Browse Publications Technical Papers 2020-01-0344
2020-04-14

Development of a method to measure soft particles in drop-in fuels 2020-01-0344

Renewable fuels have an important role to create sustainable energy systems. In this paper the focus is on biodiesel, which is a fuel produced from vegetable oils or animal fats. Today biodiesel is mostly used as drop-in fuel, mixed into conventional diesel fuels to reduce their environmental impact. Drop-in fuels in case of low fuel qualities can lead to deposits throughout the fuel systems of heavy duty vehicles. In a previous study fuel filters from the field were collected and analyzed with the objective to determine the main components responsible for fuel filter plugging. The identified chemicals were characterized as soft particles. In the current study, the focus was on metal carboxylates, since metal carboxylates were found to be one of the components of soft particles and it is associated with other engine malfunctioning as well. Hence the measurement of metal carboxylates in the fuel is important for future studies regarding the fuels effect on engines. The first aim of this study was to create synthetic soft particles from biodiesel. Accelerated aging of fuels with different contaminations such as engine oil and calcium oxide were used to create the synthetic soft particles. The precipitates were collected and analyzed with different techniques such as FTIR and GC-MS, to identify its main components. These components were compared with the results of the previous study. Following this, specific attention was given to calcium methyl azelate as it was shown to be found in field filters and also is known to produce nozzle fouling and internal injector deposits. A method using GC-MS was developed to be able to estimate the amount of soft particles by measuring calcium methyl azelate. The specified method proved to be adequate for future studies to evaluate the filtration efficiency of different filter materials against soft particles.

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