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Influence of bioethanol fuels treatment for operational performance, ecological properties and GHG emissions of spark ignition engine

European Union
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Vehicle design and manufacturing (VDM)
Low-emission alternative energy for transport (ALT)
Transport mode
Multimodal icon
Transport policies
Environmental/Emissions aspects,
Deployment planning/Financing/Market roll-out
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport


Background & Policy context

This project fits into the environmental protection thematic research priorities of the Polish-Norwegian Research Programme.

The project intention is to develop innovative technologies for improvement performance characteristic of high ethanol-gasoline blends as an engine fuel, for more effective use of energy and limiting of greenhouse gases and aerosols. Ethanol fuels emit less pollutants than gasoline. It is a completely renewable product with good ecological implications, increasing economic and energy independence withe the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Unfortunately, ethanol-gasoline blends can present a multitude of technical challenges to engine operation including creation of very adverse deposits.

The purpose of the project is to devise innovative multifunctional additive packages for treatment of ethanol blend fuels up to E85, allowing for a reduction of the negative impact of engines emissions on the natural environment. Using of proper multifunctional package containing detergents and other active chemistry and choosing the correct treatment level can by-passing the technical challenges involved with ethanol-gasoline blends and especially to counteract adverse deposits which threatens engine operation. This approach will enable limitation in consumption of natural and renewable energy sources, and reduction of environmental degradation.


The internal combustion engine powertrain needs to be made tolerant to alternative fuels and multi fuel blends, and the use of fuel efficient, multi-fuel compatible lubricants. Although rapid growth in the use of ethanol-gasoline blends have been observed for about 10 years there is still significant optimisation activity in the field. Most investigations are focused on a novel multifunctional additive packages specially formulated for high ethanol-gasoline blends as E85. As have been established, using proper multifunctional package containing detergents and other active chemistry and choosing the correct treatment level can bypassing the technical challenges involved with ethanol-gasoline blends. Generally, devising of this kind innovative effective multifunctional additive package for treatment of high level ethanol-gasoline blends and their comprehensive assessment is the main objective of the project and at the same time its contribution to the needs identified above. Our advanced hypothesis assumes that novel special purpose effective additive package can improve engine operation performance via decreasing intake valves and combustion chambers deposits as well as injector nozzles deposits. The resultant benefits concerns with effective use of energy and reduction of air pollution emissions and limiting of greenhouse gases (GHG) and aerosols what is a prioritized project research topic. Furthermore, our research planned broad in scope for comprehensive assessments of devised multifunctional additive package to make it compatible with engine lubricating oils and with engine materials (reduction of corrosion and critical engine parts degradation). As a research result, it will be obtained such formula of multifunctional additive package that allows to clean engine parts and thus reduce the emission of harmful emissions and contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The following fundamental objectives to be achieved by the project: 

  1. The innovative, effective multifunctional additive package/s for treatment of high level ethanol gasoline blends to be devised (one universal or two, for fuel blends including bioethanol first and second generation). From utilitarian point of view, this multifunctional additive packages will be of industrial interest. Required steps will be taken to put it into commercial use.
  2. At least 8 scientific publications (papers at conferences and/or published articles in journals) will be prepared up to the end of the project
  3. Scientific conference will be organized before the end of the project to disseminate and transfer the knowledge achieved within the framework of the project
  4. Novel engine test procedure for comprehensive performance assessment of high bioethanol fuel multifunctional additive packages will be devised
  5. Industrial and commercial exploitation devised in the project multifunctional fuel additive package should lead to reduction of the negative impact of engines air pollution emissions and greenhouse gases and aerosols emissions on the natural environment what is a prioritized project research topic. Unfortunately this effect is very difficult to define in measurable form.
  6. From cognitive point of view multidirectional comprehensive research and assessments of ethanol-gasoline blends treated with effective multifunctional additive packages will be project contribution to research in the extend of interactions between varying ethanol-gasoline blends and additives on the deposit forming tendency of FFV, as well as influence of fuel treatment for engine lubricating oil degradation, regulated and unregulated emissions and also GHG emissions.

The main objective of the project is to devise innovative technology for treatment of high ethanol gasoline engine fuels allowing for reduction of air pollution emissions and at the same time reduction of environmental degradation. Our approach to the issue assumes devising novel, effective multifunctional additive package for treatment of high level ethanol-gasoline blends (up to E85). The highly efficient detergent additives will be the main component of the multifunctional additive package. In order to determine the relevant parameters of the synthesis and obtain a suitable chemical structure and properties of the detergent additive (Task 2.1) will be used chromatographic method (GPC), spectroscopic methods:

NMR, IR and conventional physicochemical methods determination of acid number, total base number, total nitrogen content, basic nitrogen content, density, flash point and viscosity. Selection of appropriate complementary methods allows to optimize detergent additives technology. Detergent additives synthesis will be controlled by built-in IR spectrometer probe which allows to collect on-line IR spectrum. Set of IR spectrums collected during the experiment will help to estimate reaction kinetics.

Studies of surface and interface tension of ethanol gasoline doped with new detergent additives will be performed by Willhelmy plate method. The results will be correlated with engine test performance. It has been postulated that assessment of low level additized and non additized ethanol-gasoline blends, including 10% (V/V) ethanol (1st generation from biomass fermentation or 2nd generation lingo-cellulosic) will be tested in a 60 hours simulation dynamometer engine tests following the CEC F-20-98 test procedure with Mercedes M111 test engine. Overall 12 this type tests has been planned in this work package (WP3). In – depth, comprehensive tests of developing and verification performance and dosage rate of novel additives technologies for E85 fuels will be carried out in a new, devised in WP1 simulation dynamometer engine tests.

Predicted time of single test duration will be ranged from 150 to 200 hours. As a test engine will be used FORD 1.8 Duratec Flex Fuel Engine. Just as with low level ethanol-gasoline blends, assessment of high level additized and non additized ethanol-gasoline blends, including 85% (V/V) ethanol (1st generation from biomass fermentation or 2nd generation lingo-cellulosic) will be carried out. In this case all in all 16 this type tests has been planned.

To perform T2.2 and T2.4 will be used standardized methods to assess the quality of bioethanol according to EN 15376 and the quality of gasoline according to EN 228, as well as ethanol fuel E85 according to CEN/TS 15293. To realize this objectives, in particular, the methodology of thermogravimetric analysis TGA BZ 154-01 will be used. The method involves the determination of unwashed gums decomposition at 450°C temperature.

Decomposition of unwashed gums follows ref. to the EN ISO 6246 procedure. The method was developed as an alternative for engine tests used to evaluate the tendency of fuels containing detergent additives to build-up combustion chamber deposits in spark ignition engines. The collected unwashed gums obtained from petrol and bioethanol will undergo termogravimetric analysis to determine its decomposition curves at the temperature range 150 - 450°C. The degree of unwashed gums decomposition indicates the tendency to form deposits in the engine's combustion chambers.

The results obtained from the thermogravimetric studies and the engine tests will be used to formulate mathematical model of their correlation. Corrosion inhibitor, lubricity and other necessary additives will be selected based on the standard performance methods.

Investigation of engine lubricating oil compatibility with ethanol gasoline blends additized with developed ethanol additive packages will be carried out by determining: kinematic viscosity (ASTM D 445), oxidation, nitratation and sulfonation (ASTM D 2412), residence to oxidation (thin-film) (ASTM D 4742), resistance to oxidation (ASTM D 7525), TBN (ASTM D 2896), TAN (ASTM D 664) and other.

To prove favorable influence of innovative treatment of high level ethanol-gasoline for limiting regulated and unregulated engine emissions comparative assessment of various treated ethanol-gasoline blends will be carried out. Emission measurements in the driving cycles NEDC (EU) and FTP 75, with selected variants of fuel & additive are to planned. In the range of emissions at cold start, on-line emissions measurements during the summer cold start (at 20 - 25°C) will be carried out as well as emissions measurements at winter cold start (-5 - 0°C) using vehicle outdoor conditioning. Furthermore, particle size and counts distributions will be analyzed both at stationary and at dynamic engine operation.

The effect on the emission of greenhouse gases will be evaluated using life cycle assessment (LCA). Following LCA methodology outlined by the; European Commission – Joint Research Center – general guide for LCA (2010) and International Organisation for Standardisation 14040 series (2006) a complete life-cycle assessment well-to-wheel (WTW), as well as tank-to-wheel (TTW) or vehicle cycle, and well-to-tank (WTT) or fuel cycle, will be performed for flexi-fuel vehicles using ethanol blended gasoline. Laboratory vehicle operation data provided by INiG will be conditioned with respect to European Commission practices (2007).

Supplementary life-cycle inventory data will be drawn from scientific literature and the EcoInvent database (Frischknecht et al. 2007). Life-cycle impact assessment (LCIA) will be performed with SimaPro v.7.3 LCA software (PRE, 2010) using the CML 2 baseline (CML, 2001) LCIA method for the impact category of global warming potential (GWP), among other. Direct and indirect life-cycle environmental impact results will be interpreted, and presented within the context of relevant EU/Norwegian regulations, and LCA studies of competing modes of transportation for comparison.


Other Programme
Polish-Norwegian Research Programme
Funding Source
EEA Grants/Norway Grants


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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