PITA Fiscal Year 2007 Projects

Environmental Technologies

Measurement of Air Pollutant Emissions from Biodiesel Derived from Different Feedstocks
CMU’s School of Architecture, in cooperation with its Department of Mechanical Engineering, is now installing a biodiesel fueled engine generator with heat recovery equipment to provide power, cooling, heating, and ventilation for its Intelligent Workplace (IW). The goal is to demonstrate that the energy requirements for operating a building can be reduced by a factor of 6 or more and can be met by solar and renewable energy.

In the proposed project four biodiesel fuels made from different feedstocks (for example; soy, canola, palm, and used vegetable oils), will be tested using the generator in the IW to determine their air pollutant emissions. Emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx), CO, unburned hydrocarbons, and particulate matter (PM) will be measured and compared for the different biofuels and standard petroleum-based diesel (petrodiesel). Novel aspects of the research include the wide variety of biofuels, detailed PM characterization, and engine tuning to optimize performance for individual fuels. The biodiesel samples will be provided and characterized by CTI Biofuels, a local company commercializing technology for the production of biodiesel based on technology developed at CMU.