Cars running Diesel Fuel are some of the worst polluters on the planet. A BS4 diesel engine in India is several times more polluting than a BS4 petrol engine. However, a new study from scientists at Yale University can provide a solution to this problem.
The latest research put forward by Nabila A. Huq et al suggests that diesel fuel can be made less polluting and more efficient at the same time by increasing and retaining the amount of oxygen in it.
For proper combustion, three things are pre-requisite: fuel, air, and spark. The new study aims to increase the oxygen content in Diesel fuel by adding external organic molecules that hold a lot of oxygen.
The abstract of the paper reads “we assess fuel properties of oxygenates accessible from catalytic upgrading of these acids a priori for their potential to serve as diesel bioblendstocks.”
Here’s how the team made cleaner Diesel fuel:
Clean Fuel Can Save Diesel Cars
The team created a biobased ether through a high yielding catalytic process. A lot of Ether was created to demonstrate its ability to reduce sooting and improve the auto-ignition ability of Diesel fuel.
Soot is made up of unburned carbon particles that clog up the internals of a combustion engine. The new biobased Ether provides enough oxygen to carry out the combustion process relatively efficiently. According to Nabila A. Huq et al, they successfully reduced sooting by 86% and improved ignition quality by 56% by blending biobased ether with petrodiesel.
However, the requirement of a good fuel isn’t simply to burn efficiently, it should be easy to transport, store and transfer. This is why the team conducted additional tests to prove that their fuel could easily fit within the existing fueling infrastructure.
The biobased ether which is 4-butoxyheptane, improved the ignition property by 10% and reduced sooting by 20% when blended with petrodiesel at 20% volume.
The team also said that the pure bio-blend stock and along with the 20% petrodiesel-ether blend was safe to store and use within existing diesel engines.
The student team confirmed that more research and funding could prove to be very economically viable. And the great news is that the new fuel has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% to 271% relative to petrodiesel.
Would You Buy Diesel Over Electric?
No matter how clean Diesel fuel gets, electric cars will always be more environment-friendly. However, a new fuel type that can utilize the current infrastructure of cars, transport fleet, and fueling stations while significantly reducing greenhouse emissions is a clear advantage in every case.
Here’s to hoping the team gets funded.