Skip to main content

About this book

This monograph is based on methanol as a fuel for transportation sector, specifically for compression ignition (CI) engines. The contents present examples of utilization of methanol as a fuel for CI engines in different modes of transportation such as railroad, personal vehicles or heavy duty road transportation. The book also focuses on effect of methanol on combustion and performance characteristics of the engine. The effect of methanol on exhaust emission production, prediction and control is also discussed. It also discusses current methanol utilization and its potential, its effect on the engine in terms of efficiency, combustion, performance, pollutants formation and prediction. Part of the chapters are based on review of state-of-the-art while other chapters are dedicated to an original research. This volume will be a useful guide to professionals and academics involved in alternative fuels, compression ignition engines, and environmental research.

Table of Contents




Chapter 1. Introduction of Methanol: A Sustainable Transport Fuel for CI Engines

The rising energy demand of transportation sector worldwide causes the depletion of oil reserves. Also, the harmful exhaust emissions from transportation sector possess a risk to human health. This book presents a different aspects of methanol utilization in compression ignition (CI) engines for transportation sector. The first section of this book includes the introduction chapter, where the content of all the book chapters is summarized. The second section presents a methanol as a fuel for CI engines, introduces a different approach for methanol combustion in CI engine and presents the examples of methanol utilization as a fuel in transportation sector. This section also discusses the safety aspects of methanol utilization in transportation. The third section of the book focuses on application aspects, such as performance and combustion characteristics and integrating methanol as a fuel into a diesel engine architecture. The fourth and the last section of this book is dedicated to emissions. The effect of methanol on harmful emissions such as carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (HC), oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) is evaluated. Further, the effect of partially premixed combustion strategy of methanol on emission production and the response surface models for prediction of emissions and engine performance of dual fuel engine are presented.
Avinash Kumar Agarwal, Hardikk Valera, Martin Pexa, Jakub Čedík

Methanol as a Fuel


Chapter 2. Technology Options for Methanol Utilization in Large Bore Diesel Engines of Railroad Sector

Railroad offers one of the most convenient and reliable ways of transport for goods and humans. It is also an economically viable mode of transport, which would continue to grow in coming decades. Railroad is mostly using large bore diesel locomotive engines. Emissions from these locomotive engines cannot be ignored since it causes adverse impact on the environments and human beings, such as global warming, health issues, etc. There is a need for alternative fuels for diesel locomotives, which can meet the energy demands while reducing emissions. Methanol has shown great potential to replace mineral diesel. Methanol can be produced from various feedstocks such as biomass, high ash coal, carbon capture, etc. India has vast resources of high ash coal. Therefore, methanol production through coal gasification could be a viable alternative that fulfils the fuel demand for diesel locomotives as well as other sectors. Utilization of methanol in existing locomotive engines faces various challenges. This chapter reviews different techniques of methanol utilization in an existing compression ignition (CI) engines and brings out the technical challenges with appropriate solutions. This chapter also throws some lights on potential techniques for methanol adaptation in diesel locomotives.
Dhananjay Kumar, Hardikk Valera, Avinash Kumar Agarwal

Chapter 3. Application of Methanol as Clean and Efficient Alternative Fuel to Engines with Compression Ignition

Methanol is difficult to be ignited by compression due to its low cetane number. The strategy of diesel–methanol compound combustion (DMCC) was proposed, which starts up with pure diesel fuel and switches to the mode of diesel–methanol dual fuel after the engine fully warms up. The strategy of DMCC will substitute methanol to diesel fuel up to 40% for new engine and 30% for retrofitting engine when it is applied to heavy-duty vehicle and constructive machine as well as marine power unit. The engines equipped with DMCC system are able to reduce NOx without assistance of selective catalyst reduction (SCR) urea system, as well as PM emission at the same time, which can meet the requirements of China V emission legislation and have the potential to meet the demand of China VI in future. The chapter introduces the strategy of DMCC, the main components dealing with methanol while applied to those engines mentioned above, and real examples on different power units. Additionally, the characteristics of diesel–methanol dual fuel (DMDF) combustion mode, emission control strategy, and system related to catalyst, retrofitting, and modifying engine from pure diesel to running DMCC mode are also illustrated. Again, it provides with the research results about the characteristics of DMDF combustion mode to assist the readers to understand the dual fuel combustion in depth as well as the examples applied to various power units, such as heavy-duty trucks, constructive machine, marine propeller, and locomotive engines.
Chunde Yao, Anren Yao, Bin Wang, Taoyang Wu

Chapter 4. Methanol: A Gateway to Biofuel Revolution in Global Heavy-Duty ICE-Based Transportation

This chapter reviews the various advanced combustion concepts that have shown immense potential of achieving excellent engine brake thermal efficiencies and extremely low engine-out NOx and smoke emissions. Advanced combustion concepts like partially premixed combustion and reactivity-controlled compression ignition are well suited to work with biofuels like methanol. However, each of these advanced combustion concepts has their challenges, which further paved the way for mixed-mode combustion concepts, where the aim is to utilize such advanced combustion concepts for their ability to deliver excellent engine efficiencies in duty cycle part of engine operating zone and switch to classical diesel combustion or SI combustion in rest of engine working map. Worldwide, there are number of research laboratories and universities which have already shown close to 50% brake thermal efficiencies with NOx emissions close to 0.25 g/kWh and smoke levels at 0.06 FSN at high load conditions. Engine with thermodynamic efficiencies level as high as 60% has already been demonstrated with very low engine-out emissions. Such research endeavours have already envisioned the way to achieve future emission levels of NOx (nitrogen oxides) at 0.027 g/kWh. However, there are some challenges like high pressure rise rates (PRR), low load combustion stability and high turbocharger efficiency requirements for maintaining high dilution, which have to be addressed in future research work. There are other socio-economic challenges which the research organizations, original equipment manufacturer (OEMs) and government have to address to make biofuels as mainstream transportation fuel worldwide.
Subhanker Dev

Chapter 5. Safety Aspects of Methanol as Fuel

Globally, methanol is fast emerging as a promising replacement for petroleum fuels in transport sector. Large scale methanol production and utilization are in nascent stage for most countries, except China and USA. Huge potential and merits of methanol are attracting countries globally towards its widespread usage. Physio-chemical properties of methanol are comparable/superior to conventional fuels, i.e., gasoline and diesel. Extensive use of methanol globally depends on the transport of methanol fueled tankers, containers, etc. Methanol is highly flammable and toxic; therefore, its exposure adversely affects human health. Stringent safety norms and specific precautions are required during transportation and usage of methanol in different sectors of the economy. In this chapter, various levels of methanol exposures and safety protocols that are required in addition to fire control methods are elaborately discussed.
Omkar Yadav, Hardikk Valera, Deepak Dulani, Unni Krishnan, Avinash Kumar Agarwal

Application Aspects


Chapter 6. Combustion and Emission Analyses of a Diesel Engine Running on Blends with Methanol

The ambient air around us is continuously and increasingly loaded and polluted through emission that comes from different sectors, especially from the transportation sector. This fact is due to the growing energy consumption in the transport sector which is forecasted worldwide in the nearer and far future. Bio-based energy may be consumed in an increasing way in the sector until 2050. Methanol, and if it is produced on bio-basis, called bio-methanol, is the simplest alcohol. Methanol costs less than other automotive alternative alcohols, for example, ethanol or butanol, so it may be among the cheapest technical alcohols. As for methanol’s structure, it contains 30% more inherent oxygen on a molecular base than fossil diesel. The aim of this research is to give comprehensive overview about the methanol’s effect on the combustion and emission properties of a diesel engine. During the analyses of combustion and emission characteristics the most relevant parameters have been included. The study also contains calculations regarding theoretical combustion (oxidation process) of the different hydrogen-carbons. A rarely investigated parameter, O2 consumption or demand is also in focus, besides CO2 emission and intensity throughout the calculations. For our experimental test series, diesel fuel was the base fuel and it has been mixed with biodiesel first, and this mixture has been further blended with methanol. Methanol’s theoretical contribution to the diesel–biodiesel blend’s O2 consumption and CO2 emission is a small amount. Engine’s external parameters have not changed significantly if it is running on blend with methanol. Methanol has rather affected the combustion and emission properties of the engine more significantly.
György Szabados, Justas Žaglinskis, Kristóf Lukács, Ákos Bereczky

Chapter 7. Combustion Characteristics of Methanol Fuelled Compression Ignition Engines

Concerned with the increasing concentration of greenhouse gases and global dependence on crude oil, researchers worldwide are making efforts to promote alternative fuels. The utilization of alternative fuels can diversify the energy sources and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. Alcohols have evolved as a popular alternative fuel for internal combustion engines. Methanol, light alcohol, has shown great potential in alleviating the burden of the engine out emissions. A number of scientific studies presented the use of methanol in engines. For utilization in diesel engines, widely accepted methods of methanol induction include port injection and blending with diesel and/or biodiesel. The aim of this chapter is to provide an overview of these methodologies, focusing on the influence of methanol on combustion, when used with diesel like fuels. The effects of different utilization techniques and fuel blends on the cylinder pressure, heat release rate, and exhaust gas temperature are summarized from the literature and then analyzed. Thorough knowledge of the effect of methanol on engine combustion would allow its superior utilization from the viewpoint of pollutant emission reduction.
Jakub Čedík, Hardikk Valera, Martin Pexa, Avinash Kumar Agarwal

Chapter 8. Heavy Duty Diesel Engines Operating on 100% Methanol for Lower Cost and Cleaner Emissions

There is great interest in incorporating methanol fuel across a variety of energy and transportation sectors for many reasons, including increased regional availability, potential to use renewable fuel production pathways, and lower fuel costs compared to petroleum-derived fuels. This chapter describes a method of integrating methanol into a traditional diesel engine architecture, allowing the engine to operate on 100% methanol fuel while maintaining high torque and efficiency. By using increased engine insulation, a high-temperature environment is created which enables any fuel, regardless of cetane number, to auto-ignite with short ignition delay time upon direct injection. This “fuel agnostic” mixing-controlled compression ignition engine can be operated on fuels such as methanol or ethanol, without ignition improver additives. Further benefits arise from marrying a low-carbon fuel like methanol to this high-efficiency architecture—namely that the engine can be operated at a stoichiometric air/fuel ratio, without exceeding soot emission regulation limits nor requiring a particulate filter to do so. Finally, the stoichiometric ratio allows for three-way catalysis after treatment, an order of magnitude lower in cost and more effective than selective catalytic reduction, providing a credible pathway to meeting near-zero NOx standards such as the 0.02 g/hph target. In this way, emissions of soot, NOx, and net CO2 (if renewable pathways are used to produce methanol) can all be lowered, enabling cleaner air quality and a ready transition to a low-carbon global economy.
Julie Blumreiter, Bernard Johnson

Emission Control


Chapter 9. Combustion, Performance and Emission Analysis of Diesel-Methanol Fuel Blend in CI Engine

Due to serious environmental problems and the rising cost of fossil fuels, a lot of research work is going on for cleaner alternative fuels to improve engine performance and at the same time reduce emissions. Nowadays, methanol has emerged as a very strong alternative bio-fuel, which has a high potential to reduce subordination to crude oil and atmospheric pollution. Methanol also has inconsistent Physico-chemical and combustion properties, making it a more appropriate additive fuel than other available organic fuel additives for CI engines. Therefore, the aim of the present study is to review the impact of different methanol-diesel blends on CI engine combustion, emission, and performance characteristics. The combustion characteristics of the engine are evaluated by the heat release curve measured inside the cylinder pressure data under various engine operating conditions. Performance characteristics are also discussed for different methanol-diesel blends at various CI engine parameters. Smoke, CO, HC, NOx, and PM emissions of CI engine have been discussed with different engine parameters using methanol–diesel blends. The role of injection timing on engine emissions has been also discussed.
Chandan Kumar, Kunj Bihari Rana, Brajesh Tripathi

Chapter 10. Impact of Methanol on Engine Performance and Emissions

Conventional fuels are depleting rapidly with growing industrial evolution and growing population. The massive use of conventional fuels releases harmful emissions into the atmosphere which is the main cause of global warming. Thus, there rises a huge concern about developing sustainable and renewable fuels which can meet the growing energy demand with less harm to the environment. In the past few decades, various alternative fuels like alcohol, biodiesel, and hydrogen have been found favorable green fuels for internal combustion engines. Methanol is one of these alternative fuels which has emerged as a potential fuel. It can be obtained from fossil fuels as well as from biomass. It can be used in pure form as well as a blend component in IC engines. The utilization of methanol and its blends in IC engines significantly increases engine performance and reduces emissions. This chapter describes different aspects of using methanol as a fuel for both compression ignition (CI) and spark ignition (SI) engines. The chapter focuses on the advantages and disadvantages of using methanol as a fuel, physical and chemical fuel properties of methanol and its comparison with other fuels, and engine performance and emissions characteristics of engines fueled with methanol and its various blends.
Akshay Garg, Gaurav Dwivedi, Siddharth Jain, Arun K. Behura

Chapter 11. Potential Assessment of Methanol to Reduce the Emission in LTC Mode Diesel Engine

The scarcity of fossil fuel and compliance with stringent emission regulations require an improvement in existing technologies used in traditional compression ignition (CI) engines. Many advanced combustion technologies like homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI), premixed compression ignition (PCI), partially premixed compression ignition (PPCI), and reactivity control compression ignition (RCCI) engine have been proven beneficial for improving performance, emissions, and combustion characteristics of the compression ignition (CI) engine. Among these combustion strategies, the partially premixed combustion (PPC) strategy is an efficient low-temperature combustion (LTC) mode having lower Soot/ NOX exhaust emissions and higher efficiency. The partially premixed combustion strategy allows the utilization of higher research octane number (RON) fuel in modern CI engines. Unlike traditional compression ignition engines, the PPC strategy allows sufficient time for fuel/air mixing before self-ignition. In PPC strategy, advanced fuel injection timing with higher RON fuel can be used to achieve effective ignition timing, consequently, improve combustion stability. The study states that high O2 concentration in methanol appears to be favorable in the PPC strategy to reduce the soot emissions. Additionally, methanol has a higher latent heat of vaporization (LHV), which increases the charge cooling effect that reduces NOX emissions. Thus, the combined use of PPC strategy along with methanol could be a promising upcoming solution to fulfill the strict exhaust emission norms. The present work studies the effect of methanol on diesel engines working in PPC mode.
Prem Kumar, Sarbjot Singh Sandhu, Mandeep Singh, Akash Deep

Chapter 12. Methodology to Predict Emissions and Performance Parameters of a Methanol Fueled Diesel Engine

A response surface methodology of the experimental investigations for varying substitution and load conditions has been performed on a 4-cylinder (turbocharged and intercooled) 62.5-kW gen-set dual fuel diesel engine. Break thermal efficiency, oxides of nitrogen, unburned hydrocarbon, and carbon monoxide were considered with the response surface model. Response surface models developed were used to relate the parameters of liquid fuel substitution and varying loads with the output parameters. Analysis of variance of the experimental results gave 95% and above in mostly all cases and justifies the models applied with those of the experimental results. Comparisons have been discussed elaborately.
G. K. Prashant, D. B. Lata, M. Ravi Shankar
Additional information