Vegetable Oil-Based Lubricants

Use of Renewable, Vegetable Oil-Based Lubricants in Diesel Engines to Reduce Particulate Emissions

Prof. Joseph Perez, Department of Chemical Engineering
Prof. Andr‚ Boehman, Department of Energy & Geo-Environmental Engineering

Students: David Weller, William Swain, Howard Hess

To determine the performance and emissions benefits of using vegetable oil lubricants in diesel engines

Fully formulated high oleic sunflower oil (HOSO) lubricants have been tested in both conventional and ceramic-coated engine configurations. The engine is a Yanmar TS-180 single cylinder IDI diesel engine. Particulate mass, composition and morphology have been examined.


The vegetable oil-based lubricant leads to lower total particulate mass emissions under some engine operating conditions and leads to significant differences in particulate morphology and composition under light load conditions. Presented below are tables of SOF and VOF measured in the particulate emissions from the Yanmar engine. The Test Matrix used here followed the ISO 8178 Type E3 Test Protocol, although the power ratings were decreased below the ISO specifications. The VOF and SOF measurements so the same trends with engine configuration and oil type. Dramatic differences in particulate composition are observed between the vegetable oil lubricant and conventional lubricant for either engine type and between the ceramic-coated and conventional engines for either lubricant type.