Reid, J., Cook, S., and Barker, J., "Internal Injector Deposits From Sodium Sources," SAE Int. J. Fuels Lubr. 7(2):436-444, 2014, doi:10.4271/2014-01-1388.
There have been reports of internal injector deposits causing problems in diesel engines in the field from 2008. Such problems manifest themselves as rough idling, power loss, high emissions, high-pressure fuel pump wear, injector sticking, internal component corrosion and engine failure. These reports coincided with the use of common rail diesel injection systems and of ultra-low sulphur fuels introduced because of emission regulation demands.The injection systems have design features that are more conducive or susceptible to deposit formation such as severe high temperature and pressure operating conditions, the tolerances of critical parts, and lower force internal component actuation. The changes to fuels have also affected the fuels ability to solubilise these deposits. The deposits formed manifest themselves in complex form in the field, often being mixtures of inorganic and organic compounds.One sub-group of this complex picture that is of current major interest is “sodium soaps”, also known as sodium carboxylates. Various sources of sodium have been used to research IDID with varying results. Work with the different sodium precursors, sodium hydroxide and sodium 2-ethylhexanote (a fuel soluble sodium salt) showed that interaction with monoacid lubricity additives produced filter blocking in one case and injector sticking in the other. With the possible development of a standard engine test it is important to understand the effects of a variety of sodium sources to ensure any future test reflects field problems.Investigation of a number of sodium salts and their interactions with different acid species in fuels are described in this paper. The effect of water and other factors are also presented. Finally, a commercial deposit control additive that is effective in controlling this type of IDID is provided.