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Diesel Engines with Microalgae Oil
Microalgae oil is more or less equally sensitive to key engine parameters, compared with diesel fuel, and can be successfully adopted to the entire families of industrial diesel engines.
A study conducted on the high-speed diesel engine (bore/stroke: 79.5/95.5 mm; 66 kW) running with microalgae oil (MAO100) and diesel fuel (D100) showed that, based on Wibe parameters (m and φz), the difference in numerical values of combustion characteristics was ~10% and, in turn, resulted in close energy efficiency indicators (ηi) for both fuels and the possibility to enhance the NOx-smoke opacity trade-off. A comparative analysis by mathematical modeling of energy and traction characteristics for the universal multi-purpose diesel engine CAT 3512B HB-SC (1200 kW, 1800 min−1) confirmed the earlier assumption: at the regimes of external speed characteristics, the difference in Pme and ηi for MAO100 and D100 did not exceeded 0.7–2.0% and 2–4%, respectively. With the refinement and development of the interim concept, the model led to the prognostic evaluation of the suitability of MAO100 as fuel for the FPT Industrial Cursor 13 engine (353 kW, 6-cylinders, common-rail) family. For the selected value of the indicated efficiency ηi = 0.48–0.49, two different combinations of φz and m parameters (φz = 60–70 degCA, m = 0.5 and φz = 60 degCA, m = 1) may be practically realized to achieve the desirable level of maximum combustion pressure Pmax = 130–150 bar (at α~2.0). When switching from diesel to MAO100, it is expected that the ηi will drop by 2–3%, however, an existing reserve in Pmax that comprises 5–7% will open up room for further optimization of energy efficiency and emission indicators.
2. Diesel Engine Technology
|Types of Fuel||Description|
|Oils and biodiesels (including microalgae oil and biodiesel), BTL (biomass-to-liquid), and alcohol fuel ||Because they are produced in plants that chemically ‘fix’ or capture carbon dioxide, these types of fuel are characterized for their low environmental pollution. Nonetheless, the production of such fuels requires large amounts of energy if compared with gasoline or diesel fuel.|
|Gas-to-liquid (GTL) ||Used as a substitute for diesel fuel, as GTL leads to a significant reduction in air pollution from internal combustion engines.|
|Synthetic fuels (or synfuels) ||Production of synthetic diesel fuels obtained from biomass, household waste, and/or natural gas has begun approx. 20 years ago. Synfuels are not considered as alternative fuels since they do not require any modifications in the fueling infrastructure or engine design. However, synfuels expand the raw materials base as well as enhance biodiversity and restore the natural ecological balance due to their easy quality assurance during the production process.|
|Compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) ||CNG and LNG both are highly functional and efficient type of fuel gas. Theoretically, natural gas resources are vast, if not taking into account the global geopolitics. If we take into consideration the geopolitical situation in the world, specialists believe they may be depleted by 2060. Hence, natural gas is playing a large role in near-future energy prediction. The advantage of CNG/LNG compared with other types of alternative fuel is lower CO2 emission and a higher heating value (48.7 MJ/kg) in comparison to diesel fuel (42.6 MJ/kg). Currently, nearly all European automobile manufacturers offer natural gas-powered vehicles to the market. Most of them can run both on gasoline and on natural gas, however, bi-fuel engines lead to higher environmental pollution if compared with those running only on natural gas.|
|Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) ||LPG (mainly propane and butane) is prepared by refining raw natural gas or crude oil and is a co-product of the refining process. This type of fuel is highly explosive. Moreover, LPG characteristics are different from those of the diesel fuel, which means that engines designed for both types of fuel are inefficient.|
|Hydrogen (H2) ||Hydrogen in gaseous or liquid form may be used in conventional internal combustion engines. This type of fuel carries three times more energy than gasoline; however, density of the former is significantly lower even when compressed. Moreover, a significant amount of electrical energy is required for H2 generation.|
The interval of −2… 0 degCA was found to be the best setting of an engine for smoke and NOx stabilization and reduction, nevertheless D100 or MAO100 were used. That leaves many opportunities for the wider deployment of their binary blends of various ratios to be consumed in diesel engines. Moreover, the pilot study showed that the use of microalgae oil in passenger car engine positively affected the indicated thermal efficiency (ηi) of the prime mover, finding it very similar to that of diesel fuel: 0.355 and 0.350 (Pme = 0.8 MPa), 0.350 and 0.345 (Pme = 0.6 MPa), 0.325 and 0.320 (Pme = 0.4 MPa).
Following accuracy of the 1-D predictive engine model was obtained for various parameters: pme: 0–4.3%, pK: 2.5–4.5%, α: 5.1–10.0%, λ: 0–3.9%, ηe: 0.3–3.4% and gcycl: 0–1.7%, TK: 0.8–1.7%, pc: 0.6–1.7%, pmax: 1.6–3.9%, Tg: 1.9–3.2%.
For the CAT 3512B HB-SC engine running with microalgae oil, we proposed a boundary condition for the injection modelling settings (Tg ≤ 973 K, φinj = 2 degCA BTDC) that led to improvement of the overall traction characteristics: the difference in ηi was almost eliminated and comprised only 0.7–2.0% without any compromise in exceeding the threshold value of 973 K for exhaust gas temperature.
An extensive simulation of the FPT family engine, type Cursor 13 was performed by taking into account different strategies of a combustion process duration and its dynamics through the adjustment of m and φz parameters within the broad range of variation: m = 0–1.5, φz = 50–80 degCA. The obtained results revealed that, if considering the smallest changes in the indicated thermal efficiency values as an outcome of the best compatibility of m and φz parameters, this indicator can be characterized by a relatively short period of heat release (50–60 degCA) and moderate dynamics (m = 0–0.5).
The zones of rational combination of m and φz were identified for each operational parameter of the engine to facilitate the smooth transition to microalgae oil. It was found that the differences in carbon dioxide emissions within the zone of rational combination of m and φz parameters did not exceed 4–5% if compared with D100.
The study found that microalgae oil is more or less equally sensitive to key engine parameters, compared with diesel fuel, and can be successfully adopted to the entire families of industrial diesel engines.
The entry is from 10.3390/su13116482
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