University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota: Department of Mechanical Engineering
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Development of Dual-Fuel Hydrous Ethanol Systems for Diesel Engines

PI: Will Northrop, Co-PI: David Kittelson, Graduate Students: Jeff Hwang, Alex Nord

The purpose of this project is to develop a novel and effective system for operating a diesel engine in a dual fuel mode with hydrous ethanol as the primary fuel.


Today’s ethanol manufacturers are beset with overcapacity in-part dictated by poor distribution of E85 outside the Midwest and regulatory reluctance to increase blending in gasoline over 10%. Further, corn prices are increasing, shifting the price point of ethanol closer to that of gasoline and reducing profit margins. With declining nationwide gasoline consumption, ethanol producers are looking for alternative markets and co-products to remain competitive. Diesel fuel is currently more costly on an energy basis than gasoline providing a potential market advantage for ethanol if existing diesel engines could be converted to consume it. Our goal in this project is to develop and potentially demonstrate a cost effective and reliable aftermarket hydrous ethanol injection system for diesel engines.




Hwang, J. T.; Northrop, W. F. Gas and Particle Emissions from a Diesel Engine Operating in a Dual-Fuel Mode using High Water Content Hydrous Ethanol. ASME Intern. Combust. Engine Div. 2014, 1-9 DOI: 10.1115/1.4034288.

Nord, A. J.; Hwang, J. T.; Northrop, W. F. Emissions From a Diesel Engine Operating in a Dual-Fuel Mode Using Port-Fuel Injection of Heated Hydrous Ethanol. ASME J. Energy Resour. Techology 2015, 139 (March), 1-11 DOI: 10.1115/ICEF2015-1067.