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Title:Investigation of combustion enhancement with biomass derived fuels blended with diesel
Author(s):Lee, Timothy H.
Director of Research:Hansen, Alan C.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Lee, Tonghun; Glumac, Nick; Miljkovic, Nenad
Department / Program:Mechanical Sci & Engineering
Discipline:Mechanical Engineering
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
alternative fuel
Abstract:As the global demand for diesel and the growing concern over the economic and environmental viability of transportation fuels increase, various types of fuel additives are now being researched to meet these needs. Biofuels are of particular interest to the automobile industry because they have the potential to significantly reduce particulate matter (PM), hydrocarbon (HC), and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions. Bio-fuels also contribute less to global CO2 emissions than fossil fuels due to their closed carbon cycle, as there is almost no net increase of CO2 emissions from bio-fuel combustion; the plants, from which biofuels are derived, absorb CO2 from the atmosphere. As there is now bio-ethanol in gasoline, the analogous additive to diesel would be bio-butanol, another alcohol. The intermediate product in the bio-butanol production process is a mixture of acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE). Due to the fact that engines do not require pure mixtures to combust, there is a potential to reduce production costs by using the ABE and diesel directly without the need for the distillation of bio-butanol. Various blends of ABE and diesel (with different ratios of acetone, n-butanol, and ethanol) were studied under various engine and constant volume chamber conditions. The results obtained demonstrate the potential of ABE as an alternative fuel for diesel and explain the effects of the ABE components on the combustion process. While there are concerns in regards to the degradation of plastics due to the acetone in ABE, the amount of acetone in the blends is low. Even so, the ABE mixture can be changed into isopropanol-butanol-ethanol (IBE) in a single bio-chemical step. This process would still be less expensive than the distillation process for obtaining pure butanol. Similar to the ABE experiments, IBE and diesel blends were studied under numerous experimental conditions. The results show that IBE can also be used as a diesel surrogate and the results are compared with those of the ABE blends. These two datasets obtained are valuable for future combustion mechanism and model validation. However, ABE and IBE still require the use of arable land. Alternatively, if it is possible to utilize bio-waste streams as a source for fuel, it would be possible to free up land previously used for growing the feedstocks. One method of creating fuel out of waste streams is hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL), which is different from other methods as it uses the water from the bio-waste as the reaction medium. Even though fuel can be created from those processes, it is still a concern whether or not it can be utilized within a diesel engine properly. The HTL blend that was tested was sourced from a food waste stream. The preliminary results show that the HTL-diesel blend showed higher soot emissions, but with power generation equivalent to that of diesel.
Issue Date:2019-12-06
Rights Information:Copyright 2019 Timothy Lee
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-03-02
Date Deposited:2019-12

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