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International Journal of Energy for a Clean Environment
SJR: 0.195 SNIP: 0.435 CiteScore™: 0.74

ISSN Print: 2150-3621
ISSN Online: 2150-363X

International Journal of Energy for a Clean Environment

Formerly Known as Clean Air: International Journal on Energy for a Clean Environment

DOI: 10.1615/InterJEnerCleanEnv.2014005660
pages 213-223


Moses P. M. Chinyama
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Malawi – The Polytechnic, Malawi, South Africa
G. Gondwe
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Malawi − The Polytechnic


Jatropha oil is a biofuel that offers a feasible option to replace kerosene (paraffin) widely used in rural and periurban areas for lighting. The scarcity and increasing price of kerosene has renewed the interest in the search for a renweable source of energy that can effectively replace kerosene for lighting. The use of jatropha oil in lamps is an area that is still under research. The performance of jatropha oil in kerosene lamps as well as in specially designed lamps has produced promising results that require some refining. In this study, the burning of different blends of jatropha oil with kerosene ranging from 20 to 100% by volume in the lamps generally used in rural areas was investigated. Performance indicators of interest that were monitored included luminosity of flame, stability of flame, wick burning rate, fuel consumption rate, and carbon monoxide emissions. In order to help in understanding the burning characterists of the fuel blends, the following physical properties were also determined in this study: density, color, and flash point. The general observations are that as the proportion of jatropha increases, the fuel consumption as well as light intensity decrease. Wetting of the wick decreases with increasing jatropha oil, thereby reducing the flame height and luminosity, and the wick tends to burn. The performance at 20% jatropha oil content shows very small differences from 100% kerosene performance in both hurricane lanterns and koloboy (kolobori) lamps. Density and flash point increase with increasing jatropha oil content. Increase in CO emissions has been observed especially in the koloboy lamp with increasing jatropha oil.