Agricultural Sciences

Title :

Ultra-Clean emissions DME fuelled Tractor engine prototype development for agricultural applications

Area of research :

Agricultural Sciences, Earth, Atmosphere & Environment Sciences, Engineering Sciences, Energy Sciences

Focus area :

DME fuelled Tractor engine

Principal Investigator :

Dr Avinash Kumar Agarwal, Professor, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur

Timeline Start Year :


Contact info :


Executive Summary :

With rising fuel prices and tighter emission norms, the development of alternative fuels and alternative fuel-powered vehicles seems to be the way forward for reducing our dependence on conventional fossil fuels. Deliverable of this project would open doors for India to start full-scale utilization of Di-Methyl-Ether (DME) as an alternate fuel and reduce dependence on mineral diesel. The objective of this project is to develop a methodology to convert diesel fuelled engines to be fuelled by DME. DME is a fuel that can be of bio-origin which emits very low emissions compared to mineral diesel. Its physical/ chemical/ thermal properties are ideal for application as cleaner alternative fuel in variety of applications. For developing a DME fuelled tractor, investigators intend to modify a base diesel engine and develop a retrofitment kit for DME adaptation. Modifications would include adapting fuel tank, fuel lines, fuel pumps and injectors as well as new/ improved seals and gaskets, modifications in engine management system (calibration) and using appropriate software to control the fuel injection timings and strategies. DME spray characterization (macroscopic and microscopic) will be undertaken using high-speed imaging and Phase Doppler Interferometry (PDI). A constant volume spray chamber (CVSC) will be used for the measurement of spray penetration length, spray cone angle, and droplet size distribution. Many other engine/ vehicle modifications will be implemented such as pressure relief valves, non-sparking metal components such as brass, shields and valve covers etc. After ECU calibration for DME, the modified multi-cylinder engine will be tested on a transient dynamometer for its engine combustion, performance and emissions characteristics and then compared with mineral diesel. At the end, durability test will also be performed. At the end of this project, a tractor prototype operating on 100% DME and a new FIE and retro-fitment kit will be delivered for agricultural applications. Field trials, rectification of problems and design changes will also be undertaken towards the end with the help of OEM. This project will pave way for introduction of DME/ Methanol economy in India for sustainable development and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.


Prof. Tarun Gupta, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur

Total Budget (INR):


Organizations involved