Application of biomass derived fuels for internal combustion engines with a focus on transportation

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics


For both personal and commercial vehicles, internal combustion (IC) engines are expected to remain the principle mode of power conversion and generation for many decades (Pischinger et al. 2006). This will require the continued supply of high quality fuels in the face of increasing concern with the use of and availability of petroleum-based fuels, stimulating the development of renewable and low environmental impact transportation fuels from biomass. Vehicle and engine original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have developed powertrains to utilize ethanol and methylester biodiesel, two biofuels that have received significant attention in the U.S. As of 2007 more than 5 million ethanol flex-fuel vehicles were estimated to be on the road in the U.S. (DOE 2007), and automotive manufactures have committed to making one-half of their vehicles ethanol flex-fuel capable by 2012 (GM 2007). Likewise, use of biodiesel is approved at levels of 5 to 20 per cent concentrations by many of the diesel engine and vehicle OEMs (Cummins 2007). However, other fuels including Fisher-Tropsch (green or synthetic) diesel (Goodger 1975), dimethyl ether (DME) (Silva-Petrobras 2006), methanol, butanol, biogas, and hydrogen are also notable alternative fuels in IC engines (SAE 2007) and other power conversion systems such as fuel cells.

Publication Title

Renewable Energy from Forest Resources in the United States