Diesel Glycerin Emulsion Fuel Project
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Diesel Glycerin Emulsion Fuel Project

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    The work of the Marine Engine Testing and Emissions Laboratory (METEL) at Maine Maritime Academy (MMA) in the area of emulsion biofuels is presented. An overview of METEL is discussed including its unique capabilities in the fabrication, characterization and engine testing of emulsion fuels. The engine emissions test facilities and protocols are discussed including state of the art emissions measurement techniques used to analyze stationary high-speed diesel engines, on board vessel emissions and in METELs medium speed heavy fuel testing facility. In this paper we describe the emissions of glycerol/diesel and glycerol/biodiesel emulsion blends on marine diesel engines. In addition, fuel physicochemical characteristics and handling issues for these fuels are discussed. Glycerol is an attractive fuel blending material as it is a waste product of biodiesel production with desirable combustion and fuel properties when emulsified into diesel and biodiesel fuels. The cost and carbon reduction benefits of glycerol also make it economically attractive as a fuel component. It is shown that glycerol emulsion fuels exhibit long term shelf stability and when burned can reduce the unwanted pollutants NOX and THC. Particulate matter emissions are nearly equivalent by mass, but particulate number counts are significantly increased trending towards smaller particles sizes. CO emissions are shown to increase slightly with increasing emulsion concentrations. Data on the performance of emulsion fuels from both laboratory stationary diesels and on board the research vessel Quickwater are presented and the operational aspect of using these fuels on vessels is discussed.
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