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Journal of Basic and Applied Engineering Research

Print ISSN: 2350-0077; Online ISSN: 2350-0255; Volume 1, Number 3; October, 2014 pp. 8-13
© Krishi Sanskriti Publications
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Effect of Methanol Addition to Diesel


on the Performance and Emission
Characteristics of a CI Engine
Ambarish Datta1, Suhail Dutta2, Bijan Kumar Mandal3
1
Research Scholar, Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Shibpur, West Bengal, India
2
Under Graduate Student, Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Shibpur, West Bengal, India
3
Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Shibpur, West Bengal, India

Abstract: Transport sector banks mainly on diesel engines and cases methanol and diesel fuel are blended with an additive
combustion of diesel generates plenty of toxic pollutants. In this [3]. Whereas in the fumigation mode, diesel fuel is injected
study, a numerical simulation is being carried out by the authors to through the injector and methanol is injected with the air
investigate the performance and emission characteristics of an intake system into the cylinder.
unmodified single cylinder, naturally aspirated, water cooled, direct
injection, four stroke diesel engine fuelled with diesel and diesel-
methanol blends. The simulation has been conducted at a constant Chao et al. [4] investigated the emission characteristics of a
engine speed of 1500 rpm and static injection timing of 23°bTDC at six cylinder, naturally aspirated, direct injection diesel engine
different brake power of the engine. The methanol percentage has using diesel-methanol blend (up to 15% by volume) with an
been varied in the blends up to 15%. The results have been additive. They found a decrease in NOx emissions but an
presented in terms of different performance and emission increase in CO and HC emissions as the methanol content in
parameter. the blended fuel was increased. Regarding PM (particulate
matter), the results were mixed; the behavior of PM depends
1. INTRODUCTION on the operating conditions. Huang et al. [3, 5] experimentally
Rapid depletion of petroleum reserves and degradation of investigated the performance, combustion and emission
environment by means of global warming through the characteristics of a single cylinder direction injection engine
pollutant emission by the automotive sector as well as with a stabilized diesel–methanol blend with less than 18% by
stringent emission norms necessitated the finding of an weight of methanol. They found that increasing the methanol
alternative fuel for internal combustion engine. In the previous percentage in the diesel increased the ignition delay, causing
few decades, straight vegetable oils and biodiesel make an an increase in the heat release rate in the premixed combustion
impact as an alternative fuel for compression ignition engine. phase and a reduction in the combustion duration in the
However, the above mentioned fuel, being more oxygenative diffusion combustion phase [3]. A significant reduction of
in nature, improves the fuel properties as well as the smoke and CO emission was noted by them, whereas HC
combustion process. However, alcohols such as ethanol and emission much not varied with the addition of methanol in the
methanol also received a wide attention from the researchers blended fuel but the emission of NOx increased with it.
due to it’s oxygenate nature. Alcohols derived from bio-
resources widely used in compression ignition engine as a Sayin [6] experimented on a four-stroke, naturally aspirated,
supplementary fuel to that of petroleum diesel. However, single cylinder direct injection diesel engine with diesel-
methanol has an advantage because of its low price and higher methanol blended fuel. They observed a reduction in CO, HC
oxygen fraction. But as reported by several researchers [1, 2] and smoke emissions. It was reported by them, that NOx
there is some difficulty to form a homogeneous diesel- emission increased with the addition of methanol in the
methanol mixture, hence the research on this area is very blended fuel. Whereas, brake specific fuel consumption was
limited. increased and brake thermal efficiency was decreased with the
addition of methanol. In another study made by Sayin [7] it
Methanol can be added to diesel either in the blended mode or was observed that, addition of methanol to diesel reduced CO,
in the fumigation mode. In the blended mode, in most of the HC and smoke emissions because of oxygen content of
Effect of Methanol Addition to Diesel on the Performance and Emission Characteristics of a CI Engine 9

methanol. On the other hand the oxygen content led to an combustion earlier, thus improves the thermal efficiency of the
improve combustion which increased the emission of CO2. engine. Lower heating value (LHV) of methanol has an
The NOx emission was also increased due to the higher peak average value of 19.7 MJ/kg which is much lower than that of
temperature rise during the time of combustion. The low diesel, thus increases the fuel consumption of the blended fuel.
heating value of methanol increased the brake specific fuel The high stoichiometric fuel/air ratio, higher oxygen content
consumption also. The same trend was also observed by Sayin and higher C/H ratio enhances the combustion process thus the
and his research group in two different studies also [8, 9]. In soot and smoke emission reduced [2]. The thermo-physical
addition to these performance behaviors they also observed an properties of methanol compared to the gasoline are listed in
increase in brake specific energy consumption. The increment Table 1 below.
was due to the lower energy content of methanol as reported
by them. Table 1. Comparison of thermo-physical
properties of methanol and diesel [2, 6, 11].
Whereas a reverse trend was observed by Bayraktar [2],
specific fuel consumption was decreased and engine effective Properties Methanol Diesel
efficiency was increased about 7% with the use of 10%
Chemical Formula CH3OH C10~H15
methanol blending to diesel. Nagafi and Yusaf [10]
−1
experimented on a four stroke, four cylinder diesel engine Molecular weight (g mol ) 32 190-220
with diesel-methanol blend up to 30%. They observe an Density @ 20ºC (g cm ) −3
0.790 0.840
improvement on torque, power and exhaust gas temperature.
Whereas the brake specific fuel consumption was more in case Viscosity @ 20ºC (m Pa S) 0.59 2.8
of methanol blended fuel. Brake specific fuel consumption Carbon Content (%wt) 37.5 86
was lower for M30 blend among the methanol blended fuels.
The lowest exhaust temperature was recorded for M10 blend Hydrogen Content (%wt) 12.5 14
of methanol and diesel. Oxygen Content (%wt) 50 0
Sulfur content (ppm wt) 0 <350
Thus, many research works have been carried out and are still
ongoing at the present moment to investigate the performance, Cetane number <5 51
combustion and emission characteristics of compression Auto ignition temperature (ºC) 464 316
ignition engines fueled with diesel-methanol blend. However,
experimental procedures are not quite feasible from the Heat of evaporization (kJ/kg) 1178 260
perspective of time, manpower and cost, when compared to Stoichiometric fuel/air ratio 0.15393 0.06924
numerical approach. Thus, numerical simulation, using proper
Lower heating value (MJ/kg) 19.7 42.5
mathematical models, to evaluate the effect of methanol on
diesel engines can prove to be an economic approach in Flash Point (ºC) 11 52
engine design.
3. METHODOLOGY
In this work, the engine parameters, viz. performance and
emissions using pure diesel, diesel-methanol 5%, diesel- In the present work, the effect of using diesel-methanol blend
methanol 10% and diesel-methanol 15% as fuels have been (5%, 10% and 15%) on the performance and emission
simulated using a commercial software- Diesel-RK. characteristics of a compression ignition engine were
simulated using Diesel-RK software. In order to carry out the
simulations, a numerical model of a four stroke, single
2. PROPERTIES OF METHANOL
cylinder, TV1 engine was fed into the software along with the
Properties of any fuel depend fully on its chemical thermo-physical properties of the different fuels. In order to
compositions which determine the performance and emission check the compatibility of the various blends of fuels with the
characteristics of the engine. Methanol is one of the most CI engine and study their effect on the engine, different engine
attractive alternative fuels for compression ignition engine parameters were successfully predicted by the software and a
with a chemical formula of CH3OH. It can be readily made thorough study has been made for the same. The parameters,
from widely available fossil raw materials including coal, which were calculated in order to find the performance and
natural gas, and bio substances. Methanol is also a clean fuel emission characteristics of the engine were: brake specific fuel
when judged by regular emission standard. Methanol has consumption, brake thermal efficiency, exhaust gas
many desirable combustion and emission characteristics. It has temperature, NOx, CO2, PM and smoke emissions. These
a lower viscosity compared to diesel fuel, which enhances the parameters were calculated for all the fuels at constant engine
atomization process. Higher oxygen content and low sulphur speed of 1500 rpm. The engine used in this work has the
content results a lesser amount of pollutant emission. The specification shown in Table 2.
higher laminar flame propagation speed leads to finish the

Journal of Basic and Applied Engineering Research (JBAER)


Print ISSN: 2350-0077; Online ISSN: 2350-0255; Volume 1, Number 3; October, 2014
10 Ambarish Datta, Suhail Dutta, Bijan Kumar Mandal

4. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION system. Figure 1 indicates the variation of brake thermal
efficiency of the engine with diesel and other blends of
An alternative fuel/supplementary fuel are always evaluated methanol (DM5, DM10 and DM15) with diesel at different
on the basis of both engine performance and its environmental brake power in the range of 0.5 to 3.5 kW. From the results, it
impacts. The effects of methanol addition to diesel on is observed that with increase of brake power, the brake
different performance and emission parameters like brake thermal efficiency for each fuel (pure or blended fuel)
thermal efficiency, brake specific fuel consumption, exhaust increases and the maximum thermal efficiency is obtained at
gas temperature, NOx, CO2, smoke and PM emissions have 33.873 kW for DM15.
been numerically simulated and their variation with brake
power have been shown and discussed in this section. It can be observed from the same figure that pure diesel and
diesel-methanol blends follow similar trend, but brake thermal
Table 2. Engine Specifications efficiencies increase with the increase of methanol percentage
in the blend. The reason behind is that methanol contains more
Manufacturer Kirloskar oil engine ltd. oxygen by mass (50%) than pure diesel which results in better
combustion and hence the efficiency increases. The oxygen
Model TV1
content of methanol blended fuels enhances the combustion
Type 4 stroke, direct injection efficiency and decreases the heat losses in the cylinder due to
No. of cylinders 1 lower flame temperature. In addition to that, the vaporization
of the fuel continues in the compression stroke as the latent
Rated power 3.5 kW @ 1500 rpm heat of vaporization is more with methanol blended fuel. As
Bore Diameter 87.5 mm the fuel absorbs heat from the cylinder during the
vaporization, the work required for compressing the air–fuel
Stroke Length 110 mm mixture decreases and this situation increases the thermal
Connecting rod length 234 mm efficiency.
Method of cooling Water cooled 0 .8
Brake specific fuel consumption (kg/kWh)

4.1 Effect on Brake thermal efficiency D ie s e l


0 .7
DM 5
DM 10
35
Diesel DM 15
0 .6
DM 5
Brake thermal efficiency (%)

30 DM 10
0 .5
DM 15
0 .4
25

0 .3
20
0 .2
0 1 2 3 4
15 B ra k e p o w e r (k W )

Figure 13. Variation of BSFC with brake power for diesel and
10 diesel-methanol blends.
0 1 2 3 4
4.2 Effect on Brake specific fuel consumption
Brake power (kW)
Brake specific fuel consumption (BSFC) is defined as the fuel
Figure 12. Brake thermal efficiency vs. brake power for diesel consumption rate to produce unit brake power. Generally, the
and diesel-methanol blends. specific fuel consumption of the blended fuel is more because
of the lower heating value of methanol than gasoline. The
The ratio of the brake power output and the energy released heating value of methanol is lesser than gasoline due to 50%
due to complete combustion of fuel is called brake thermal oxygen content in the fuel which does not contribute to heat
efficiency. It also indicates the ability of the combustion generation during combustion inside the cylinder and it

Journal of Basic and Applied Engineering Research (JBAER)


Print ISSN: 2350-0077; Online ISSN: 2350-0255; Volume 1, Number 3; October, 2014
Effect of Methanol Addition to Diesel on the Performance and Emission Characteristics of a CI Engine 11

normally increases fuel consumption for methanol and its decreases. It is clear from the figure that the brake specific
blends. However, the consumption rate is also dependent on energy consumption for methanol blended fuels are lower
the engine operating conditions like load condition and speed. compared to diesel over the entire load range. The reason
Figure 2 represents the variation of the brake specific fuel behind this is that methanol blends burn more efficiently due
consumption of diesel and blends of methanol (DM5, DM10 to presence of oxygen in their molecular structure compared to
and DM15) with diesel at different brake power. diesel.

From the graph, it is observed that the brake specific fuel 4.4 Effect on Exhaust gas temperature
consumption of pure diesel as well as the blends of diesel and
methanol decrease with increase in load. It can be clearly seen Figure 4 shows the variation of exhaust gas temperature with
from the figure that, with the addition of methanol in the brake power for the four different fuels. The figure shows the
blended fuel, brake specific fuel consumption increases. This lowest temperature for pure diesel, followed by DM5, with the
behavior is due to the lower energy content of methanol, for maximum being for DM15. The main reason for this behavior
that, producing same amount of power output fuel is the high latent heat of vaporization of methanol compared to
consumption is more [8]. Also the low density and viscosity as pure diesel. The same trend was also observed by Canakci et
well as the low cetane number can be responsible for this kind al. [12].
of behavior.
4.5 Effect on Maximum temperature rise
4.3 Effect on Brake specific energy consumption Figure 5 shows the variation of temperature rise with brake
power for the four different fuels. The figure shows the lowest
Brake specific energy consumption (MJ/kWh)

temperature for DM15, followed by DM10, with the


Diesel maximum being for pure diesel. The main reason for this
28
DM 5 behavior is the higher oxygen content of methanol blended
DM 10 fuel which enhances the combustion efficiency and decreases
the heat losses in the cylinder due to lower flame temperature
24 DM 15 and also lowers the maximum temperature rise inside the
cylinder [13].

20
560 Diesel
DM 5
Exhaust gas temperature (K)

16 DM 10
520 DM 15
12

0 1 2 3 4 480
Brake power (kW )

Figure 14. Variation of BSEC with brake power for diesel and
440
methanol-diesel blends.

Brake specific energy consumption (BSEC) is also used to


compare the performance of an engine using different fuels.
The specific energy consumption measures the amount of 400
input energy required to develop one unit of power. BSEC is 0 1 2 3 4
the multiplication of BSFC and LHV of the fuel. The
variations of brake specific energy consumption of the engine
Brake power (kW)
with brake power for diesel and the blends of diesel-methanol
have been shown in figure 3. Figure 15. Variation of Exhaust gas temperature with brake
power for diesel and diesel-methanol blends.
From the figure, it is observed that with increase of brake
power, the brake specific energy consumption for each fuel

Journal of Basic and Applied Engineering Research (JBAER)


Print ISSN: 2350-0077; Online ISSN: 2350-0255; Volume 1, Number 3; October, 2014
12 Ambarish Datta, Suhail Dutta, Bijan Kumar Mandal

1680 oxygen concentration and residence time for the reaction to


Diesel take place. As seen from figure 5, the in-cylinder temperature
1600 DM 5 rise is minimum for DM15 blend, thus the NOx emission is
DM 10 also low compared to other blends. Also the higher latent heat
1520 can be responsible for this behavior [6].
DM 15
4.7 Effect on Specific CO2 emission
1440
Tmax (K)

Carbon dioxide is the product of complete combustion of fuels


1360 inside the combustion chamber. Figure 7 shows the variation
of CO2 emission with brake power for different diesel-
1280 methanol blends. It can be seen from the figure that, the
methanol blending, the emission of CO2 is decreased. The
1200 main reason of CO2 reduction is low C/H ratio and high
oxygen content of the blends. Also the high oxygen content
helps in better combustion and reduces the phenomena of
1120
dissociation due to decrease in temperature resulting in the
0 1 2 3 4 increase in CO2 emission.

Brake power (kW) 4.8 Effect on Specific PM and Smoke emission


Smoke opacity is an indicative of dry soot emissions which is
Figure 16. Variation of Maximum temperature rise with brake
power for diesel and diesel-methanol blends. the main reason behind the formation of particulate matter.
The variation of the specific PM and smoke emissions with
brake power have been shown in figure 7 and 8 respectively.
900 Diesel The figures show the similar trend for both specific PM and
smoke emissions. The highest emissions are found with the
800 DM 5 use of pure diesel followed by DM5, with the lowest being for
DM 10 DM15 blend.
700 DM 15
2250
600 D ie s e l
NOx (ppm)

2000 DM 5
500
DM 10
Specific CO (gm/kWh)

400 DM 15
1750

300
1500
2

200
1250
100

0 1 2 3 4 1000

Brake power (kW ) 750


0 1 2 3 4
Figure 17. Variation of NOx emission with brake power for diesel
and diesel-methanol blends. B ra k e p o w e r (k W )

4.6 Effect on NOx emission Figure 18. Variation of Specific PM emission


with brake power for diesel-methanol blends.
A mixture of nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) are
formed due to the oxidation of nitrogen from the intake air in The primary reason of the particulate emission (PM) from CI
the combustion process. These oxides of nitrogen found in the engine is improper combustion and burning of heavy
exhaust emissions are together referred to as NOx. The lubricating oil and smoke formation occurs primarily in the
variation of NOx present in the exhaust gas with brake power fuel-rich zone of the cylinder, at high temperatures and
is graphically represented in figure 6. The amount of NOx pressures. Smoke opacity formation occurs at the extreme air
formed, mostly depends on the combustion temperature, the deficiency [8].

Journal of Basic and Applied Engineering Research (JBAER)


Print ISSN: 2350-0077; Online ISSN: 2350-0255; Volume 1, Number 3; October, 2014
Effect of Methanol Addition to Diesel on the Performance and Emission Characteristics of a CI Engine 13

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Journal of Basic and Applied Engineering Research (JBAER)


Print ISSN: 2350-0077; Online ISSN: 2350-0255; Volume 1, Number 3; October, 2014