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Engine Durability Evaluation with E-Diesel

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  Paper number  036033,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.15329)
Authors:   Alan C. Hansen, Qin Zhang
Keywords:   Biofuel, alcohol, ethanol, diesel, blend, engine, durability

Ethanol-diesel fuel blends have been shown to substantially decrease particulate emissions in unmodified engines. Evidence of the effects of ethanol-diesel blends on engine and fuel injection system durability needs to be accumulated to help engine manufacturers in making decisions regarding the support of warranties on engines run on these blends. A 500-hour laboratory-based test was carried out on an International 7.3 L engine, which was run on a blend containing 10% ethanol, 1% additive and 89% low sulfur no. 2 diesel fuel. The purpose of the test was to evaluate the durability of the engine, with special reference to the hydraulically actuated, electronically controlled unit injector (HEUI) system, while operating at rated speed and maximum load. Engine variables were monitored during the test with the aid of an engine diagnostic system connected to the engine control module. Engine Performance tests were conducted at 100-hour intervals and oil samples were collected for analysis. The results showed that engine performance over the 500-hour period was not affected apart from an expected 4% decrease in power caused by the lower energy content of the blend. Based on oil analysis results no abnormal engine wear occurred that could be attributed to the blend. However, a fuel lift pump failure did take place about halfway through the test and was caused by the swelling of nitrile rubber check valve disks. A visual and dimensional inspection of the engine showed that the engine was in good condition with International engineers observing that the combustion chamber deposits appeared to be less than expected for an engine run for 500 hours on standard no. 2 diesel fuel. The effect of the blend on elastomeric components in the fuel system and the origin of the deposits should be investigated further.

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