The project of using palm oil as fuel in diesel engines, especially small industrial engines or generators, comes from a demand from the South, and especially from the Democratic Republic of Congo. This state is in close collaboration with ISF (Engineers Without Borders) and CODEART (Belgian NGO located near Aachen), at the base of this project.
The use of palm oil in a diesel engine requires above all a knowledge of its physicochemical properties. By comparing them with those of diesel and other vegetable oils, processed or not, we come out of important points to identify the possible difficulties that would encounter a diesel engine running on palm oil. The result is an analysis of five major problems and their possible remedies: the viscosity, flash point, polymerization, chemical reactions and physicochemical reactions. Various solutions are discussed, both for Europe and especially for Africa.