Reduced emissions from the spark-ignition engine, when fueled by gasoline containing small amounts of MTBE, have led us to explore similar positive results in compression-ignition (CI) engine combustion by adding this oxygenate compound to Diesel fuel. This study was performed in two separate laboratories by employing the respective experimental apparatus.
When a pre-chamber type CI engine was operated by using Diesel fuel mixed with several volume portions of MTBE, including 5, 10 and 15%, several positive results were obtained, as compared with those from the baseline neat Diesel-fueled operations: (1) The engine delivers overall comparable or better performance characteristics; (2) The brake thermal efficiency is higher at the advanced and late injection times; (3) Some considerable reduction of both soot and NOx emissions is found; (4) The ignition delay increases but the combustion duration decreases.
In order to help explain the unexpected responses of CI combustion to the above fuel modifications, high-speed in-cylinder spectral infrared digital imaging was performed for the same fuel modification. Some plausible and consistent results are observed, which help explain die above findings.