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

ISSN Imprimer: 2150-3621
ISSN En ligne: 2150-363X

International Journal of Energy for a Clean Environment

Précédemment connu sous le nom Clean Air: International Journal on Energy for a Clean Environment

DOI: 10.1615/InterJEnerCleanEnv.2017016684
pages 223-230


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


This paper describes the development of a lamp fuelled by 100% crude jatropha oil for its functioning. The scarcity and increasing price of kerosene (parafin) has renewed the interest in the search for a renweable source of energy that can effectively replace kerosene for lighting. Kerosene is widely used in rural and peri-urban areas in Africa and Asia for lighting. Jatropha oil is a biofuel that offers a feasible option to replace kerosene for lighting. Jatropha oil has different characteristics compared to the conventional kerosene. Jatropha oil is not highly inflammable as its flash point is as high as 224°C, whereas kerosene has a flash point of only 38°C. Due to the differences in the properties, paraffin and jatropha oil burn in different ways in lamps. Switching from paraffin to jatropha oil presents several challenges that must be addressed in order to achieve successful application. The use of jatropha oil in lamps is an area which is still being investigated. The performance of jatropha oil in kerosene lamps as well as in specially designed lamps have yielded promising results that require some refining. In this study, a jatropha oil lamp which works on the principle of static pressure has been developed and tested for its luminosity, stability of flame, and fuel consumption rate. In order to help in understanding the burning characterists of the fuel, the following physical properties were also determined in this study: density, color, and flash point. The results of the tests show that the jatropha oil lamp has a stable flame with flame luminosity and fuel consumption comparable to the kerosene lamp.