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The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Malaysia

Research project: Combustion and Emissions Analysis of Biodiesel-Glycerine in Diesel Engines

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Glycerine is a high-value colourless, odourless, viscous liquid that is typically used in food and pharmaceutical industries. However, the proliferation of biodiesel production has flooded the market with glycerine, due to it being a by-product of the biodiesel production process. It is expected that glycerine production will exceed demands by six times in the year 2020. This has caused glycerine to be converted from a valuable by-product to a waste that has to be disposed. Thus, it is appealing to use glycerine for combustion in diesel engines, instead of paying for disposal.

Glycerine can potentially be a useful fuel due to its high molecule-bound oxygen content. However, glycerine cannot be used directly in compression ignition engines due to its high viscosity (at room temperature) and low energy content.

In this project, the candidtate will have the objective of producing biodiesel-glycerine blends (see Figure 1) to reduce the overall viscosity and increase energy content, for use in diesel engines. From it, optimum blend-operating condition combinations will be identified. Attempts will be made to identify the reaction kinetics of this novel fuel blend. Research work will include experimental and/or simulation studies.


Figure 1
Figure 1: Biodiesel-glycerine blend for use in diesel engines.


Interested applicant should be enthusiastic about solving problems in the field of automotive and combustion; and have already obtained a First-class or Upper second-class honours degree in Engineering (any discipline) or any related field. The successful applicant will get to spend a year in Southampton, UK, in addition to being based at the Malaysia Campus (USMC). The scope and focus of the project offered will be defined based on the applicant's academic background and research interest. Scholarships may be available to outstanding applicants.


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