The primary objective of this research has been to investigate how the oxidation characteristics of diesel particulate matter (PM) are affected by blending soy-based biodiesel fuel with conventional ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel. PM produced in a light duty engine from different biodiesel-conventional fuel blends was subjected to a range of physical and chemical measurements in order to better understand the mechanisms by which fuel-related changes to oxidation reactivity are brought about. These observations were then incorporated into a kinetic model to predict PM oxidation.
Nanostructure of the fixed carbon was investigated by HR-TEM and showed that particulates from biodiesel had a more open structure than particulates generated from conventional diesel fuel, which was confirmed by BET surface area measurements. Surface area evolution with extent of oxidation reaction was measured for PM from ULSD and biodiesel. Biodiesel particulate has a significantly larger surface area for the first 40% of conversion, at which point the samples become quite similar.
Oxidation characteristics of nascent PM and the fixed carbon portion were measured by temperature programmed oxidation (TPO) and it was noted that increased biodiesel blending lowered the light-off temperature as well as the temperature where the peak rate of oxidation occurred. A shift in the oxidation profiles of all fuels was seen when the mobile carbon fraction was removed, leaving only the fixed carbon, however the trend in temperature advantage of the biofuel blending remained. The mobile carbon fraction, measured by temperature programmed desorption, was found to generally increase with increasing biodiesel blend level. The relative change in the light-off temperatures for the nascent and fixed carbon samples was found to be related to the fraction of mobile carbon. Effective Arrhenius parameters for fixed carbon oxidation were directly measured with isothermal, differential oxidation experiments.
Normalizing the reaction rate to the total carbon surface area available for reaction allowed for the definition of a single reaction rate with constant activation energy (112.5 ? 5.8 kJ/mol) for the oxidation of PM, independent of its fuel source.
A kinetic model incorporating the surface area dependence of fixed carbon oxidation rate and the impact of the mobile carbon fraction was constructed and validated against experimental data.