Biodiesel from Yellow Mustard Oil, Phase III Grant uri icon



  • The goals of this project were to evaluate locally developed yellow mustard cultivars, experiment with the biodiesel made from them through stationary engine and on-road testing and to sponsor and host the tenth biennial bioenergy conference.

    A 2001 Volkswagen 1.9 L TDI Beetle and a 1999 Cummins powered Dodge diesel pickup truck continue to run on 100 percent yellow mustard biodiesel (MEE). The beetle has accumulated a total of 12,210 miles, and the Dodge, 27,230 miles. No operational problems have been noted. Oil analysis results have all been normal. The Vandal Trolley has been has been running on B20 to document the long-term effects of biodiesel on stop-and-start drives.Stationary engine tests include the completion of a 200-hour EMA durability test with a 24 hp, 3 cylinder, Yanmar DI engine running on MEE. During the durability test MEE power averaged 6.0 percent lower; fuel consumption was 2.2 percent higher and BSFC (hp-hrs/gal) was 8 percent higher than when operated on diesel.

    The Tenth Biennial Bioenergy Conference, Bioenergy 2002,Bioenergy for the Environment, will be held in Boise Idaho, at the Center on the Grove, the downtown conference center, from Sept. 22 - 26, 2002. his conference is a major conference for biomass energy professionals.

    Bioenergy 2002 will emphasize using biomass to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and supplement our regional energy resources while saving the environment. It will provide a forum to share and develop new ideas that will improve knowledge of bioenergy as an energy resource. It will highlight successful commercialization efforts and emphasize the biomass renewable resource base that we have all around us. Participants will be bioenergy professionals, technology developers, educators, researchers, government officials, entrepreneurs and others who are united in recognizing the advantages of bioenergy renewable resources and the benefits they offer. The University of Idaho and the Idaho Energy Division have agreed to provide leadership for the conference. NIATT sponsorship will provide funds for travel and other expenses related to development of the conference and will assure NIATT recognition at all conference events.

    The first phase of the project included an EMA test for determinig the durability of Yellow Mustard oil biodiesel. The test uses a stationary engine, operated under a load cycle proposed by the Engine Manufacturer’s association. The fuel being tested is IdaGold Yellow Mustard. This is a new crop that is in limited supply. Tests in 2000-2001 had to be terminated at 160 hours due to lack of oil for producing the biodiesel. A new crop is now available and additional oil will be produced. It is proposed that this test be completed to at least 200 hours and if possible to 300 hours.

    The University of Idaho campus has a central core with parking facilities around the peripheral. Two years ago a Campus Commons facility was created in the center core of the campus. If faculty, staff, and students are to make adequate use of the parking facilities a campus transportation system is needed. Many University and non-university events are held at the Commons. Access to this facility except by walking is limited. Especially the elderly and handicapped have difficulty on the campus. A campus transportation system is needed. The main concept considered is a trolley type bus.

    This project proposes to develop a “people mover” concept similar to that used at Walt Disney World. The “people mover” will consist of a traction unit similar to a John Deere Gator for providing the power. Passengers will be moved via self-tracking trailers pulled by the power unit. These relatively low cost tractor/trailer units will move 15 to 30 people at fairly low speed. They will be small with access direct from seat to street. Fuel for the Gator will be environmentally friendly, locally produced biodiesel. The local John Deere dealer, Columbia Tractor, has agreed to loan a Gator for tests. We will need to develop the “people mover” trailers.

    To be successful at solving the campus transportation problem, a number of people movers would be used. The number of trailers connected to each could be changed for the time of day and the event. In adverse weather conditions modest protection for passengers would be provided. However, since total travel time would always be short, air-conditioned comfort would be left to Mother Nature.

    Emissions data is a critical aspect of testing with alternative fuels such as the yellow mustard biodiesel tests proposed in this project. University of Idaho personnel have conducted four weeks of emissions testing on the transient chassis dynamometer at the Los Angeles Metropolitan Test Authority emissions test facility. It is proposed that mode tests using the UI chassis dynamometer test facility be conducted and data compared with the earlier tests to determine if a suitable screening procedure could be developed. Conducting emissions tests locally would allow for more varieties feedstock to be evaluated and would save considerable time and money.

    The exact vehicles used for the earlier tests at LA MTA (1994 Dodge/Cummins owned by the UI and 1995 Dodge/Cummins operated by Yellowstone National Park), the original second-by-second data, and original fuel types (this includes rapeseed ethyl and methyl esters, HySEE and Phillips 66 low sulfur diesel reference fuel), are still available, thus enhancing the chance for success of this activity. This task was started under year 2 funding and will be continued for the third year of funding. In year 2, the chassis dynamometer was installed and tested. Some testing has been conducted and more will be done before the start of the third year funding, but more will remain to be done to reach project goals.

date/time interval

  • January 1, 2002 - January 1, 2005

total award amount

  • UTC funding for this project in FY02: $43,410.

local award ID

  • KLK311