Environmental effects of using Methanol as a biofuel into the combustion chamber of a heavy-duty diesel engine

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Chemical Engineering, Quchan University of Advanced Technology, Quchan, Iran


Methanol as a biofuel is an environmentally friendly substitute for pure diesel and can be obtained from biomasses. The use of biofuels such as methanol for the combustion process is associated with positive impacts on the environment. Using pure methanol or a blend of diesel/methanol fuel in motorized vehicles has been proposed by researchers. In this paper, pure methanol was injected into the combustion chamber of a ISM 370 HD diesel engine and the exhaust emissions were evaluated by using AVL FIRE CFD code software at four engine speeds (1200, 1400, 1600 and 1800 rpm). Additionally, the influences of EGR mass fraction and various injection timings were investigated. In order to validate the simulation results, in-cylinder mean pressure and rate of heat release (RHR) were compared with experimental data, and the results gave an acceptable agreement. The obtained results from the conducted simulation showed that the use of methanol fuel in the combustion chamber dramatically reduced the amount of exhaust emissions such as NO, soot, CO, and CO2 to 90%, 75%, 40%, and 26%, respectively. In addition, a mass fraction of EGR (20%) caused a reduction in the amount of exhaust NO to about 12%. It was determined that when a system is equipped with a fueling system at 3 deg before top dead center (BTDC), the exhaust NO and soot are reduced by 5.8% and 3%.


Main Subjects

[1] Trop, P., Anicic, B., Goricanec, D. (2014). Production of methanol from a mixture of torrefied biomass and coal. Energy, 77, 125-132.
[2] Holmgren, K. M., Andersson, E., Berntsson, T., Rydberg, T. (2014). Gasification-based methanol production from biomass in industrial clusters: Characterisation of energy balances and greenhouse gas emissions. Energy,69, 622-637.
[3] Manenti, F., Adani, F., Rossi, F., Bozzano, G., Pirola, C. (2016). First-principles models and sensitivity analysis for the lignocellulosic biomass-to-methanol conversion process. Computers and chemical engineering, 84, 558-567.
[4] Thomas, G., Feng, B., Veeraragavan, A., Cleary, M. J., Drinnan, N. (2014). Emissions from DME combustion in diesel engines and their implications on meeting future emission norms: A review. Fuel processing technology, 119, 286-304.
[5] Park, S. H., Lee, C. S. (2013). Combustion performance and emission reduction characteristics of automotive DME engine system. Progress in energy and combustion science, 39(1), 147-168.
[6] Chen, Z., Wu, Z., Liu, J., Lee, C. (2014). Combustion and emissions characteristics of high n-butanol/diesel ratio blend in a heavy-duty diesel engine and EGR impact. Energy conversion and management, 78, 787-795.
[7] Hou, J., Wen, Z., Jiang, Z., Qiao, X. (2014). Study on combustion and emissions of a turbocharged compression ignition engine fueled with dimethyl ether and biodiesel blends. Journal of the energy institute, 87(2), 102-113.
[8] Paul, A., Bose, P. K., Panua, R., Debroy, D. (2015). Study of performance and emission characteristics of a single cylinder CI engine using diethyl ether and ethanol blends. Journal of the energy institute, 88(1), 1-10
[9] Tudu, K., Murugan, S., Patel, S. K. (2015). Effect of diethyl ether in a di diesel engine run on a tyre erived fuel-diesel blend. Journal of the energy institute, 55, 1-11.
[10] Li, Y., Zhang, C., Yu, W., Wu, H. (2016). Effects of rapid burning characteristics on the vibration of a common-rail diesel engine fueled with diesel–methanol dual-fuel. Fuel, 170, 176-184.
[11] Vancoillie, J., Sileghem, L., Verhelst, S. (2014). Development and validation of a quasi-dimensional model for methanol and ethanol fueled SI engines. Applied energy, 132, 412-425.
[12] Chen, H., Yang, L., Zhang, P. H., Harrison, A. (2014). The controversial fuel methanol strategy in China and its evaluation. Energy strategy Reviews, 4, 28-33.
[13] Soni, D. K., Gupta, R. (2015). Comparison of performance and emission characteristics of diesel and diesel-water blend under varying injection timings. International journal of engineering, science and technology, 7(4), 49-59.
[14] Yang, Z., Chu, C., Wang, L., Huang, Y. (2015). Effects of H2 addition on combustion and exhaust emissions in a diesel engine. Fuel, 139, 190-197.
[15] Liu, S., Li, H., Liew, C., Gatts, T., Wayne, S., Shade, B., Clark, N. (2011). An experimental investigation of NO2 emission characteristics of a heavy-duty H 2-diesel dual fuel engine. International journal of hydrogen energy, 36(18), 12015-12024.
[16] Mobasheri, R., Peng, Z. (2013). CFD investigation of the effects of re-entrant combustion chamber geometry in a HSDI diesel engine.World academy of science, engineering and technology, International journal of mechanical, aerospace, industrial, mechatronic and manufacturing engineering, 7 (4), 770-780.
[17] Chen, Z., Wu, Z., Liu, J., Lee, C. (2014). Combustion and emissions characteristics of high n-butanol/diesel ratio blend in a heavy-duty diesel engine and EGR impact. Energy conversion and management, 78, 787-795.
[18] Ge, J. C., Kim, M. S., Yoon, S. K., Choi, N. J. (2015). Effects of pilot injection timing and EGR on combustion, performance and exhaust emissions in a common rail diesel engine fueled with a canola oil biodiesel-diesel