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Task 45


Synthesis, characterization and use of hydro treated oils and fats for engine operation


One promising alternative fuel is hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) as diesel substitutes. HVO shows very similar characteristics compared to conventional diesel although leading to reduced exhaust emissions. In order to reduce the high production costs for HVO further research is needed. Simultaneously the production methods for FAME need to be improved to decrease biodiesel costs.

Purpose and Objectives

In the framework of this project two alternative diesel fuels will be studied concerning process costs, fuel characteristics and usability in modern diesel engines. On the one hand a hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO)  based on algae as raw material is used. The other fuel is a fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) which was  transesterified by special enzymes. The innovative production method which is used for enzymatic FAME (eFAME)  is supposed to reduce the amount of chemicals, widen the range of raw materials and thereby decreasing the production costs. Algae has become an attractive alternative feedstock for fuels mainly due to its high yield of fuel production per-acre of land and its non-consumable character. Algae based HVO is supposed to show similar emission advantages as other HVO fuels. Combined with its benefits in cultivation and production Algae-HVO can facilitate the commercialization of HVO fuels.

The goal of the project is to analyze the process costs for both fuels and to evaluate their sustainability concerning energy cost, catalyst, etc. Both Algae-HVO and eFAME will be analyzed intensively according to EN 590 (HVO) respectively EN 14214 (eFAME) with main focus on their usability as fuel. Additionally the project is interested in the fuels' purity in terms of methanol residue, free lipids or glycerol content.

By engine tests the fuels will be tested concerning engine performance, combustion behavior as well as exhaust emissions with main focus on nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. Furthermore fuel consumption and potential influences on exhaust after treatments systems will be analyzed. For this purpose measurements will be done both for standard diesel engine application and HVO/eFAME-adapted engine application.

The main objective of this project is to present results about the tested fuels concerning production costs, sustainability and usability as fuel. The final outcome we wish to achieve for HVO/eFAME is to decrease the process costs by use of alternative raw materials respectively production method in order to facilitate the substitution of fossil fuels by biofuels.


The main activities include benchmarking of eFAME and Algae-HVO in terms of process cost, sustainability as well as fuel characteristics. Furthermore the fuels will be tested concerning their use as diesel substitutes in engine tests with main focus on exhaust emissions, fuel consumption.

In addition influences on exhaust after treatment systems will be investigated. Engine tests will be done both for standard and eFAME/HVO-adapted engine applications. After application work a systematization of determined data sets will be carried out to reduce upcoming application work.

Project Duration March 2013 – September 2014
Task Sharing Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, United States
Cost Sharing No cost sharing
Total Budget 186.000 € ($247,045 US)
Task Manager Mr. Benjamin Stengel
Rostock University
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering