A study on the spray and engine combustion characteristics of diesel-dimethyl ether fuel blends

Ock Taeck Lim, Norimasa Iida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to compare the spray characteristics, the combustion characteristics and the emissions (nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbon and smoke) of typical fuels (100% diesel and 100% dimethyl ether) and diesel-dimethyl ether fuel blends in a constant-volume chamber and a single-cylinder direct-injection diesel engine. The spray characteristics were investigated by varying the ambient pressure and the fuel injection pressure using a common-rail fuel injection system with various fuel mixture ratios. The spray characteristic research parameters were the spray shape, the penetration length and the spray angle at the seven-hole injector. Common types of injector were used (Bosch). Two types of fuel blended by mass fraction were employed. Typical fuels (100% diesel and 100% dimethyl ether) and fuel blends with diesel:dimethyl ether mixture ratios of 95:5 and 90:10 were used. The injection pressure was fixed at 70 MPa while the ambient pressure was varied (0 MPa, 2.5 MPa and 5 MPa). The combustion experiments were conducted in a single-cylinder engine equipped with a common rail. The injection pressure was 700 bar at 1200 r/min. The amount of injected fuel was adjusted to obtain a fixed input calorific value of 972.2 J/cycle in order to make a comparison between the fuel types. The results showed that the injection quantity was greater with diesel fuel but not for dimethyl ether fuel and for the fuel blend with the higher mixing ratio. The spray penetration length increased with increasing ambient pressure for diesel but decreased for dimethyl ether with a larger spray angle. The ignition delay and the heat release rate decreased with increasing dimethyl ether which led to a higher indicated mean effective pressure and higher thermal efficiency because there was less negative work in the expansion. The total hydrocarbon emissions and the carbon monoxide emissions decreased with increasing dimethyl ether, but the nitrogen oxide emissions generated were greater owing to the increased combustion temperature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)782-792
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part D: Journal of Automobile Engineering
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2015 May 9


  • Diesel-dimethyl ether fuel blends
  • emission characteristics
  • reactivity
  • spray characteristics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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