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31-10-2018 | Consumables | News | Article

TU Wien's Dual-Fuel Diesel Engine Uses Bioethanol

Patrick Schäfer

TU Wien has developed a diesel engine that can run on over 70 percent bioethanol. The dual-fuel engine reduces CO2 emissions by almost 40 percent. 

TU Wien (Vienna University of Technology) has investigated the use of bioethanol as an additional fuel in a diesel engine in order to reduce emissions. "In some countries, it has been common practice to add larger quantities of ethanol to petrol for a long time. However, until now doing this in diesel engines has only been possible to a very limited extent," says Professor Bernhard Geringer from the Institute for Powertrains and Automotive Technology at TU Wien. 

In the diesel engine with dual-fuel combustion, a directly injected stream of diesel fuel ignites the alcoholic fuel that is added to the intake air upstream of the engine. In tests, researchers gradually added more bioethanol until up to 70 percent of the diesel was replaced. "We measured an increase in efficiency of up to 6.1 percent, and that alone improves the environmental balance of the engine," says Aleksandar Damyanov from TU Wien. 

Dual-fuel diesel engine with a green footprint

"We must also consider the fact that bioethanol has an excellent CO2 balance because it is produced from renewable raw materials. When we factor that in as well, we find that there is an overall reduction in CO2 emissions of up to 39 percent," says Damyanov. In addition, raw NOX emissions fell by a maximum of 36 percent and soot and fine dust by 99 percent. "Our results clearly show that bioethanol can be successfully used as a substitute fuel in a dual-fuel diesel engine, and that this concept has significant benefits for the environment," says Geringer, adding that these engines could noticeably reduce emissions, especially in commercial vehicles and heavy trucks.

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