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Technical Paper

Spectroscopic Study of Biodiesel Degradation Pathways

Oxidative degradation of biodiesel under accelerated conditions has been examined by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), and gravimetric measurement of deposit formation. The formation of gums and deposits caused by oxidation in storage or in an engine fuel system is a significant issue because of the potential for fuel pump and injector fouling. The results of this study indicate several important pathways for degradation and two pathways leading to formation of oligomers and, ultimately, deposits. Peroxides formed in the initial stage of oxidation can decompose to form aldehydes, ketones, and acids. These can react further in aldol condensation to form oligomers. Additionally, peroxides can react with fatty acid chains to form dimers and higher oligomers. Deposits form when the polarity and molecular weight of these oligomers is high enough.
Technical Paper

Quantification of Biodiesel Content in Fuels and Lubricants by FTIR and NMR Spectroscopy

The use of biodiesel requires the development of proper quantification procedures for biodiesel content in blends and in lubricants (fuel dilution in oil). Although the ester carbonyl stretch at 1746 wavenumbers (cm-1) is the most prominent band in the IR spectrum of biodiesel, it is difficult to use for quantification purposes due to a severe fluctuation of absorption strength from sample to sample, even at the same biodiesel content. We have demonstrated that the ester carbonyl fluctuation is not caused by variation in the ester alkyl chain length; but is most likely caused by the degree of hydrogen bonding of the ester functional group with water in the sample. Water molecules can form complexes with the ester compound affecting the strength of the ester carbonyl band. The impact of water on quantification of the biodiesel content of blends was significant, even for B100 samples that met the proposed ASTM D6751 water limit of 500 ppm by D6304 (Karl Fischer Methdod).
Technical Paper

Effect of Biodiesel Blends on Urea Selective Catalytic Reduction Catalyst Performance with a Medium-Duty Engine

Testing to investigate biodiesel's impact on the performance of a zeolite-based selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system was conducted. The tests employed a 2004 compliant Cummins ISB with common rail fuel injection, EGR, and variable geometry turbo. This 5.9L, 300HP engine was retrofitted with a Johnson-Matthey DPF + SCR (SCRT™) system. Testing was conducted over eight steady-state engine operating modes which provided a wide range of exhaust temperature and exhaust chemistry conditions. Fuels tested were a 2007 certification quality ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD), as well as a soy derived biodiesel in a B20 blend. B20 produced slightly lower catalyst temperatures and higher NO2:NOx ratios relative to ULSD, but no measureable difference in the overall NOx conversion over the SCR system. The dominant variable influencing SCR performance is the catalyst space velocity, which is unchanged with the use of B20.
Technical Paper

Effect of Biodiesel Blends on Diesel Particulate Filter Performance

Tests of ultra-low sulfur diesel blended with soy-biodiesel at 5% and 20% were conducted using a 2002 model year Cummins ISB engine (with exhaust gas recirculation) that had been retrofitted with a passively regenerated catalyzed diesel particulate filter (DPF). Results show that on average, the DPF balance point temperature (BPT) is 45°C and 112°C lower for B20 blends and neat biodiesel, respectively, than for 2007 certification diesel fuel. Biodiesel causes a measurable increase in regeneration rate at a fixed steady-state condition, even at the 5% blending level. The data show no significant differences in NOx emissions for these fuels at the steady-state regeneration conditions, suggesting that differences in soot reactivity are responsible for the observed differences in BPT and regeneration rate.