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How do diesel and gasoline fuels differ in terms of air pollution concerns?
There is a significant difference between these two principal transportation fuels, especially with regard to particulate matter (PM) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions. Most people are familiar with the amount of visible smoke produced by diesel trucks, but of even greater concern is the much larger amount of carcinogenic PM found in diesel exhaust, as compared to relatively little amounts found in gasoline exhaust. However, diesel engines are substantially more efficient – 33% or more – than standard gasoline-powered engines, a significant factor in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions (see below).
What are diesel’s major exhaust emissions?
Diesel fuel’s major air pollution concerns center around PM, NOx, carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2) and total hydrocarbons (THC). As stated earlier, PM and NOx emissions are under greater scrutiny by government agencies seeking air quality improvements.
What different methods exist to clean-up diesel engine exhaust?
Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are continually improving new engine design to maximize fuel efficiency and reduce emissions, primarily PM and NOx. The emissions profiles of new or older engines can be improved through the use of newly developed exhaust after treatment products, including catalytic converters. Moreover, the fuel itself can be oxygenated to increase combustion efficiency and thus reduce emissions. Carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas, is a somewhat different pollutant and can only be reduced by cutting back vehicle use, significantly improving vehicle and engine efficiency, or employing renewable oxygenated fuels such as ethanol.
What is the difference between oxygenated fuel and fuel-injected oxygen?
Most people are familiar with either carburetors or fuel injection systems in their vehicles. Both are devices meant to draw air and thus oxygen from the atmosphere and blend large volumes of it into the fuel, be it gasoline or diesel. Oxygenated fuels, on the other hand, include chemical oxygen. In this case, combining ethanol (containing 35wt% oxygen), at low blend levels (7 – 10vol%) in diesel fuel, Improves combustion efficiency.
Why is ethanol the preferred fuel oxygenate?
Fuel ethanol has several advantages over other oxygenated fuel candidates, such as methanol. It is far less corrosive and a much safer fuel to handle, since it is the same chemical found in beverage alcohol. Ethanol also has 33% more energy than methanol and when used in lower blend percentages, it will have little or no mileage effect. Fuel ethanol, a renewable fuel, is also readily available for fuel blending in North America, Brazil, and increasingly, in Southeast Asia.
How does fuel ethanol’s energy content compare to that of diesel and does it affect vehicle mileage?
Fuel ethanol has roughly two-thirds the energy content of diesel fuel, but three factors suggest ethanol diesel blends have little or no impact on fuel economy. First, since O2Diesel™ is an oxygenated fuel, its better combustion efficiency offsets some of the potential loss. Second, O2Diesel™ uses a modest amount of ethanol (7.7vol%) in its blend formulation, thus achieving the lowest energy impact. Third, the urban driving cycle of fleets (buses, delivery vehicles, etc.) has demonstrated no statistical mileage difference between O2Diesel™ and standard diesel fuels.
Does the amount of diesel use vary around the world?
Yes, considerably. The U.S. and Canada use a much smaller proportion than do other economies, about 30% of total transportation fuel consumption. In Europe, South America and Asia on the other hand, about 70% of all transportation fuel consumed is diesel.
How does O2Diesel™ compare in price with regular diesel fuel?
In North America, O2Diesel™ is estimated to cost anywhere from US$0.00 – 0.10 per gallon more than the base diesel fuel. Of course, this differential depends on fluctuating world crude oil and fuel ethanol prices. In other countries, where ethanol costs less than diesel such as Brazil, the price may be lower than that of regular diesel.
How much blending agent is required to successfully stabilize an ethanol diesel blend?
O2Diesel™’s patented technology employs less than 1.0vol% of its proprietary biomass-derived, blending agent that is effective in stabilizing diesel fuels at typical water levels and across a range of operating temperatures.
Are there technical and safety issues related to the use of O2Diesel™?
All fuels must combust to be effective. All have varying technical and safety concerns, some more challenging than others. Alternative fuels such as propane, natural gas, and hydrogen are highly pressurized and must be treated with far greater care than liquid fuels. O2Diesel™ has only one issue, and that is its “flashpoint” temperature, a fuel handling and storage property with which bulk handlers of gasoline, a fuel with a greater flashpoint sensitivity than diesel, are well-familiar. O2Diesel™ has a flashpoint temperature almost midway between diesel and gasoline, and thus for safety reasons must at a minimum be treated like gasoline. O2Diesel™ has developed comprehensive safety and hauling protocols and devices that are utilised in all fleets using O2Diesel™