Martin Meyer, Feld 14, CH-3045 Meikirch

Rapeseed oil fuel – the crisis-proof home made eco-fuel

End of 2008 the CTI-project �Vegetable Oil Combined Heat and Power Unit� – completed by Agricultural Machinery department of SCA in close cooperation with its governmental funding and private industry partners – could successfully be completed. With the supply of locally produced Renewable Resources Rape Seed Oil and its conversion to power and heat, the reference project aiming for the peripheral and rural region promoting niche energy contribution came true exemplarily and leaves two consistent values: a sophisticated small oil mill for the production of rape seed oil, presented in AGRARForschung 15 (8) and a modern vegetable oil Combined Heat and Power Unit, topic of this article. The heart of the CHP is a 4-cylinder diesel engine of Liebherr, Bulle, representing the newly developed 930 series. In a 24-day endurance test in October 08 and the subsequent heating season it confirmed impressively the high prospects to its vegetable oil suitability. The complete CHP has been arranged as a noble and compact container-unit by Senergie GmbH, D-Heitersheim. Hug Engineering Ltd., Elsau, contributed with the effective exhaust gas treatment. With 39 % electrical line efficiency the minimum target value of 37 % could already be exceeded before any implementation of still possible optimization measures. Prior to the start of operation at Suberg engine and exhaust gas treatment assembly – in identical configuration – underwent a 10-month bench testing procedure at Laboratory for IC-Engines and Exhaust Emission Control (AFHB), University of Applied Sciences, Biel. In extensive comparative measurements for he project on the one hand and the Swiss Petroleum Association on the other part, covering a wide range of classic and alternative fuels, rape seed oil fuel completed very advantageous, with respect to specific consumption, effective engine efficiency and particulate matter – in generator operation mode – even with the best values. Oil mill and cogeneration unit enjoy national and international reputation of particularly good reference examples and can account for concrete interest in the project results, namely also from jatropha producing regions.

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