oa Clean Air Journal = Tydskrif vir Skoon Lug - Diesel fuel additives : worth considering? Local exhaust emissions and fuel consumption test results

Volume 20, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1017-1703



Pollutant regulations are not a matter of concern only for engine manufacturers but they also require policy implementation, commitment and a dedicated effort by industry. In particular, some in the mining industries are expanding their efforts to provide environmentally friendly working procedures and conditions. Use of fuel enhancers has been suggested. The Letšeng Diamond Mine, in Lesotho has taken the lead and commissioned a study on three different fuel additives. For all three fuel additives, three prominent variables were measured, namely diesel fuel consumption, diesel exhaust gases and smoke emission levels. All instruments used were EPA certified and calibrated or verified according to the specification of the manufacturer and or international best practice to ensure accurate readings. This paper discusses the results obtained on site over a thirteen month study period involving different classes of machinery and under different weather conditions. Product C improved fuel consumption by 9.9% and reduced black smoke by 32%. Pitfalls have been identified with product A and product B that can help to avoid costly trials on other sites, such as rusted and blown injectors, engine failure and corroded seals, valves and cylinders. Further research is required however to determine if these additives will become major role players to reduce emissions and improve efficiency. In conclusion, we cannot ignore the use of fuel additives when talking about diesel pollution and the fact that the additives could assist in reducing harmful emissions even if only one additive appears to be performing positively in terms of consumption and emissions, such as product C. Three strategies have been identified for reducing emissions on diesel earth moving equipment currently in use: engine modifications, exhaust gas treatment and fuel composition modifications. Engine modifications and exhaust gas treatment are considered costly alternatives to achieve reduced exhaust emissions plus these strategies are proven to have little or no positive impact on fuel economy performance. The study has shown one factor clearly - we cannot ignore the effects of additives both with regard to emissions and combustion efficiency.

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