Ammonia as an alternate transport fuel: Emulsifiers for gasoline ammonia fuel blends and real time engine performance

Shehan Haputhanthri
Mechanical Engineering Department, Texas Tech University

11th Annual NH3 Fuel Conference, September 22, 2014


Ammonia is a carbon-free solution to energy crisis without strenuous changes to the existing infrastructure. Ammonia and hydrocarbon liquid fuel blends can be used to power existing IC engines as an alternative transportation fuel. Due to the structure of ammonia and hydrocarbon molecules an emulsifying agent has to be used to obtain a stable and high molality solution.

Feasibility of ammonia and gasoline liquid fuel blends using ethanol and methanol as emulsifiers was studied in this research. A small thermo-stated vapor liquid equilibrium (VLE) high pressure cell was used to study the solubility of ammonia in gasoline. A larger VLE cell was used to develop feasible fuel blends in sufficient quantities for engine dynamo-meter tests. A SuperFlow model 902 engine dynamo-meter with a GM family II Eco-Tech LE5 2.4L gasoline engine was used to benchmark performance of ammonia fuel blends against standard fuels.

Solubility test results show a drastic increase in solubility when ethanol and methanol were used as emulsifiers. Dynamo-meter test results show the ability of new fuel blends to produce the same amount of torque and power in lower engine rpm levels. At higher engine rpm levels ammonia rich fuels result in an increased torque and power.


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2014: Shehan Haputhanthri, Simulation of Fuel Economy of Gasoline-Ethanol-Ammonia Tertiary Fuel Blends for a Series Hybrid Electric Vehicle


Shehan Haputhanthri, Texas Tech University
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