Neste Corporation: Optimizing engine for renewable diesel reduces fuel consumption and emissions
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Modifying and optimizing engine control parameters to work optimally with pure HVO-type (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil) renewable diesel, such as Neste MY Renewable Diesel, offers untapped potential to reduce fuel consumption as well as carbon dioxide and other regulated emissions.

A recent study conducted by FEV, one of the world's leading engineering companies specializing in engine development, shows that depending on the test cycle, optimizing engine control parameters for pure Neste MY Renewable Diesel can result in:

  • improvements in the engine efficiency ratio by as much as approx. 8.5%
  • decreased fuel consumption (in liters) by up to approx. 4%
  • reduced hydrocarbon (HC) and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions by up to approx. 70%
  • reduced particulate matter (PM) emissions by up to approx. 50%
  • the ability to reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx) by up to approx. 30%.
The results are based on a comparison between figures from the use of the engine optimized for Neste MY Renewable diesel and the use of conventional fossil diesel in the same engine, optimized for typical European EN 590 fossil diesel operation at Euro 6 emission level. The emission measurements were carried out before the catalytic converter and diesel particulate filter (DPF).

The results are dependent of the chosen engine, and the improvements may not all be achieved simultaneously. The listed figures only apply to Neste MY Renewable Diesel, a paraffinic fuel fulfilling EN 15940 standard specifications. Similar figures could be expected from the engine optimization for other HVO-type renewable diesels, but cannot be generalized to conventional biodiesels.

"This study by a leading expert body showed that optimizing an engine for Neste My Renewable Diesel offers benefits, such as potential to reduce fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. With the right calibration, it may additionally help reduce exhaust gas emissions," says Markku Honkanen, Head of Technical Services at Neste.

"Engine optimization for HVO-type low-carbon fuels provides engine manufacturers an additional tool to improve efficiency and realize tailpipe emission compliance under real driving conditions, such as required in the Euro 6 standard valid in Europe," Honkanen says.

Background information about the study:

The study explored the potential to lower fuel consumption without compromising engine performance or increasing the noise level or emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx limit of 80 mg/km is set in the Euro 6 emission standard) when compared to an engine optimized for a conventional fossil diesel. Optimizing the engine for Neste MY Renewable Diesel reduced fuel consumption and nitrogen oxides emissions without affecting the high performance or low noise levels required for premium engines.

Different engine construction components and engine control parameters were tested to identify optimal engine parameters for Neste's renewable diesel. In addition to engine testing, the results were finally verified through carrying out measurements in an actual vehicle in a laboratory setup simulating real life conditions and certification test procedures. The best results were reached by modifying only the engine control parameters, such as fuel injection control (timing, injection pressure and volume), the air volume, and the exhaust gas recirculation volume and strategy. The study was assigned by Neste.

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