High-Alcohol Microemulsion Fuel Performance in a Diesel Engine
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.