"Evaluation of pure rapeseed oil as a renewable fuel for agricultural machinery based on emission characteristics and long-term operation behaviour of a fleet of 18 tractors"
"Abstract: The usage of locally produced pure rapeseed oil fuel (R100) according to fuel standard DIN 51605 in agricultural machinery can contribute to protecting the climate, water, and soil. Besides economic aspects, uncertainties concerning the long-term operation reliability and limited exhaust emissions of R100-operated agricultural machinery are hindering market entry. Thus, the aim of this research is to evaluate field experiences, such as downtimes and repairs, engine oil quality, and cold start behaviour, over a total period of more than 50,000 operation hours with 18 tractors. The tested tractors range from European Union exhaust gas stages I to IV and were configured for the use of R100. Additionally, performance, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter were measured on a tractor test stand. The tractors demonstrated their full functionality under usual Bavarian farm conditions in daily use. Within the tractor fleet, no serious engine damage was observed, while minor malfunctions and necessary repairs occurred just occasionally. The operational reliability of the tested rapeseed-oil-fuelled tractors seemed to be comparable to that of diesel-fuelled tractors. The results of recurrent power and fuel consumption measurements gave no indication of engine deterioration. Furthermore, measurements proved that differences in exhaust gas emissions between R100 and diesel operation were marginal. Tractor models with exhaust gas after treatment systems were characterized by low emissions of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter in particular. With the 18 tractors running on R100, about 220 tonnes of CO2eq per year were saved on average from 2015 to 2017. It can be concluded that the usage of pure rapeseed oil fuel (R100) in compatible agricultural machinery is an implementable alternative to diesel fuel and can make an important contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture. Nevertheless, there are some challenges to solve, particularly for modern agricultural machines with engines with exhaust gas after-treatment systems." Ettl, J., Bernhardt, H., Huber, G., Thuneke, K., Remmele, E., & Emberger, P. (2020). Evaluation of pure rapeseed oil as a renewable fuel for agricultural machinery based on emission characteristics and long-term operation behaviour of a fleet of 18 tractors. SN Applied Sciences, 2(10). doi: 10.1007/s42452-020-03490-8