THE object of this paper is to emphasize some of the problems entering into the manufacture, control, and utilization of diesel fuel for mobile and high-speed diesel engines. The importance of ignition quality, as expressed by cetane number, is illustrated for rating the performance characteristics of a fuel. The relationship of cetane number to such engine characteristics as smoke, roughness, carbon deposits, starting, and exhaust odor, is given.
The influence of the crude from which the diesel fuel is derived, and the influence of the method and degree of refining on the properties of the finished fuel, are brought out in an attempt to explain the cause for the variation in diesel fuels. The properties of straight-run and cracked fractions of gas oils from several crude sources are given, as well as the properties of several fuels obtained by blending these stocks.
The final plea in the paper asks for a single specification for a diesel fuel which will satisfy the refiner as well as meet the requirements of mobile and high-speed engines of present design.