The effect of oxygenates on diesel engine particulate matter

A. S. Cheng*, Robert Dibble, Bruce A. Buchholz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

80 Scopus citations


A summary is presented of experimental results obtained from a Cummins B5.9 175 hp, direct-injected diesel engine fueled with oxygenated diesel blends. The oxygenates tested were dimethoxy methane (DMM), diethyl ether, a blend of monoglyme and diglyme, and ethanol. The experimental results show that particulate matter (PM) reduction is controlled largely by the oxygen content of the blend fuel. For the fuels tested, the effect of chemical structure was observed to be small. Isotopic tracer tests with ethanol blends reveal that carbon from ethanol does contribute to soot formation, but is about 50% less likely to form soot when compared to carbon from the diesel portion of the fuel. Numerical modeling was carried out to investigate the effect of oxygenate addition on soot formation. This effort was conducted using a chemical kinetic mechanism incorporating n-heptane, DMM and ethanol chemistry, along with reactions describing soot formation. Results show that oxygenates reduce the production of soot precursors (and therefore soot and PM) through several key mechanisms. The first is due to the natural shift in pyrolysis and decomposition products. In addition, high radical concentrations produced by oxygenate addition promote carbon oxidation to CO and CO2, limiting carbon availability for soot precursor formation. Additionally, high radical concentrations (primarily OH) serve to limit aromatic ring growth and soot particle inception.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002
EventInternational Spring Fuels and Lubricants Meeting and Exhibition - Reno, NV, United States
Duration: May 6 2002May 9 2002


OtherInternational Spring Fuels and Lubricants Meeting and Exhibition
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityReno, NV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Pollution
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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