Introduction of Rapeseed Methyl Ester in Diesel Fuel - The French National Program 962065

The use of biofuels in Europe is justified by the common agricultural policy decisions, by the need to improve environment protection and by the search of alternative fossil energy sources. In such a context, France decided to conduct a national experiment to demonstrate that a diesel fuel containing, up to 5%, rapeseed methyl ester (RME) could be handled as common diesel fuel by the distributors.
Refiners (Elf, TOTAL), car and truck manufacturers (PSA, RENAULT SA RENAULT TRUCKS). French civil services (industry and agricultural departments ADEME) and an organization working on vegetable oils (ONIDOL) joined this program implemented and coordinated by IFP. It included the following studies
  • comprehensive tests to assess the impact of RME introduction on the main physical and chemical characteristics of the blends produced their compatibility with fuel additives and with plastic or metallic parts of engines and fuel lines
  • running tests with private car and truck fleets tests with car and truck engines on bench and chassis dynamometer to assess the behavior on aging fouling and emissions
This paper presents a synthesis of the results obtained during this program which lasted from 1990 to 1995. Whereas its overall balance is positive for the use of RME5 blends regarding aging material compatibility, regulated (CO, UHC, particulates) or unregulated (aldehydes PAH) pollutant emissions it also points out some elements which have to be examined as for instance, a slight increase in NOx emissions or a slight deposit occurrence.
Some improvement opportunities are proposed when needed and prospective development of the vegetable methyl ester channel used as diesel fuel in France or in Europe, is drawn up.


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