The increasing energy demand, surging oil prices, depleting oil reserves and environmental pollution problems associated with the use of fossil fuels have sparked renewed interest to find out clean alternative fuels. Alcohols such as methanol, ethanol and butanol are competitive alternative fuels due to their liquid nature, high oxygen contents, high octane number and their production from renewable biomass. In this review, the fuel properties of these alcohols are compared with conventional gasoline and diesel fuel. The comparison of fuel properties represents that butanol has the potential to overcome the problems associated with the use of methanol and ethanol. Progresses of their production from different sources are also introduced. Further, several techniques such as alcohol-diesel fuel blends and alcohol-diesel fuel emulsions are discussed, especially for lower alcohols, in order to use them in diesel engines. The effects of diesel-alcohol blends on the combustion, performance and emissions of diesel engines are also analyzed. It is examined that blending of alcohols, along with some CN improver, to diesel fuels can reduce diesel engine emissions without adverse impacts on the performance of diesel engines. These studies also reveal that butanol is a better alternative for diesel fuel due to its superior fuel properties and miscibility with diesel fuel than those of methanol and ethanol. Finally, some critical conclusions and future research directions are highlighted.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by a grant from the GAS Plant R&D Center funded by the Ministry of Land, Transportation and Maritime Affairs (MLTM) of the Korean government and the Ministry of Education (MOE) of Korea through its BK21 Program.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment