One of the most unfavourable characteristics of crude vegetable oil when used as the fuel is the high viscosity. To improve this weakness, oil can be blended with mineral diesel or biodiesel fuels. This study was designed to evaluate how the use of mineral diesel or biodiesel blend with cold pressed rapeseed (Brassica napus) oil affects the engine power, torque and fuel consumption. A tractor equipped with direct injection, water cooling system and three-cylinder diesel engine was used for the experiment. Fuels used were standard diesel fuel (diesel), rapeseed oil methyl ester - biodiesel (B100) and their mixtures with 10, 30 and 50 vol. % of cold pressed rapeseed oil (RO). Increased portion of RO in diesel fuel blends had almost no effect on the torque measured on the tractor PTO shaft; it however decreased the maximal power. Fuel blends with B100 and rising RO content (up to 50%) gave a positive correlation with maximal torque and power. By increasing the portion of RO from 0 to 50%, the minimal specific fuel consumption increased by 6.65% with diesel and decreased by 2.98% with B100 based fuel.
diesel engine power; torque; fuel consumption