Potential of Cellulose-Derived Biofuels for Soot Free Diesel Combustion
Today's biofuels require large amounts of energy in the production process for the conversion from biomass into fuels with conventional properties. To reduce the amounts of energy needed, future fuels derived from biomass will have a molecular structure which is more similar to the respective feedstock. Butyl levulinate can be gained easily from levulinic acid which is produced by acid hydrolysis of cellulose. Thus, the Institute for Combustion Engines at RWTH Aachen University carried out a fuel investigation program to explore the potential of this biofuel compound, as a candidate for future compression ignition engines to reduce engine-out emissions while maintaining engine efficiency and an acceptable noise level. Previous investigations identified most desirable fuel properties like a reduced cetane number, an increased amount of oxygen content and a low boiling temperature for compression ignition engine conditions.