Current commercial residual fuel specifications cannot reliably predict the ignition and combustion characteristics of a fuel due to lack of a suitable test parameter. They cannot therefore protect fuel purchasers from receiving fuels that, whilst meeting all of the current specification parameters nevertheless do not perform satisfactorily in diesel engines. Such fuels can, in extreme cases, result in serious operational problems, engine damage and even total breakdown.
This document provides a short summary of the present status of knowledge on ignition and combustion performance issues and contains the following elements:
- Outline of current routine and more detailed fuel test options,
- Guidance as to those zones of operation where ignition problems could be encountered with different engine types,
- Recommendations as to the precautionary measures that could be taken in order to reduce the adverse effects of using fuels with relatively poor ignition characteristics.
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