High-Alcohol Microemulsion Fuel Performance in a Diesel Engine 902101
Incidence of methanol use in diesel engines is increasing rapidly due to the potential to reduce both diesel particulate emissions and petroleum consumption. Because simple alcohols and conventional diesel fuel are normally immiscible, most tests to date have used neat to near-neat alcohol, or blends incorporating surfactants or other alcohols. Alcohol's poor ignition quality usually necessitates the use of often expensive cetane enhancers, full-time glow plugs, or spark assist. Reported herein are results of screening tests of clear microemulsion and micellar fuels which contain 10 to 65% C1-C4 alcohol. Ignition performance and NO emissions were measured for clear, stable fuel blends containing alcohols, diesel fuel and additives such as alkyl nitrates, acrylic acids, and several vegetable oil derivatives.
Using a diesel engine calibrated with reference fuels, cetane numbers for fifty four blends were estimated. The apparent cetane numbers ranged from around 20 to above 50 with the majority between 30 and 45. Emissions of nitric oxide were measured for a few select fuels and were found to be 10 to 20% lower than No. 2 diesel fuel.