The effect of complexes on combustion

  • Linh A. Nguyen

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The twin goals of low and efficient fuel use and minimum emissions are increasingly being addressed by research in both the motor and the catalyst industries of the world. This study was designed to attempt to investigate these goals. For diesel engine vehicles, this can be achieved by improving the efficiency of the fuel combustion in the combustion chamber. By having a suitable oxidation catalyst in the fuel one would expect the efficiency of the fuel combustion to be increased and fewer partial oxidation products to be formed. Also by placing a catalyst converter in the exhaust system partial oxidation products may be converted to more desirable final products. Finally, in this research the net catalytic effect of using an additive treated fuel and a blank ceramic monolith to trap the metal in the exhaust gases for potential use as catalytic converter was investigated.
Suitable metal additives must yield a stable solution in the fuel tank. That is, they should not react with the air, water and rust that are always present. The research was targeted on the synthesis of hydrocarbon-soluble complexes that might exhibit unusually slow rates of ligand substitution. For materials containing metal ions, these properties are best met by using multi-dentate ligands that form neutral complexes. Metal complexes have been synthesised using acetylacetone derivatives, schiff base ligands and macrocyclic polyamine ligands, as potential pro-oxidant additives. Their thermal stabilities were also investigated using a differential thermal analysis instrument.
The complexes were then investigated as potential additives for use in diesel fuel. The tests were conducted under controlled conditions using a diesel combustion bomb simulating the combustion process in the D.I. diesel engine, a test bed engine, and a vehicle engine.
Date of AwardJul 1993
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorJ.D. Miller (Supervisor)


  • cerium complexes
  • additive
  • diesel
  • combustion
  • exhaust emissions

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