University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota: Department of Mechanical Engineering
sec header

An Aerosolization Method for Measuring Diesel Fuel Contaminants

PI: David Kittelson, Co-PI: David Pui

Diesel fuel injection systems are operating at increasingly higher pressure with smaller clearances making them more sensitive to diesel fuel contaminants. We have developed a new aerosolization method for characterizing solid particulate matter, as small as 0.5 µm, in diesel fuel. This is a significant improvement over standard methods that use liquid particle or Coulter counters that cannot distinguish between solid and semi-solid material and have lower sensitivity for particles <4.0 µm in diameter.

Solid contaminants can cause excessive injector wear, increased fuel consumption, higher emissions and even engine failure, thus they need to be monitored and controlled. The aerosolization method has been calibrated for particle size and concentration, and application of a fuel specific correction factor enables contaminant particle size and concentration to be determined.