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Avinash Kumar Agarwal talks with ScienceWatch.com and answers a few questions about this month's New Hot Paper in the field of Engineering.
Agarwal Article Title: Biofuels (alcohols and biodiesel) applications as fuels for internal combustion engines
Authors: Agarwal, AK
Journal: PROG ENERG COMBUST SCI
Volume: 33
Issue: 3
Page: 233-271
Year: JUN 2007
* Indian Inst Technol, Dept Mech Engn, Kanpur 208016, Uttar Pradesh, India.
* Indian Inst Technol, Dept Mech Engn, Kanpur 208016, Uttar Pradesh, India.

 Why do you think your paper is highly cited?

I think that this paper is highly cited because it covers a full spectrum of investigations carried out on biofuels, along with a very comprehensive review of the literature. More than half of this paper is about research done in my laboratory, while the remainder is a review of the literature and that seems to have been much appreciated by international researchers at work in this field.

 Does it describe a new discovery, methodology, or synthesis of knowledge?

"This research is going to change the way we allocate our hydrocarbon resources in the future."

This paper describes some of the most comprehensive research and experimental techniques which were applied to biofuels research for the first time. Analytical chemistry is used to answer some of the complicated mechanical engineering related problems.

 Would you summarize the significance of your paper in layman's terms?

The paper covers all aspects of biofuels (biodiesel and alcohol), starting from the production stage and fuel characterization, along through detailed engine tests involving performance, emission, and long-term investigations into aspects other than the mere combustion of these alternative fuels. Various engine-out emissions—both regulated as well as unregulated—have also been investigated and reported in this paper.

 How did you become involved in this research, and were there any problems along the way?

This subject was the focus of both my Master's degree and Ph.D. dissertation and was followed during my career as a Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur. I have faced enormous technical challenges during the course of this research, as I am a mechanical engineer by training and this research involved plenty of background knowledge in both chemistry and tribology.

 Where do you see your research leading in the future?

The future seems to be really bright since we are moving into a new era of higher-priced carbon energy resources and it will make economic sense to grow our own energy sources (biodiesel fuels and alcohols) in order to operate various machines, which are such an essential part of modern living.

 Do you foresee any social or political implications for your research?

Yes. This research is going to change the way we allocate our hydrocarbon resources in the future. Research into biofuels is going to grow in importance as the price of hydrocarbon fuel increases.

Dr. Avinash K. Agarwal
Associate Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur(IITK)
Kanpur, India

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RELATED> Also see the Special Topic of Biofuels

Keywords: biofuels, biodiesel and alcohol, internal combustion engines, analytical chemistry, engine-out emissions, higher-priced carbon energy resources, hydrocarbon fuel.

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2008 : September 2008 - New Hot Papers : Avinash Kumar Agarwal