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The Effects of Surfactant on Combustion Characteristics of Emulsified Diesel Fuel


Academic year: 2023

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I hereby declare that I am responsible for the work submitted in this project, that the original work is mine except as specified in the references and acknowledgments, and that the original work contained herein was not performed or performed by anyone other than -specified sources or persons. . The introduction of water into the diesel mixture could be used as an alternative fuel to replace the natural hydrocarbon reserves that are almost depleted. The emulsified diesel fuel is defined as emulsions of water in diesel fuel, mixed with a surfactant formulation.

In order to obtain a good and stabilized emulsion, it is necessary to prepare the correct mixture of water and diesel fuel. The emulsions created will be tested for stability and compositional properties such as carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen content, flash point and molecular composition. As a result, the oxygen content of emulsified diesel fuel is higher than that of regular diesel fuel, which clearly showed that emulsion can provide better combustion.

Praise be to Him Almighty that for this strength and courage given, the project is successfully completed at the appointed time. This really helped me to steer the project and ensure the smooth running and progress of the compilation of this report. Last but not least, I want to thank my family for their great encouragement throughout the years of studying and completing this project.

They always support me to do my best in this study and project.

  • Background of Study
  • Problem Statement
  • Objectives
  • Scope of Study
  • The Relevancy of the Project
  • The Feasibility of the Project

One of the possible solutions to the mentioned problem is the mixing of water and diesel, which can be achieved with the correct formulation of surfactants. For this experiment, surfactant is used to mix water and diesel in the correct ratio to produce good and reliable emulsified diesel fuel. Emulsified diesel fuel is defined as an emulsion of water in diesel fuel mixed with very specific additives such as surfactants.

The surfactant itself will help stabilize the emulsion so that the finely dispersed water droplets remain in suspension in the diesel fuel. Water and fuel mix to form emulsions and due to the rapid evaporation of water molecules that bind to the fuel molecules, they break up the fuel droplets to form small ones. Diesel fuel used today has contributed to many environmental problems such as sooty exhaust gases and many other hazardous emissions resulting from its combustion.

When an emulsion forms, it disperses back into its original liquid form, which is water and diesel. In order to obtain stabilized emulsified diesel fuel, it is necessary to know the correct method for preparing emulsions. To study a method for preparing the correct ratio of water, diesel fuel and surfactant for the production of stabilized emulsified diesel fuel.

Below is the scope of study that will be done during the progress of the project:-. During this period the focus is more on understanding how surfactant can mix water and diesel, what is the suitable ratio of surfactant, water and diesel to get a stabilized diesel fuel and finally appropriate method to mix all those components. The result obtained will be analyzed and compared, between industry-produced emulsified diesel fuel and regular diesel fuel.

Many scientists have conducted research to reduce hazardous emissions from burning diesel. In FYP 1, the project begins by understanding the components of emulsified diesel fuel such as water, diesel and surfactant. In FYP 2, an experimental study was conducted to identify the effects of surfactant on combustion characteristics of emulsified diesel fuel.

Figure 2: Formulation of fuel emulsions. 2
Figure 2: Formulation of fuel emulsions. 2

Components in Diesel Fuel

The Emulsified Diesel Fuel

Method on Preparing Stabilised Emulsions

Research into oxygen-enriched combustion of the internal combustion engine began in the 1960s, and the original goal was to reduce engine emissions. Mixing oxygen directly into the engine intake air is commonly used in oxygen-enriched combustion technology.

Figure 4: Composition of two phase and three phase emulsions.
Figure 4: Composition of two phase and three phase emulsions.

Research Methodology

  • Characterisation of Emulsion Properties
  • Methods on How to Prepare a Stabilised Emulsions
  • Establish Experiment
  • Data Collection
  • Documentation

These properties are very important to be tested as they provide information about the content of the emulsions. The contents of the emulsions are very useful in determining whether the emulsions are a good or a bad emulsion. Only some of the properties will be tested on the industrially produced emulsified diesel fuel.

There is the content of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen and sulfur as well as the flash point temperature. The molecular size of the emulsions will also be determined using a scanning electron microscope (SEM). These methods are compared to see which one prefers the most suitable method for producing a stabilized emulsion.

All equipment is used to determine the properties of the industrially produced emulsified diesel fuel. This data will then be compared to theoretical data and analysis will be performed to see the differences and their significance to the properties of each emulsion. Any recommendations on how to do better with the research can be made known to others.

Table 1: Characterisation of Emulsion Properties
Table 1: Characterisation of Emulsion Properties

Project Activities

  • Expected Result
  • Emulsion Ratio
  • Emissions Calculation
  • Equipment and Apparatus

Gantt Chart

  • FYP 1
  • FYP 2

The major milestones of this project are divided into two parts which are FYP 1 and FYP 2.

Table 4: FYP 2 Project Timeline
Table 4: FYP 2 Project Timeline

Emulsified Diesel Fuel

  • Characterisation of Emulsified Diesel Fuel (WiDE)

This allows for better combustion as the oxygen molecules in the emulsions will help the carbon to burn efficiently.

Methods on Preparing a Stabilised Emulsified Diesel Fuel

  • Mixing Speed
  • Mixing Time
  • Comparison between Methods of Preparation

Flash point temperature for emulsion is lower than diesel due to the oxygen content and also reduced in carbon content. Selim concluded that all emulsions tested remain stable for at least 6.5 hours. Varying mixing speed increases the stability when only emulsion with a ratio of 20% water-in-diesel has the stability up to 4 weeks.

This condition is also supported by the presence of 1% surfactant in the emulsion, while others have only 0.2%. Selim performed the stability investigation for the 30% emulsion using a mixing speed of 15,000 rpm, 0.2% surfactant concentration and a mixing time of 2 minutes. As higher mixing times of 10 and 20 minutes were examined, the stability profile increased slightly.

For 20 minutes of mixing time, the emulsion was stable for 8.5 hours and 11% of the water was separated within 1 week as shown in Figure 8. Based on these two figures, it is clearly shown that the mixing speed favors a more stable mixture when compared with mixing time. In mixing speed, the time it takes for the emulsion to separate is about four weeks, compared to the mixing time, it only takes within a week.

Figure 7: Effect of Mixing Speed on the Stability of the Emulsion.
Figure 7: Effect of Mixing Speed on the Stability of the Emulsion.




Figure 1: Two-Stroke Diesel Engine. 1
Figure 2: Formulation of fuel emulsions. 2
Figure 3: Concept of water and oil emulsions.
Figure 4: Composition of two phase and three phase emulsions.



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