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Karanja oil (a non edible straight vegetable oil) and karanja biodiesel (methyl ester of karanja oil) were blended with petroleum diesel in various proportions to evaluate and compare the performance and emission characteristics of a single cylinder direct injection constant speed diesel engine. Diesel and karanja oil and karanja biodiesel (10%, 20%, 30% and 40%) fuel blends were used to conduct engine performance and emission tests at varying loads in terms of 25% load increments from no load to full loads. Tests were carried out for engine operation and engine performance parameters such as fuel consumption, brake thermal efficiency, and exhaust emissions (smoke, CO, HC, NOx, and O2) were recorded. Among the blends KO10 and KB20 have shown a better performance with respect to BTE and BSEC. All KO blends have shown higher HC emissions after about 75% load. KB blends have shown 40-50% reduction in CO emissions compared to diesel at different loads. KO 40 blend showed a 21% reduction in NOx emission. KO10 and KB20 have an overall better performance with regards to both engine performance and emission characteristics.