About the Project

Pure vegetable oil use as engine fuel has the potential for the most comprehensive ecologic, economic and social benefits among all biofuels. The production involves few process steps and can be done economically with small and local production units. The production process has only small energy losses and provides potential for additional income generation on farms, thereby strengthening rural economic structures.
The challenges to be met by pure vegetable oil are engine adaptation, fuel quality control, emissions control and limits to overall production potential. State-of-the-art concepts allow for achieving EURO3 emission levels for road vehicles in specifically adapted diesel engines for rape seed oil fitting to the German pre-norm DIN V 51605. However, advanced biofuels should allow that emissions keep within the limits of the forthcoming EURO6 norm for road vehicles and EU Stage 4 / US TIER4 for non-road vehicles.
This project has covered research and demonstration on 2nd generation vegetable oil fuels in advanced engines. It has followed a double strategy: engines as well as the fuel are adapted such that both match and the combination allows for achieving high engine performance at minimum fuel consumption fitting with most severe emission limits.

The objectives were:

  • to widen the range of considered oils, in order to increase the available fuel potential,
  • to research on and demonstrate additives for vegetable oils,
  • to research on and demonstrate improved engine oils,
  • to achieve EU stage 4 / US TIER4 emission levels in medium-scale demonstration fleets running in France, Austria, Germany and Poland,
  • to transfer the engine and fuel concepts to hybrid engines, allowing to achieve forthcoming EURO6 emission levels,
  • to prepare proposals for future fuel standards. The outcome of the project includes advanced engine and fuel concepts for vegetable oil and the preparation of a European standard for 2nd generation vegetable oil.
Picture of a Fuel Station for Rape Seed OilThe presently most used vegetable oil for transport is rape seed oil. However, rape seed can hardly be cultivated organically, thus not allowing fully sustainable fuel production. Sunflower oil is an alternative which was already investigated in preceding projects. In this project,  4 different pure vegetable oils, rape seed, sunflower, camelina sativa and jatropha oil were successfully tested. In a frame of a linked research project, 4 other oils, wheat germ, palm, coconut and soy oil were successfully tested in addition.

Seventh Framework Programme
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