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Technical Paper

Methylal and Methylal-Diesel Blended Fuels for Use in Compression-Ignition Engines

“Gas-to-liquids” catalytic conversion technologies show promise for liberating stranded natural gas reserves and for achieving energy diversity worldwide. Some gas-to-liquids products are used as transportation fuels and as blendstocks for upgrading crude-derived fuels. Methylal (CH3-O-CH2-O-CH3), also known as dimethoxymethane or DMM, is a gas-to-liquid chemical that has been evaluated for use as a diesel fuel component. Methylal contains 42% oxygen by weight and is soluble in diesel fuel. The physical and chemical properties of neat methylal and for blends of methylal in conventional diesel fuel are presented. Methylal was found to be more volatile than diesel fuel, and special precautions for distribution and fuel tank storage are discussed. Steady state engine tests were also performed using an unmodified Cummins B5.9 turbocharged diesel engine to examine the effect of methylal blend concentration on performance and emissions.
Technical Paper

Modeling NOx Emissions from Lean-Burn Natural Gas Engines

A zero-dimensional cycle simulation model coupled with a chemical equilibrium model and a two-zone combustion model has been extended to predict nitric oxide formation and emissions from spark-ignited, lean-burn natural gas engines. It is demonstrated that using the extended Zeldovich mechanism alone, the NOx emissions from an 8.1-liter, 6-cylinder, natural gas engine were significantly under predicted. However, by combining the predicted NOx formation from both the extended Zeldovich thermal NO and the Fenimore prompt NO mechanisms, the NOx emissions were predicted with fair accuracy over a range of engine powers and lean-burn equivalence ratios. The effect of injection timing on NOx emissions was under predicted. Humidity effects on NOx formation were slightly under predicted in another engine, a 6.8-liter, 6-cylinder, natural gas engine. Engine power was well predicted in both engines, which is a prerequisite to accurate NOx predictions.
Technical Paper

Improved Atomization of Methanol for Low-Temperature Starting in Spark-Ignition Engines

Heating neat (100 percent) methanol fuel (M100) is shown to improve dramatically the atomization of the fuel from a production, automotive, port fuel injector of pintle design. This improvement is particularly noticeable and important when compared with atomization at low fuel temperatures, corresponding to those conditions where cold-start is a significant problem with neat methanol-fueled (M100) vehicles. The improved atomization is demonstrated with photographs and laser-diffraction measurements of the drop-size distributions. Fuel temperatures were varied from -34°C (-29°F to 117°C (243°F), while the boiling point of methanol is 64.7°C (148.5°F). Air temperatures were ambient at about 24°C (75°F). For temperatures above the boiling point, some flash boiling and vaporization were presumably occurring, and these may have contributed to the atomization, but the trends for drop size did not shown any discontinuity near the boiling point.