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IIT-Delhi Researchers Developed Flex-Fuel Engine Technology; Make Use of Eco-Friendly Dimethyl Ether

IIT Delhi developed the flex-fuel engine technology for use with DME, and IOC R&D conducted endurance and field trials tests and developed the dedicated engine oil with Ashok Leyland's technical assistance. Developed Research Test Set-up at Department of Energy Science and Engineering (DESE), IIT Delhi

Shivam Dwivedi
IIT Delhi campus
IIT Delhi campus

Researchers from the Department of Energy Science and Engineering (DESE) at IIT Delhi, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC R&D), and Ashok Leyland Ltd. have developed a technology that allows a diesel-powered vehicle to run in flex-fuel mode, meaning it can run on either 100 percent diesel or DME plus diesel. The project was funded by the Indian government's Department of Science and Technology (DST).

On a trial basis, the researchers converted a diesel-powered automobile into a flex-fuel vehicle using this technology. In the presence of senior officials from IIT Delhi, IOC R&D, and auto major Ashok Leyland, Dr. Srivari Chandrasekhar, Secretary, DST; Prof. Rangan Banerjee, Director, IIT Delhi; Dr. SSV Ramakumar, Director (R&D), Indian Oil; Krishnan Sadagopan, Senior Vice President, Ashok Leyland; Prof. Sunil Kumar Khare, Dean R&D, IIT Delhi; Prof. K. A. Sub

IIT Delhi developed the flex-fuel engine technology for use with DME, and IOC R&D conducted endurance and field trials tests and developed the dedicated engine oil with Ashok Leyland's technical assistance. Developed Research Test Set-up at Department of Energy Science and Engineering (DESE), IIT Delhi

Because it has a higher cetane number (58) than conventional diesel, dimethyl ether (DME) is one of the alternative fuels for compression ignition engines/vehicles (51).

Through gasification and the Fisher-Tropsch synthesis process, DME can be made from biomass, coal, industrial wastes, municipal solid wastes, and black liquor (a by-product of pulp). It can also be made by catalytic methanol dehydration.

DME is typically stored as a liquid, and phase transitions from liquid to vapour/gas are common at ambient temperatures and pressures.

Key highlights of the technology developed by IIT Delhi, IOC R&D, and Ashok Leyland:

  • Technology for Flexible Fuel Vehicles (Vehicle can run both modes: either 100 percent diesel or DME-Diesel mode)

  • The conversion of diesel trucks from conventional diesel to DME as an alternative fuel (first phase as a Flex Fuel Vehicle; second phase as a 100% DME/alternative fuelled vehicle)

  • Smoke/soot/PM emissions are reduced / non-existent.

  • Engine/vehicle operation is smoother, resulting in less noise.

  • The performance of the transient engine has improved.

  • Increasing energy security

As a result of the significant reduction in Greenhouse Gas Emissions, the environment is more sustainable.

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