The Response Surface Methodology as a Tool to Evaluate the Effects of Using Diesel-Biodiesel-Bioethanol Blends as Farm Tractor Fuel
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SubjectAlternative fuels; Fuel consumption; biodiesel; Response; Agricultural tractors; Tractors; Agricultural engines; Agricultural machinery; Diesel engines; Emissions; Exhaust gas; AGR/09; ING-IND/08
The Response Surface Methodology (RSM) is used here to analyse a large set of experimental data regarding themechanical and environmental performances of an internal combustion engine (ICE) used to power a farm tractor. The aim is twofold: (i) to demonstrate the effectiveness of RSM in quantitatively assessing the effects of biofuels on a complex system like an ICE; (ii) to supply the users with easy-to-use models to predict the effect of biofuel blends on performance and emissions of tractor engines and find an optimal blend according to given user-defined parameters. The methodology showed good prediction abilities: the calculated average errors for the first models were lower than 0.38 and 1.40% on 6 test cases, with a higher accuracy in the assessment of the ICE mechanical performance. As a result, two effective and user-friendly models for torque and NOx emissions were developed; they were subsequently used to single out some fuel blends having interesting effects in terms of limitation of the average increment in theNOx emissions and of the torque average decrement (here: B3E0, B11E0, B20E3).
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