Analytical Instrumentation

  • Advances in CFR compression ignition engine technology expands fuel testing capabilities.

Advances in CFR compression ignition engine technology expands fuel testing capabilities.

Dec 07 2020

CFR Engines Inc. is continuing to improve and expand the CFR® F5 cetane engine capabilities for current and future needs. A developmental version of the F5 engine with an electronic fuel injection (EFI) system has shown promising results, demonstrating capability to improve the precision of the cetane rating method by a factor of two. The EFI system also makes it possible to expand the cetane number range that can be reliably measured by the CFR F5 engine in accordance with ASTM® D613. Currently the published D613 precision covers diesel fuels in the range of 40-56 CN. Ongoing work at CFR aims to increase the useful range of the F5 to rate diesel fuels across a broader range of less than 20 CN to greater than 80 CN.

In addition to traditional diesel fuels, CFR’s EFI development work has also shown promising results on alternative/renewable diesel fuels such as gas to liquid (GTL) and hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO). These alternate diesel fuels typically have higher cetane number than traditional diesel fuels, in the range of 75-80 CN and higher. With these higher cetane fuels, the test results have historically not been as precise and consistent as expected from the CFR F5 engine. With the CFR designed EFI system, the F5 engine has achieved test results indicating the cetane number rating precision can be not only improved, but also deliver more uniform precision while rating alternative diesel fuels anywhere in the range of 40-85 CN.

Looking at the opposite end of the diesel fuel spectrum, CFR has also performed F5 EFI testing on the low end of the cetane number scale. The CFR F5 has not been able to directly provide cetane number ratings of very low CN fuels, but with EFI the CFR F5 engine has demonstrated the ability to accurately rate fuels as low as 18 CN. Having the ability to directly rate very low CN fuels will help in the qualification of reference fuels and support further research in compression ignition engines and fuels.

CFR’s development work on the low end of the cetane number scale has included testing E10 gasoline (87 octane) with the CFR F5 engine. The capability to generate cetane number ratings for gasoline will continue to prove useful as more work is being done in the industry to develop gasoline compression ignition (GCI) engines for the future. CFR Engines Inc. remains actively engaged with leading researchers to advance the technology and effectiveness of products used for testing combustion engine fuels.


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