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Dimethyl Ether (DME)-Fueled Shuttle Bus Demonstration Project Annual Report
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. ...
Dimethyl Ether (DME)-Fueled Shuttle Bus Demonstration Project Annual Report
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 dimethyl ether. 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 laboratory studies have included work with a Navistar V-8 turbodiesel engine, demonstration of engine operation on DME-diesel blends and instrumentation for evaluating fuel properties. The field studies have involved performance, efficiency and emissions measurements with the Champion Motorcoach ''Defender'' shuttle bus which will be converted to DME-fueling. The results include baseline emissions, performance and combustion measurements on the Navistar engine for operation on a federal low sulfur diesel fuel (300 ppm S). Most recently, they have completed engine combustion studies on DME-diesel blends up to 30 wt% DME addition.
Dimethyl Ether (DME)-Fueled Shuttle Bus Demonstration Project Annual Report
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 dimethyl ether. 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. Within the Combustion Laboratory of the Penn State Energy Institute, they have installed and equipped a Navistar V-8 direct-injection turbodiesel engine for measurement of gaseous and particulate emissions and examination of the impact of fuel composition on diesel combustion. They have also reconfigured a high-pressure viscometer for studies of the viscosity, bulk modulus (compressibility) and miscibility of blends of diesel fuel, dimethyl ether and lubricity additives. The results include baseline emissions, performance and combustion measurements on the Navistar engine for operation on a federal low sulfur diesel fuel (300 ppm S). Most recently, they have examined blends of an oxygenated fuel additive (a liquid fuel called CETANER{trademark}) produced by Air Products, for comparison with dimethyl ether blended at the same weight of oxygen addition, 2 wt.%. While they have not operated the engine on DME yet, they are now preparing to do so. A ...