The combustion and emission characteristics of a diesel engine running on butanol-diesel blends were investigated in this study. The blending ratio of n-butanol to diesel was varied from 0 to 40 vol% using an increment of 10 vol%, and each blend was tested on a 2.7 L V6 common rail direction injection diesel engine equipped with an EGR system. The test was carried out under two engine loads at a constant engine speed, using various combinations of EGR ratios and injection timings. Test results indicate that n-butanol addition to engine fuel is able to substantially decrease soot emission from raw exhaust gas, while the change in NOx emissions varies depending on the n-butanol content and engine operating conditions. Increasing EGR ratio and retarding injection timing are effective approaches to reduce NOx emissions from combustion of n-butanol-diesel blends. But the engine control strategies need to be optimized in order to achieve low levels of both soot and NOx emissions, as well as a reasonable fuel economy.