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Technical Paper

Effects on diesel combustion of the molecular structure of potential synthetic bio-fuel molecules

Synthetic bio-fuels, which can be obtained through the gasification of biomass into synthesis gas and the subsequent catalytic reaction of the synthesis gas into liquid fuel molecules, could play a key-role in providing a sustainable source of automotive fuels during the coming decades. This paper presents an attempt to understand the effect of molecular structure of potential oxygenated synthetic bio-fuel molecules of different structure on the diesel combustion process in both stratified and homogeneous combustion modes. Specifically, the effects of molecular structure on the energy release rates, gaseous exhaust emissions and the sub-micron particulate matter distribution were examined. The experiments were carried out on a single-cylinder direct-injection diesel engine using a specially adapted common-rail fuel-system which allowed the injection of small single-molecule fuel samples at high pressure.
Journal Article

Effect of the Molecular Structure of Individual Fatty Acid Alcohol Esters (Biodiesel) on the Formation of Nox and Particulate Matter in the Diesel Combustion Process

Biodiesel is a renewable fuel which can be used as a direct replacement for fossil Diesel fuel as a calorific source in Diesel Engines. It consists of fatty acid mono-alkyl esters, which are produced by the trans-esterification reaction of plant oils with monohydric alcohols. The Plant oils and alcohols can both be derived from biomass, giving this fuel the potential for a sustainable carbon dioxide neutral life-cycle, which is an important quality with regard to avoiding the net emission of anthropogenic greenhouse gases. Depending on its fatty ester composition, Biodiesel can have varying physical and chemical properties which influence its combustion behaviour in a Diesel engine. It has been observed by many researchers that Biodiesel can sometimes lead to an increase in emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) compared to fossil Diesel fuel, while emitting a lower amount of particulate mass.