- Energy technical properties of bio-oils and optimal injection systems using biofuels

In cooperation with industry and several other universities we conduct a research project in order to study bio-oils, that are either self-manufactured or manufactured by the partners in the industry. The aim is to study

  • 1) physical properties and energy technical properties of bio-oils and biofuel
  • 2) based on the above findings, to investigate how applicable bio-oils are in the fuel production for burners, generators and diesel engines
  • 3) to study problems concerning the logistics and environmental characteristics etc. from the aspect of sustainable development in connection with decentralised biofuel production

Here, bio-oils refer to vegetable oils, fish oils and animal fats, which are either specifically produced for oil production (vegetable oils) or which are produced as a by-product of some other form of production (fish oils, fur animal fats, linseed oil, for instance). The potential areas for the use of bio-oils include lubricating oils, fuel oils, hydraulic oils, blade oils etc. The different projects also study the special characteristics required from the produced biodiesel oil, such as storage and cold properties.

"SIMO project: the optimization of pressing and transesterification in the production of biodiesel oil and protein crush" studies plant subspecies suitable for oil pressing all the way from growing to the quality of the crush. In order to both to increase the oil outcome and to lower the oil content of the crush, it is essential that the oil pressing is made more efficient. Closer research on transesterification is beneficial in the quality control process of biodiesel oil.

"TUTKA project: A research project on the usage of renewable energy and the possibilities of increasing its usage" studies the usage of bioenergy from the points of view of sustainable development, logistics and communication. The project, in which about 1000 people have been interviewed, is carried out together with the EU project ASPIRE.

"KALLE project: From fish oil and animal fat to biodiesel" aims to study the properties of fish oils and animal fats and the energy technical properties of the biodiesel produced out of them. Both the engine gas emissions and particle emissions have been studied in the project. The research is carried out in cooperation with fish oil producers and fur producers in order to utilize the fats that appear as by-products in the production process.

"TARINA project: The impact of biodiesel on the engine vibration and noise" aims to study the influence of the fuel composition on the vibration and noise of a diesel engine. The parameters to be investigated are the differences in the pressure curves inside the combustion chamber that are caused by the differences in fuel properties. Other objectives of the research include describing and modelling the combustion chamber. The University of Vaasa, Tampere University of Technology and Svenska Yrkeshögskolan i Vasa (the Swedish Polytechnic in Vaasa) participate in the research.

"HETA project: The economic use of a diesel car" aims to study the basic principles of the economic driving of a diesel car. The project is carried out in cooperation with the Polytechnic University of Turku.

"BIPO project: Bio fuel laboratory" is a cooperation project of VEI in order to create a state-of-the-art laboratory to study bio fuels, that also is capable of standardised measuring processes. The objective is, not only to carry out high-standard research by VEI, but also to offer measuring services to companies acting in the field.

"SAKO project: The storage and cold properties of biodiesel" is a project that is at a preparation stage in order to study and improve the storage and cold properties of mixed biodiesel in particular. The project will study the viscosity and congealing point properties of biodiesel in the special conditions of a cold chamber, for instance, in principle from the room temperature all the way to -60 degrees of Centigrade. The project is carried out together with the Polytechnic University of Vaasa.

"BIKA project: The requirements set for biogas in traffic use" is a research project interlinked with BiPo project at an early stage, which studies the requirements set for biogas in traffic use and which also studies what kind of equipment is required to supervise the quality of biogas.

In terms of the fuel usage the conducted research promotes the possibilities of SMEs and farms to participate in distributed energy production. Particularly, as far as vegetable oils are concerned, the research for its part promotes the projects to launch bio-oil and biodiesel production as a subsidiary trade of agriculture. As far as enterprises are concerned, the project promotes the utilization of the oil or fat now produced as a by-product and, thus, increases the partial profitability.

The research belongs to the field of energy technology, which is one of the focus points of research at the University of Vaasa. As a part of Vaasa Energy Institute, the research project strengthens the research and teaching of the field of energy technology in Vaasa.

For more information, please contact:

Erkki Hiltunen, Ph.D., Research Director
The Faculty of Technology, Physics
The University of Vaasa
P.O.Box 700
Tel. +358 (0)6 324 8692
Email: firstname.lastname@vei.fi