Blending Diesel with Biomass-Based Nylon Precursor Cuts Soot by 50%

diesel pump photo

Photo: Flickr, CC

A doctoral student and researcher at the Technische Universiteit Eindhoven has created a new type of diesel fuel that produces significantly less soot than conventional diesel. This was accomplished by mixing 10% of cyclohexanone ((CH2)5CO, a precursor of nylon) with 90% regular diesel. The new blend, called Cyclox, ignites more slowly than diesel, allowing oxygen and the fuel to mix better and burn cleaner. Even better, cyclohexanone can be made from lignin, a part of the cell walls of plants and trees. The paper industry produces a lot of waste lignin.

cyclox diesel

"We have measured zero emission of soot at an air-fuel ratio of 50 to 50 ", Boot explains. During tests conducted in an idling passenger car, with a ratio of 10/90 (cyclohexanone/ordinary diesel), there is a fifty percent reduction in soot emission. That is an important datum, as soot emission poses a problem in inner cities in particular, where cars often move slowly or idle. The university has applied for an international patent on Cyclox. (source)

I'm curious to know if this new fuel would also work for ships. They burn extremely dirty fuel and produce vast quantities of soot and particulate matter. This might be a good way to help cut it down, along with other improvements such as mandated better engines and emission control equipment and low-sulfur fuels.

Via Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, Green Car Congress
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