Investigating the combustion and emissions characteristics of biomass-derived platform fuels as gasoline extenders in a single cylinder spark-ignition engine

Paper #:
  • 2017-01-2325

Published:
  • 2017-10-08
Abstract:
The conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to liquid fuels presents an alternative to the current production of renewable fuels for IC engines from food crops. However, realising the potential for reductions in net CO2 emissions through the utilisation of, for example, waste biomass for sustainable fuel production requires that energy and resource inputs into such processes be minimised. This work therefore investigates the combustion and emission characteristics of five intermediate platform molecules potentially derived from lignocellulosic biomass: gamma-valerolactone (GVL), methyl valerate, furfuryl alcohol, furfural and 2-methyltetrahydrofuran (MTHF). The study was conducted on a naturally aspirated, water cooled, single cylinder spark-ignition engine. Each of the platform molecules were blended with reference fossil gasoline at 20 % wt/wt. The experiments were performed at constant engine speed (1200 rpm), with the throttle position and fuel flowrate being adjusted for every test to maintain a constant engine load and equivalence ratio (0.95-1.05). Knock limits were determined for each mixture by advancing the spark timing, and heat release rates were analysed to investigate the impact of the platform molecules on flame propagation speeds. The lowest and highest knock limit were exhibited furfural and furfuryl alcohol, respectively. Furfuryl alcohol also had the highest emissions of NOx, CO, particulate mass and total particle number exhaust emissions. The particles from the furfural blend had diameters between 15 and 100 nm, while those from furfural alcohol had diameters between 20 and 300 nm.
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