The present work analyzes the effect of antioxidants on engine combustion performance of a multi-cylinder diesel engine fueled with PB30 and PB50 (30 and 50 vol.% palm biodiesel (PB)). Four antioxidants namely N,N′-diphenyl-1,4-phenylenediamine (DPPD), N-phenyl-1,4-phenylenediamine (NPPD), 2(3)-tert-Butyl-4-methoxyphenol (BHA), and 2-tert-butylbenzene-1,4-diol (TBHQ) were added at concentrations of 1000 and 2000 ppm to PB30 and PB50. TBHQ showed the highest activity in increasing oxidation stability in both PB30 and PB50 followed by BHA, DPPD, and NPPD respectively, without any negative effect on physical properties. Compared to diesel fuel, PB blends showed 4.61–6.45% lower brake power (BP), 5.90–8.69% higher brake specific fuel consumption (BSFC), 9.64–11.43% higher maximum in cylinder pressure, and 7.76–12.51% higher NO emissions. Carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbon (HC), and smoke opacity were reduced by 36.78–43.56%, 44.12–58.21%, and 42.59–63.94%, respectively, than diesel fuel. The start of combustion angles (SOC) of PB blends was − 13.2 to − 15.6 °CA BTDC, but the combustion delays were 5.4–7.8 °CA short compared to diesel fuel which were − 10 °CA BTDC and 11°CA respectively. Antioxidant fuels of PB showed higher BP (1.81–5.32%), CO (8.41–24.60%), and HC (13.51–37.35%) with lower BSFC (1.67–7.68%), NO (4.32–11.53%), maximum in cylinder pressure (2.33–4.91%) and peak heat release rates (HRR) (3.25–11.41%) than baseline fuel of PB. Similar SOC of − 13 to − 14 °CA BTDC was observed for PB blended fuels and antioxidants. It can be concluded that antioxidants’ addition is effective in increasing the oxidation stability and in controlling the NOx emissions of palm biodiesel fuelled diesel engine.
- NO reduction
- Oxidation stability