Description: The objectives of this research and demonstration program are to convert a campus shuttle bus to operation on dimethyl ether, a potential ultra-clean alternative diesel fuel. To accomplish this objective, this project includes laboratory evaluation of a fuel conversion strategy, as well as, field demonstration of the DME-fueled shuttle bus. Since DME is a fuel with no lubricity (i.e., it does not possess the lubricating quality of diesel fuel), conventional fuel delivery and fuel injection systems are not compatible with dimethylether. Therefore, to operate a diesel engine on DME one must develop a fuel-tolerant injection system, or find a way to provide the necessary lubricity to the DME. In this project, they have chosen the latter strategy in order to achieve the objective with minimal need to modify the engine. The strategy is to blend DME with diesel fuel, to obtain the necessary lubricity to protect the fuel injection system and to achieve low emissions. The bulk of the efforts over the past year were focused on the conversion of the campus shuttle bus. This process, started in August 2001, took until April 2002 to complete. The process culminated in an event to celebrate the launching of the shuttle bus on DME-diesel operation on April 19, 2002. The design of the system on the shuttle bus was patterned after the system developed in the engine laboratory, but also was subjected to a rigorous failure modes effects analysis with help from Dr. James Hansel of Air Products. The result of this FMEA was the addition of layers of redundancy and over-pressure protection to the system on the shuttle bus. The system became operation in February 2002. Preliminary emissions tests and basic operation of the shuttle bus took place at the Pennsylvania Transportation institute's test track facility near the University Park airport. …
Date: April 1, 2003
Creator: Chapman, Elana M.; Bhide, Shirish; Stefanik, Jennifer; Glunt, Howard; Boehman, Andre L.; Homan, Allen et al.
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