Experimental investigation into the effect of magnetic fuel reforming on diesel combustion and emissions running on wheat germ and pine oil
Geo, Varuvel Edwin
The present study aims to explore the effect of fuel ionisation on engine performance, emission and combustion characteristics of a twin cylinder compression ignition (CI) engine running on biofuel. Wheat germ oil (WGO) and pine oil (PO) have been identified as diesel fuel surrogates with high and low viscosities, respectively. High viscosity biofuels result in incomplete combustion due to poor atomisation and evaporation which ultimately leads to insufficient air-fuel mixing to form a combustible mixture. Consequently, engines running on this type of fuel suffer from lower brake thermal efficiency (BTE) and higher soot emission. In contrast, low viscosity biofuels exhibit superior combustion characteristics however they have a low cetane number which causes longer ignition delay and therefore higher NO emission. To overcome the limitations of both fuels, a fuel ionisation filter (FIF) with a permanent magnet is installed upstream of the fuel pump which electrochemically ionises the fuel molecules and aids in quick dispersion of the ions. The engine used in this investigation is a twin cylinder tractor engine that runs at a constant speed of 1500 rpm. The engine was initially run on diesel to warm-up before switching to WGO and PO, this was mainly due to poor cold start performance characteristics of both fuels. At 100% load, BTE for WGO is reduced by 4% compared to diesel and improved by 7% with FIF. In contrast, BTE for PO is 4% higher compared to diesel, however, FIF has minimal effect on BTE when running on PO. Although, smoke, HC and CO emissions were higher for WGO compared to diesel, they were lower with FIF due to improved combustion. These emissions were consistently lower for PO due to superior combustion performance, mainly attributed to low viscosity of the fuel. However, NO emission for PO (1610 ppm) is higher compared to diesel (1580 ppm) at 100% load and reduced with FIF (1415 ppm). NO emission is reduced by approximately 12% for PO+FIF compared to PO. The results suggest that FIF has the potential to improve diesel combustion performance and reduce NO emission produced by CI engines running on high and low viscosity biofuels, respectively.