Alternative Fuels for Automotive Diesel Engines
With an increasing emphasis on the need to conserve energy and, more particularly, that derived from oil, alternative sources of fuel are being considered for all forms of prime mover. The diesel engine offers, currently, the most efficient means of converting hydrocarbon fuel into mechanical energy, and can play a significant part in energy conservation by its wider application in the automotive field. However, with limited known oil resources and the problem of excessive demand for the barrel of crude oil, resulting from such an expansion, there is clearly an interest in the use of alternative fuels in automotive diesel engines.
The interest in fuels other than middle distillates for compression ignition engines is not new. Experiments have been carried out on a wide range of fuels from coal dust and very viscous residual fuels through gasolines, alcohols and gases including hydrogen.
The Ricardo Laboratories have become involved in many such exercises over the years. These include both straight compression ignition, and the use of dual fuel techniques and ignition promoting additives.
It is concluded that ignition quality is the single most critical factor governing the suitability of fuels for automotive diesel engines. Storage and handling of the gaseous and lower density fuels are also a problem. These problems are demonstrated and discussed in the light of the experience gained both in the Ricardo Laboratories and by other researchers in this area.
KeywordsDiesel Engine Ignition Delay Alternative Fuel Cetane Number Compression Ignition Engine
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.F. H. Kant, A. R. Cunningham and M. H. Farmer, “Effects of Changing the Proportions of Automotive Distillate and Gasoline Produced by Petroleum Refining,” EPA 460/3–74–018 July 1974.Google Scholar
- 2.“Note on Comparative Tests with Various Fuels under Supercharge Conditions at 500 and 1200 rpm on the E18/1 Engine with Comet Mk III Combustion System,” Ricardo Report Number DP.145.Google Scholar
- 3.“The Effects of Additives on the Octane Number and Cetane Number of Motor Gasoline,” Ricardo Report Number DP. 1489.Google Scholar
- 4.“Multi Fuel Project, Progress Report Number 1, ”Ricardo Report Number DP.4303.Google Scholar
- 5.W. M. Scott, “Looking in on Diesel Combustion,” SAE Paper No. 690002 (SP345), January 1968.Google Scholar
- 6.“Operation of Internal Combustion Engines on Gases, ”Ricardo Report Number DP.9292.Google Scholar
- 7.“Future Use of Gas in Internal Combustion Engines, “ Ricardo Report Number DP. 13548.Google Scholar
- 8.“Visit to Municipal Bus Depot in Vienna to Discuss LPG, May 1970,”Ricardo Report Number DP. 12370.Google Scholar
- 9.“Report on Dual Fuel Tests on El6–2 (4” × 5“Comet Mk III),” Ricardo Report Number G. 0. 1820.Google Scholar
- 10.G. A. Karim and S. A. Klat, “The Knock and Auto Ignition Characteristics of Some Gaseous Fuels and Their Mixtures,” Inst, of Fuels Journal, March 1966.Google Scholar
- 11.“Further Investigations of Methanol in a Dual Fuel Engine,” Ricardo Report Number SN.19949.Google Scholar
- 12.W. Tipler, “Prospects for the Operation of Diesel Engines on Coal or Its Derivatives,” Paper C18/75. Conference on Power Plants and Future Fuels, Automobile Division, Inst. of Mech. Engrs.Google Scholar