Dimethyl ether as a renewable fuel for diesel engines
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The area of automotive fuel, or fuel components, which can be produced from biomass also includes dimethyl ether, otherwise known as DME. The issue of the use of DME as a fuel is one which has been monitored until recently. Biomass can also be used as the raw material for the production of DME. DME has therefore replaced the previously-used CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons), which are now banned for their role in dangerous levels of ozone depletion. With regard to its physical properties and combustion characteristics, it is currently expected that DME will soon apply significantly as a fuel in the municipal sector and in households, and as an alternative fuel for motor vehicles with diesel engines. DME is a suitable fuel for diesel engines and can be considered as one of the most promising diesel fuel replacements. DME is a suitable fuel for diesel engines mainly due to its low self-ignition temperature and good cetane figures. It is well miscible with most organic solvents and because the polar solvent is water-immiscible. The advantage is its high levels of purity, and its being free of sulphur, nitrogen, or metals. The physical properties of DME are very similar to the physical properties of LPG. DME requires relatively complex and costly fuel accessories, but the original compression ratio of the diesel engine is maintained. A diagram of the fuel system is illustrated in the paper. The paper analyses the dependence of vapour pressure on temperature, the dependence of the density on temperature, kinematic viscosity, the flash point, the boiling point, and the solubility of water. The objective is to evaluate this interesting energy source for applications in diesel engines.