Browse Publications Technical Papers 2023-24-0078

Development of a Laboratory Unit to Study Internal Injector Deposits Formation 2023-24-0078

The formation of deposits in the fuel systems of heavy-duty engines, using drop-in fuels, has been reported in recent years. Drop-in fuels are of interest because they allow higher levels of alternative fuels to be blended with conventional fuels that are compatible with today’s engines. The precipitation of insolubles in the drop-in fuel can lead to clogging of fuel filters and internal injector deposits, resulting in increased fuel consumption and engine drivability problems. The possible mechanisms for the formation of the deposits in the fuel system are not yet fully understood. Several explanations such as operating conditions, fuel quality and contamination have been reported. To investigate injector deposit formation, several screening laboratory test methods have been developed to avoid the use of more costly and complex engine testing. To further evaluate and understand the formation of internal injector deposits in heavy-duty engines, a thermal laboratory test method has been developed. The test method is called Thermal Deposits Test (TDT) and it is inspired by Jet Fuel Thermal Oxidation Test (JFTOT) method. This test unit can be used to study in applications where a fluid is in contact with a hot surface. The method uses common laboratory hardware and readily available off-the-shelf parts, making it inexpensive to build and very flexible to operate. Deposits are collected on a metal foil, which makes it easier to analyze. This paper describes the construction of the apparatus and its performance. Experimental tests with diesel fuel, doped with soap-type soft particles, which contain typical particles that can form deposits, are performed, and compared with JFTOT results. Analytical techniques, such as Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive X-Ray, Fourier-transform Infrared Spectroscopy, and Pyrolysis coupled with Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectroscopy and Ellipsometry were used. Conclusions about the performance of the doped fuel are drawn from the test. Future plans are to study the mechanisms behind the formation of internal diesel injector deposits.


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