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Clean fuel technology delivers promising results from trial in New Zealand

The trial was conducted by Interislander and supported by the New Zealand Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) Technology Demonstration programme, which trials new or underutilized technology.

It was tested on the former Interislander ferry, Arahura.

The clean fuel technology has proven to save a 3% to 5% saving in the fuel consumed in the generator engine of the Arahura, as well as a reduction in the level of particulate emissions through a more complete combustion.

Minor improvements in the base engine performance were also observed due to a cleaning function of the fuel.

“The trial included a month of monitored running on normal fuel to give a base line, along with pre and post-trial internal engine inspections,” said Leigh Ramsey, the Managing Director of the company which supplied the technology.

“The fuel needs to be pre-processed to create emulsion, and requires no engine modification to run,” Mr Ramsey says. “An emulsion is made when one substance coats another. In this case the oil and water emulsion is made in a high-shear mixer using an additive to keep it stable. This was done on board in-line, just prior to use.

The fuel emulsion behaves like normal fuel in the engine until it is injected into the combustion chamber. The water in the fuel then rapidly turns into steam and results in the fuel droplets to shatter into smaller droplets which provides for better combustion of the fuel.

Hence, this technology will ensure that it leads to a more complete combustion and thus reduce the amount of waste generated, particulates and greenhouse gases.

With that also comes significant fuel savings as well as less dependence on fossil fuels which are not environmentally-friendly.

“The outcome looks as though it could reduce our use of fuel and the level of emissions as well as giving us a significant financial saving,” Strategy Manager, Peter Wells said. Mr Dinesh Chand, the EECA Project Manager mentions that the technology should only be used with expert advice and using specialist equipment.

With this success, future projections of using the principle of emulsified fuel in other areas to reduce the use of fossil fuels, carbon emissions and reduce expenses incurred.

Image from Myrtle- CC BY 2.0

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