Deterioration of B20 from Compression Ignition Engine Operation
Biodiesel has been widely accepted as an alternative for fossil-derived diesel fuel for use in compression ignition (CI) engines. Poor oxidative stability and cold flow properties restrict the use of biodiesel beyond current B20 blend levels (20% biodiesel in 80% ULSD) for vehicle applications. Maintaining the properties of B20 as specified by ASTM D7476-08 is important because, once out of spec, B20 may cause injector coke formation, fuel filter plugging, increased exhaust emissions, and overall loss of engine performance. While the properties of fresh B20 may be within the specifications, under engine operating and longer storage conditions B20 could deteriorate. In a diesel engine, the fuel that goes to the injector and does not enter the cylinder is recycled back to the fuel tank. The re-circulated fuel returns to the fuel tank at an elevate temperature, which can cause thermal oxidation.