Date of Award

Spring 2013

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Dr. John D. Mertens

Second Advisor

Dr. Lin Cheng


Waste vegetable oil (WVO) has been recognized as a clean and cheap fuel for diesel engines. However, WVO can only be used if it is heated to approximately 160 to 180 degree F, due to its high viscosity at lower temperatures. In this project, a fuel system was designed and built for a 1985 Mercedes 300SD diesel car to use either WVO or diesel. It uses both engine coolant and electric heating wires for heating WVO. A temperature-controlled switch is used to control the temperature of WVO entering the engine. The heating components were designed and simulated using Matlab, and tested both in the laboratory and on the car. Temperatures of various spots in this system can be monitored through temperature gauges. This new and unique design eliminates the need to run on diesel during warm-up. The whole system has been tested on the car and functioned as desired.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Engineering.