University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Division of Agriculture


Tests were conducted during the summer of 2009 on a John Deere 3203 diesel tractor to determine differences in specific fuel consumption (sfc), power take-off (PTO) torque (Nm), and PTO power (kW), between ultralow sulfur No. 2 Diesel (D2), 20% biodiesel (B20), 50% biodiesel (B50), and100% biodiesel (B100). Four 1-hr tests were conducted with D2, while three 1-hr tests were conducted with B20, B50, and B100. The results indicated that there was no significant (p < 0.05) difference between D2 and B20 for power or torque. Fueling with B50 resulted in significantly lower power and torque than fueling with D2 or B20, but significantly higher power and torque than fueling with B100. There were significant differences between each fuel in sfc; as the biodiesel blend increased, sfc also increased. Based on these data, B20 appears to be the optimal biodiesel blend for this and similar compact utility tractors since fueling with B20 resulted in no significant loss in power or torque (compared to D2) and only a slight increase in fuel consumption.