Browse Publications Technical Papers 2011-01-2396
2011-12-06

Biodiesel Impact on Engine Lubricant Dilution During Active Regeneration of Aftertreatment Systems 2011-01-2396

Experiments were conducted with ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD) and 20% biodiesel blends (B20) to compare lube oil dilution levels and lubricant properties for systems using late in-cylinder fuel injection for aftertreatment regeneration. Lube oil dilution was measured by gas chromatography (GC) following ASTM method D3524 to measure diesel content, by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometry following a modified ASTM method D7371 to measure biodiesel content, and by a newly developed back-flush GC method that simultaneously measures both diesel and biodiesel. Heavy-duty (HD) engine testing was conducted on a 2008 6.7L Cummins ISB equipped with a diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) and diesel particle filter (DPF). Stage one of engine testing consisted of 10 consecutive repeats of a forced DPF regeneration event. This continuous operation with late in-cylinder fuel injection served as a method to accelerate lube-oil dilution. Stage two consisted of 16 hours of normal engine operation over a transient test cycle, which created an opportunity for any accumulated fuel in the oil sump to evaporate. Light duty (LD) vehicle testing was conducted on a 2010 VW Jetta equipped with DOC, DPF and a NOx storage catalyst (NSC). Vehicle testing comprised approximately 4,000 miles of operation on a mileage-accumulation dynamometer (MAD) using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Highway Fuel Economy Cycle because of the relatively low engine oil and exhaust temperatures, and high DPF regeneration frequency of this cycle relative to other cycles examined. Comparison of the lube oil dilution analysis methods suggests that D3524 does not measure dilution by biodiesel. The new back-flush GC method provided analysis for both diesel and biodiesel, in a shorter time and with lower detection limit. Thus all lube oil dilution results in this paper are based on this method. Analysis of the HD lube-oil samples showed only 1.5% to 1.6% fuel dilution for both fuels during continuous operation under DPF regeneration events. During the second stage of HD testing, the ULSD lube-oil dilution levels fell from 1.5% to 0.8%, while for B20, lube-oil dilution levels fell from 1.6% to 1.0%, but the fuel in the oil was 36% biodiesel. For the LD vehicle tests, the frequency of DPF regeneration events was observed to be the same for both ULSD and B20. No significant difference between the two fuels' estimated soot loading was detected by the engine control unit (ECU), although a 23% slower rate of increase in differential pressure across DPF was observed with B20. It appears that the ECU estimated soot loading is based on the engine map, not taking advantage of the lower engine-out particulate matter from the use of biodiesel. After 4,000 miles of LD vehicle operation with ULSD, fuel dilution in the lube-oil samples showed total dilution levels of 4.1% diesel. After 4,000 miles of operation with B20, total fuel in oil dilution levels were 6.7% consisting of 3.6% diesel fuel and 3.1% biodiesel. Extrapolation to the 10,000-mile oil drain interval with B20 suggests that the total fuel content in the oil could reach 12%, compared to 5% for operation on ULSD. Analysis of the oil samples also included measurement of total acid number, total base number, viscosity, soot, metals and wear scar; however, little difference in these parameters was noted.

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