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About this book

This book discusses the emerging research centred on using methanol- whose excellent fuel properties, easy production and relative compatibility with existing technology- make it attractive to researchers looking to alternative fuels to meet the rising energy demand. The volume is divided into broadly 4 parts which discuss various aspects of the proposed methanol economy and the technological advances in engine design for the utilisation of this fuel. This book will be of interest to researchers and policy makers interested in using methanol as the principal source of ready and stored energy in societal functioning.

Table of Contents




Chapter 1. Introduction of Methanol and Alternate Fuel Economy

Currently, more than 80% of global energy is supplied through fossil fuels, in which more than 95% of fossil fuel energy is utilized in the transport sector. This has resulted in two issues, namely rapid depletion of petroleum reserves and environmental pollution due to excessive consumption of these petroleum-based fuels. Therefore, it becomes necessary to explore alternative fuels such as methanol, biofuels, compressed natural gas (CNG), hydrogen and other synthetic fuels. These alternative fuels can be used in all transportation modes including roadways as well as railways. This monograph describes different aspects related to these alternative fuels, especially methanol, which has emerged as a potential alternative fuel for both compression ignition (CI) and spark ignition (SI) engines. Utilization of methanol in large-bore engines, use of laser ignition in engines fuelled with gaseous alternative fuels and particulate emission characteristics of engines fuelled with alternative fuels are some of the interesting topics, which are covered in this book.
Avinash Kumar Agarwal, Anirudh Gautam, Nikhil Sharma, Akhilendra Pratap Singh

Methanol Economy


Chapter 2. Methanol as an Alternative Fuel for Diesel Engines

Global economic prosperity has led increasing population and a new era of motorization. Petroleum-based reserves are fulfilling the demand for global transport energy; however, petroleum reserves are rather limited and dwindling fast. This alarming situation demands immediate introduction of alternative fuels of bio-origin such as biodiesel, alcohols, vegetable oils. Among various primary alcohols, methanol has emerged as a strong alternate fuel candidate with the highest potential, and it has the potential to significantly contribute to the reduction in crude oil dependence and environmental preservation. Methanol can be straightway used as a replacement for gasoline, since it has very high octane number and has been successfully used in many spark ignition (SI) engine applications. However, utilization of methanol in compression ignition (CI) engines is quite challenging. This chapter deals with many challenges and opportunities of using methanol in CI engine applications.
Hardikk Valera, Avinash Kumar Agarwal

Chapter 3. Improving Efficiency of Diesel Traction and Adoption of Liquid Sunshine for Indian Railways

Indian Railways is facing many challenges. The railway ministry has announced 100% electrification of the Indian Railways traction network by putting an end to the diesel locomotives. This decision needs in-depth debate and discussions as the following paper illustrates. This is necessitated by the fact that India has in-house design and manufacturing capability of diesel locomotives with large export potential. India, like every other country in the world, is unique and has its own set of problems. Solutions to these problems have to be established by taking into account the localised context. Self-powered locomotives in contrast to the catenary-based locomotives offer many advantages and flexibility in operation. The use of methanol as fuel for these locomotives provides unparalleled advantages on all three ‘E’ dimensions, i.e. economy, efficiency and environment. In this context, this paper discusses the roadmap for efficiency improvement and adoption of methanol as traction fuel for self-powered propulsion for Indian Railways. The paper also compares the two proposed modes of traction for Indian Railways and proves beyond doubt that the elimination of self-powered locomotives from Indian Railways is a faulty decision and must be corrected urgently. IR, on the contrary, should convert its entire fleet of diesel locomotives to operate on methanol, which is a right path to follow.
Anirudh Gautam, Vagish Kumar Mishra, Avinash Kumar Agarwal

Chapter 4. Enabling Rural Economy in India to Partially Substitute Petroleum Products by Methanol—Technology Solutions and Policy Support

An estimate of the energy for cooking and transportation needs of rural India is made, and it is established how there would be a serious pressure on imports if such needs are attempted to be served using only conventional petro-products. Methanol derived from biomass could be one way to partially substitute the petro-products in rural areas. While there is a need to step up efforts for indigenous technology, especially for the gasification of such biomass, it is argued that it is more important to formulate a consistent policy to support both the technology development and its market adoption. A road map to set up modular bagasse-based gasification cum methanol plants in a distributed manner across the country is described. In order to make these plants commercially viable, policy support in terms of initial capital subsidy and an administrative pricing mechanism is suggested.
M. S. Srinivasan

Alternative Fuels


Chapter 5. Study of Performance and Emissions of Engines Fueled by Biofuels and Its Blends

Since ages, fossil fuels have been used for the purpose of running engines and machines. Due to increasing concerns regarding the use of fossil fuels like greenhouse gas emissions, renewability, sustainability, increasing population, and high fuel costs, the focus has now shifted on to the use of biodiesel as an alternative fuel. Biodiesel can be easily derived from edible as well as non-edible and algal material. It is renewable, sustainable, and cost-effective source of energy. Use of biodiesel can effectively increase the performance of engines and reduce emissions due to which major energy-consuming nations are producing biodiesel and using it in blends with other fuels. This paper focuses on the study of advantages and disadvantages of using biodiesel as a fuel, sources as well as method of biodiesel production, global energy scenario, fuel properties of biodiesel and its comparison with other fuels, and the performance and emission characteristics of engines whenever they are fueled with various fuels and additives.
Gaurav Dwivedi, Suyesh Pillai, Anoop Kumar Shukla

Chapter 6. Sustainability Assessment of Biodiesel Production in India from Different Edible Oil Crops Using Emergy Analysis

The demand for energy has increased gradually over the past few years. As a result, the reserve of petroleum-based fuels is depleting continuously which led to thinking about an alternative energy source. This resulted in the increased popularity of biofuel, which is an alternative and renewable source of energy. This study aims to investigate whether biodiesel production from different edible oil crops is sustainable enough to replace conventional fuels. In this work, emergy analysis has been used to study the sustainability of edible oil crops-based biodiesel production. Wheat germ, groundnut and cottonseed oils produced from edible oil crops have been considered in the present study. Based on the data availability, the study area considered in the present work is the state of Maharashtra, India. Three different processes of biodiesel production have been studied in this work, namely alkali-catalysed, acid-catalysed and lipase-catalysed transesterification processes. The emergy performance indicators such as emergy sustainability index (ESI), emergy investment ratio (EIR), emergy renewability (%R), emergy yield ratio (EYR), environmental loading ratio (ELR) and environmental impact ratio (EVR) are then evaluated for each of the considered biodiesels derived from edible oil crops. The sustainability of the considered biodiesels is then evaluated based on a comparative assessment considering these emergy performance indicators. Based on the emergy analysis, it is found that irrespective of the transesterification processes considered, the wheat germ oil is found to be the most preferable edible oil for the production of biodiesel as it has lowest transformity value. On the contrary, cottonseed oil is the least preferred edible oil as it has the highest transformity value. Similarly, based on the values of emergy indices, it is observed that irrespective of the transesterification processes considered, the biodiesel derived from cottonseed oil crop is found to be the most sustainable followed by biodiesel derived from groundnut oil crop and the biodiesel derived from wheat germ oil crop is found to be least sustainable.
Shyamal Das, Rahul Dev Misra, Biplab Das

Chapter 7. Impact of Tri-Fuel on Compression Ignition Engine Emissions: Blends of Waste Frying Oil–Alcohol–Diesel

The increasing demand for power and energy pushes mankind in exploiting more on the limited natural resources. This results in the enormous depletion of the overall deposition of natural resources. It has been estimated that the total oil reserve in the world will not last for more than 60 years. Hence, the exploration for alternative fuels is at large. One such alternative fuel for automotive engines is the waste frying oil biodiesel. Waste frying oil methyl esters (WFOMe) have been known to have good engine characteristics as the lower heating value of most methyl esters from waste frying oil ranged from 38.4 to 39.6 MJ/kg, which is close to 44.5 MJ/kg of diesel. Hence, an attempt is being made in reducing further emission of diesel engine and increasing performance and combustion characteristics of the engine with addition of alcohol (10% ethanol) in the blends of diesel and methyl esters of waste frying oil (B20 blend) forming a tri-fuel WFOMe20E10. Locally, sourced materials were collected and characterized for the study and hence prove to be economical while meeting the energy demands.
Thokchom Subhaschandra Singh, Tikendra Nath Verma

Chapter 8. Review on the Use of Essential Oils in Compression Ignition Engines

Essential oils are obtained from the non-fatty parts of a plant, such as the roots, bark, leaves, stems and flowers. These oils are mainly used in the natural medicine sector due to claimed health benefits, as well as the flavouring and fragrance sector, and the market has experienced rapid growth in recent years. The high quality required of the products leads to a very significant low-value waste stream, which is available for use in the transport and agricultural sectors. The use of essential oils in the compression ignition (CI) engine is a concept that has not yet been explored thoroughly. This paper analyses the available literature on the effect of essential oils and their blends on the performance, combustion characteristics and emission parameters of the CI engine. Regarding their properties, essential oils have similar properties to neat diesel. Engine performance using several essential oils and their blends improve brake thermal efficiency (BTE) and reduce brake-specific fuel consumption. A significant reduction in particulate matter (PM) emissions along with reduced hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions has been reported in the literature. Furthermore, essential oils and their blends increase peak cylinder pressure and heat release rate (HRR) compared to neat diesel and biodiesel. However, most of the literature reported increased emissions of nitrogen oxides attributed to the lower cetane number and higher oxygen content. Due to having a low cetane number, essential oils can be used in CI engines by blending with either diesel or biodiesel. The rapid growth of the essential oil sector increases the likelihood of their utilization in CI engines in the future.
S. M. Ashrafur Rahman, T. J. Rainey, Z. D. Ristovski, A. Dowell, M. A. Islam, M. N. Nabi, R. J. Brown

Utilization Aspects


Chapter 9. Laser-Ignited Engine Development for Adaptation to Hydrogen-Enriched Compressed Natural Gas (HCNG)

Among alternative fuels, natural gas is readily available in large quantities in acceptable composition; therefore, no further processing is needed such as in case of biofuels. Compressed natural gas (CNG) is the cheapest alternative fuel with quickest commercial implementation potential due to only slight modifications required in the existing engine hardware. Lean-burn concept is an effective approach to enhance engine’s thermal efficiency and reduce exhaust emissions, but engine’s combustion performance deteriorates because of slower flame speed and higher cyclic fluctuations. Increasing turbulence and using multiple spark plugs are conventional approaches to increase the flame speed but at the expense of volumetric efficiency and higher electrode erosion due to increased energy deposition under these conditions. Therefore, enriching natural gas with hydrogen is an effective way to increase the flame speed, while reducing the ignition energy requirements. Hydrogen enrichment of CNG reduces the volumetric heat content of the fuel, which results in relatively lower energy density of the test fuel. Therefore, for the same power output, complete combustion of HCNG reduces HC and CO emissions. Using laser ignition instead of conventional spark ignition system and use of HCNG, lean combustion limit could be extended further. Extended lean limit operation results in further reduction in emissions.
Rajesh Kumar Prasad, Avinash Kumar Agarwal

Chapter 10. Particulate Matter and Its Impact on Human Health in Urban Settings

In the current era of development, all living beings on earth are confronting a significant increase in diseases related to airways and lungs. Humans are introduced to new diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer. These diseases are essentially caused by the inhalation of particulate matter from various combustion sources, including internal combustion engines. The situation is getting worse, and it is affecting all living being in spite of their financial status since everyone needs to breathe for survival. The severity of these diseases depends upon the dose of particulates inhaled by humans. Particulate matter concentration in the environment is accelerating due to the increasing number of different kind of vehicles worldwide using petroleum-based hydrocarbon fuels, which is increasing due to increasing global prosperity. Therefore, an urgent switch from the commercially available energy sources to carbon-free fuel economy is necessary for a clean, healthy, and livable environment.
Dev Prakash Satsangi, Avinash Kumar Agarwal
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