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.