Ethanol is a promising alternative fuel applicable in the internal combustion engine by virtue of its sustainability and soot-reducing potential. In this study, ethanol is injected into the intake port while diesel is directly injected into the cylinder of a heavy-duty diesel engine enabling dual-fuel operation. The main goals of the study are to probe the ethanol substitution ratio and load range and assess the resulting engine performance and emissions. Tests were performed with the original calibration at several loads using the European Stationary Cycle. The results show that ethanol mass ratios of up to 80% may be reached at low to medium loads without misfire. Addition of ethanol can reduce soot emissions, with no consistent effects on NOx emissions. As the ethanol mass ratio increases, dual-fuel operation suffers from incomplete combustion progressively. Increased HC and CO emissions are, however, believed to be manageable by a diesel oxidation catalyst at high loads. Both combustion and thermal efficiency decrease at low load when ethanol is introduced. However, thermal efficiency at medium load increases from 49.1% to 50%. For medium to high loads, thermal efficiency first increases to 50.7% and 49.7%, respectively, then decreases due to sub-optimal combustion phasing at high ethanol mass ratios. It is noteworthy that the pressure rise rate, ringing intensity, and peak pressure may appear to limit the ethanol ratio to below 40% for medium to high loads. However, this can be mitigated by delaying diesel injection timing, phasing the combustion later, without a large efficiency compromise.
- Dual-fuel combustion
- Thermal efficiency