the optimum blend which gives a better performance as well as better emission standards.


Through this seminar paper on alternative fuels ,Further work in this field can definitely provide a 100% biodiesel with better performance as well better emission standards. The following work can be further carried out to improve the prospects of biodiesel in future:

  1. Going  for additives like orange oil, Di-methyl carbonate or  Diethylether can improve the performance of the engine.
  2. A 20% by volume addition of these additives can give very good results.
  3. Brake thermal efficiency can be improved by as much as 3% through the usage of DEE and DMC.
  4. Smoke decreases with all the above additives.Additives can also be added to reduce the amount of the NOx present in the exhaust.
  5. To reduce the viscosity of the oil even further, the process of Micro-emulsification can be taken up.

The present investigation reveals that the ester of vegetable oils can be a valuable supplement or even a full substitute for diesel fuel.  Since they perform with acceptable thermal efficiencies. This alternative fuels reduces the environment impacts of transportation, reduces the dependence on crude oil imports and offered business possibilities to agricultural enterprises.  Jatropha cultivation should be taken up on large scale on top priority basis as it will be perennial source of income for formers even during drought periods.  The use of bio-diesel becomes necessary to achieve BharatII and BharatIII emissions standards by 2005 and 2010 respectively.  It will lead to Eco-rehabilitation of degraded lands through plantation of Jatropha curcas for ecological, economical, security and sustainable development.



This is Mr.Jose John, 21 yrs old guy, currently pursuing final year mechanical engineering, now become an enthusiastic blogger and a successful entrepreneur.
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  4. Cirleni says:

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