Energetic research on methanol-fueled automobile engines has been forwarded from the viewpoints of low environmental pollution and the use of alternate fuel since the oil crisis, and they are now being tested on vehicles in various Countries in the world. Various technical issues have already been solved or the prospect is bright for them. It can be said that this type of engine is very c1ose to completion at present. On the other hand, it is an actual situation in the marine engine field that the research on this type of engine has hardly been tested so far, since it has seldom been evaluated from the viewpoint of environmental pollution control because it is used at sea and the idea to use methanol on marine engines is not established yet.Although scientists have made a great use of invaluable knowledge from automotive technology, some special studies were necessary due to these differences. Ignition method is a typical one. Dual fuel injection system was tried for trouble-free ignition of methanol fuel. This system is thought to be the most favourable ignition method for marine diesel engines which have to withstand quick load change and accept no misfiring.
Methanol has a cetane number of three and,consequently, extremely low ignitability. For automobile engines, ordinary technologies can cope with the issues on ignition, since ignition plugs have actual service results over prolonged periods on engines and starting plugs have also been used to date on. diesel engines. On the other hand, marine engines with spark ignition can not exhibit mean effective pressures as high as those of ordinary diesel engines because of the high rate of pressure rise during ignition and they can not permit misfiring because of the large volume of their exhaust systems. The dual fuel injection system which has actual service results on large-sized gas engines has therefore been selected as the ignition system for this research.Since methanol is not only corrosive but also insufficient in lubricating ability, elemental resea-rch has been neededto so1ve these issues.However, elemental research will be explained at another opportunity and this paper describes the operating performance of a methanoldiesel engine without touching elemental research.
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