Performance/Combustion Characteristics of Six Canadian Alternative Fuels Tested in a Bombardier Medium Speed Diesel 851224

Six experimental fuels representative of Canadian future fuel options were tested against a reference fuel in a Bombardier 12 cylinder, 4 stroke, 3000 hp, medium speed diesel. The reference fuel was a straight run ASTM #2-D. The first test fuel blend consisted of heavy atmospheric gas oil that extended the distillation range (higher end point) of the other blend component ASTM #2-D. The second fuel was a blend of a distillate cut from a mixture of conventional and tar sands crude with hydrogen treated cracked stock. This provided a fuel with substantial levels of aromatic and cracked components. The third fuel was gas oil side stream: a low cetane number, high aromatics level tar sands distillate. The fourth fuel was an equal portion blend of tar sands crude components, gas oil side-stream and heavy unifined gas oil. The fifth fuel was a blend of ASTM #2-D heating oil and a substantial portion of stabilized cracked stock. The sixth test fuel comprised 75% distillate ASTM #2-D and 25% residual ASTM #6-D. Each fuel was analyzed for physical and chemical properties. The engine was tested under a marine application propeller law load curve at 8 different engine speeds. Correlations between fuel properties and engine performance/combustion behaviour indicated that the longest ignition delays were observed for fuels with the lowest cetane numbers. Rates of combustion pressure rise increased proportionately with decreased cetane numbers and increased levels of aromatic components. Increases in peak combustion pressures and rates of pressure rise at low engine speeds are not expected to pose durability problems with medium speed engines operating at or near rated speed and load for the fuels tested.


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