In this paper, an experimental study has been conducted to study the effects of iso-alkanes blending in diesel on combustion and emission characters based on a modified single cylinder diesel engine. Iso-octane, iso-dodecane and 2,2,4,4,6,8,8-heptamethylnonane (HMN) were chosen as test iso-alkanes. The direct injection timing was kept at 7 oCA BTDC. The injection pressure was maintained at 120 MPa. The study found that iso-alkanes had strong effects on the heat release phase under low load. The effects were weakened gradually with the increase of loads. The peak value of heat release curves and the maximum pressure rising rate gradually increased with the increase of loads. Blending iso-alkanes resulted in the increase of CO emissions and decrease of HC emissions. NOx emissions also decrease under low loads. Under high loads, blending iso-alkanes reduced the soot emissions significantly. Compared with iso-octane and HMN, the peak value of particulate matters distribution of iso-dodecane is the lowest. This may be related to the less methyl branched chain of iso-alkanes.