Thermal stability and decomposition of diesel fuel under subcritical and supercritical conditions

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22 Scopus citations


A novel concept of clean diesel combustion using supercritical fluids is proposed and being investigated to address some key challenges encountered in the fuel and transportation sector. The core of this concept is to inject diesel fuel (DF) in the supercritical state to achieve clean, high-efficiency combustion in diesel engines. Among other challenging issues that must be addressed for the implementation of this new concept is the thermal stability of DF and the potential decomposition and solid deposit formation under engine conditions. In this work, thermal stability of DF was experimentally evaluated under subcritical and supercritical conditions in both static (batch system) and dynamic (continuous flow system) thermal stressing systems. The effects of thermal stressing temperature (200-440 °C) and duration (10-600 min) and CO2 concentration (∼10 wt%) were examined. DF decomposition is characterized by the average absolute deviation (AAD) of GC peak area percentages of all individual components. A temperature-time window (400-420°C, 0-60 min) where supercritical DF combustion in diesel engines may be possible was determined. CO2 as a diluent could prevent or reduce accumulation of solid deposits inside fuel pipes mainly due to an increased solubilization capacity of DF. Finally, different structures and morphologies of solid deposits observed under different batch thermal stressing conditions were discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-111
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Supercritical Fluids
StatePublished - 2013


  • Decomposition
  • Diesel fuel
  • Solid deposits
  • Supercritical
  • Thermal stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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