Methanol-HVO blends for efficient low-temperature combustion: analytical research on fuel properties
University of Vaasa, School of Technology and Innovations, Energy Technology,
Wolffintie 34, FI65200 Vaasa, Finland
Next-generation low-temperature combustion (LTC) engines can accommodate ultra-high efficiency with near-zero NOx and PM emissions. Reaction kinetics is the governing mechanism in LTC. Onboard fuel reactivity control is, thus, becoming an interesting concept that ultimately provides pathways toward a fully fuel-flexible engine. No matter the technical realisation – in-cylinder blending or pre-blending/emulsification – the reactivity control requires fuels with complementary properties. Methanol and hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) seem to be one of the most promising, yet under-studied combination for LTC engines. They are both renewable and can be mixed together. Methanol’s high knock resistance and large latent heat of evaporation enable a wide engine load range, with a propensity to reduce NOx emissions and mitigate thermal or mechanical stress. The same properties on the other hand require highly reactive fuel to enable the mixture to self-ignite controllably in LTC conditions. HVO is amongst the most reactive renewable alternatives and its clean paraffinic structure further mitigates particle matter formation. – Importantly, in pre-blending HVO emulsification can resolve the lubricity issues of methanol. In this paper, the aim was to study the engine-relevant properties of HVO-methanol fuel blends. The analysed properties were the distillation properties, density, kinematic viscosity, cetane index, and flash point. Based on the results, the suitability of the chosen blend shares for LTC concepts was evaluated.