University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Division of Agriculture


Tests were conducted in fall 2006 on a John Deere 3203 diesel tractor to determine differences in specific fuel consumption, power take-off (PTO) torque, PTO power, thermal efficiency, and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions between No. 2 diesel (D2), 20% biodiesel (B20), and 100% biodiesel (B100). Four 1-hour tests were conducted on each fuel. The results indicated no statistically significant differences (p≤.05) between D2 or B20 on any variable of interest. However, B100 resulted in significantly (p≤.05) increased, specific fuel consumption and thermal efficiency and decreased PTO torque and PTO power over both D2 and B20. These data suggest that farmers could switch from D2 to B20 without any performance losses, but a switch to B100 would result in the use of more fuel and a loss of power and torque.