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Study shows simultaneous lower emissions and improved fuel economy with Fischer-Tropsch diesel

In a study of the benefits of Fischer-Tropsch diesel, researchers from Toyota Motor and Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K report not only the superior emission characteristics of the Fischer–Tropsch fuels, but also evidence that higher exhaust gas recirculation and lower excess air ratios will be a key concept of both engine and aftertreatment optimization for further fuel consumption improvement.

Their paper appears in the International Journal of Engine Research.

To examine the detailed effects of fuel specifications on diesel combustion and emissions, preliminarily tests for three Fischer–Tropsch fuels and a baseline diesel fuel were carried out with three diesel engines having different engine displacements. In addition, differences in combustion phenomena between Fischer–Tropsch fuels and the baseline diesel fuel were observed by means of a single-cylinder engine with optical access.

From these findings, one of the tested engines was modified to improve both exhaust emissions and fuel consumption, simultaneously, dedicated to the use of neat Fischer–Tropsch fuels. The conversion efficiency of an oxides of nitrogen reduction catalyst has also been improved. The desirable properties of Fischer–Tropsch fuels for diesel combustion, namely high cetane number and absence of poly-aromatic hydrocarbon contents, have been fully utilized to enhance the conventional diesel combustion limits to show the possibility to achieve very low exhaust emissions with substantial improvement in fuel economy.


  • Noboru Uchida, Ichiro Sakata, Kouji Kitano, Nobuhiro Okabe, and Yoriko Sakamoto (2012) Simultaneous Improvement in both Exhaust Emissions and Fuel Consumption by means of Fischer-Tropsch Diesel Fuels. International Journal of Engine Research doi: 10.1177/1468087412456528


Henry Gibson

GTL plants can produce this sythetic fuel and the US with its surplus of Natural gas can make a lot of it and emplow a lot of people in building such factories near gas supplies but also coal mines for fuel less than $2 a gallon. ..HG..

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