February 17, 1999

SCAQMD Contract No: 98108

  ARB LPG Fuel Blends Evaluation Project

September 1998 Progress Report

 submitted to:

 LPG Fuel Blends Evaluation Project Task Group

American Automobile Manufacturers Association, ARCO Products Company, California Air Resources Board, Cummins Engine Company, Engine Manufacturers Association, Equilon, Ford Motor Company, GFI, IMPCO, National Propane Gas Association, Natural Resources Canada, Railroad Commission of Texas Alternative Fuels Research & Education Division, South Coast Air Quality Management District, Tosco Refining Company, Western States Petroleum Association

  

  1. Executive Summary

ORTECH submitted a draft final report of the Medium-duty emissions tests on a Cummins B5.9LPG engine. Light-duty emissions tests on a Ford F150 Bi-Fuel Truck at ARB Haagen Smit Laboratory (ARB-El Monte) were completed. Testing at both laboratories included Test Fuel #5 [added to protocol by Tosco Refining Company (Tosco)]. The LPG fuel blends' main components are listed in Tables 1 and 2. The ADEPT Group, Inc. (ADEPT) worked with Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) to prepare for upcoming Performance/Combustion tests. Bids were solicited for fuel suppliers. The engine procurement process continued. Durability tests bids were received. Project fundraising continued.

II. Test Program Work Performed

  1. Fuel Properties and Octane Testing

Certification Fuel, as delivered to ORTECH by Phillips 66, was sent to Dixie Services (Dixie) for composition testing. Dixie found that the blend is 94.15% propane, 3.59% propylene, 2.03% n-butane, 0.19% isobutane, and 0.04% ethane (by vol.). This shows the major components' content to be within spec. Additional composition tests by Dixie were ordered for Test Fuels #1 and #5 from ORTECH.

  1. Medium-Duty Engine (Cummins B5.9LPG) Emissions Tests at ORTECH.

ORTECH submitted a draft Final Report. Revisions to this report are in progress. The ORTECH algebraic error identified in August resulted in the contract total being reduced accordingly.

ADEPT, ORTECH and Cummins Engine Company (Cummins) are discussing the catalyst aging concern initially identified in August. ORTECH conducted a shaft hour analysis which indicated the engine to have 305 hours of testing. Issue is still under examination.

Table 1 lists all the LPG fuels used by ORTECH.

Table 1: Fuel Compositions by Percent Volume at ORTECH, as Indicated by Supplier

Fuel Propane Propylene N-Butane
Certification Fuel

Aeriform

94.42

(94.15)*

3.68

(3.59)*

1.90

(2.03)*

Certification Fuel

Phillips

95.01

2.99

2.00

Test Fuel #1

Aeriform

85.28

 

9.86

 

4.86

 

Test Fuel #2

Aeriform

81.15

(82.99)*

14.15

(14.88)*

4.70

(1.97)*

Test Fuel #2

Phillips

80.06

14.94

5.00

Test Fuel #3

Aeriform

80.07

9.97

9.96

Test Fuel #4

Aeriform

76.34

3.78

19.88

Test Fuel #5

Phillips

77.08

21.32

1.60

* Actual composition analysis from Dixie Lab 
  1. Light-Duty Truck (F150 Bi-Fuel) Emissions Tests at ARB Haagen Smit Laboratory

Emission tests were completed. Table 2 lists all the LPG fuels used by ARB-El Monte.

 Table 2: Fuel Compositions by Percent Volume at ARB-El Monte, as Indicated by Supplier

Fuel Propane Propylene N-Butane
Certification Fuel A

Aeriform

94.25

(94.05)*

3.84

(3.73)*
1.91

(1.91)*
Certification Fuel B

Aeriform

94.26

(94.07)*

3.84

(3.72)*
1.91

(1.90)*
Test Fuel #1

Aeriform

84.96

(85.26)*

10.02

(9.58*)
5.02

(4.87)*
Test Fuel #2

Aeriform

79.98

(80.23)*

15.01

(14.68*)
5.01

(4.97)*
Test Fuel #3

Aeriform

79.97

(80.02)*

10.02

(9.79*)
10.01

(9.98)*
Test Fuel #4

Aeriform

76.18

(76.12)*

3.83

(3.71)*
19.99

(19.95)*

* Actual composition analysis from Dixie Lab  

 Table 3 summarizes emission results as of September 14, 1998.

 Table 3: Preliminary Emission Test Results for Light-Duty Vehicle

Fuel

NMOG

NOx THC CO OZONE
 

(g/bph-hr)

Base Fuel

0.033

0.040

0.050

1.74

0.042

Fuel #1

0.029

0.037

0.055

2.03

0.044

Fuel #2

0.038

0.043

0.057

2.08

0.068

Fuel #3

0.040

0.051

0.052

1.58

0.059

Fuel #4

0.048

0.040

0.070

2.74

0.068

Fuel #5

---

0.053

0.039

2.08

---

 Results to date from ARB-El Monte are too preliminary to draw any conclusions regarding passing fuels. As of September 25, 1998, test #27 was completed, which closed the Light-duty testing phase. Data sheets are included in the appendices.

ARB-El Monte required the heating values necessary for analysis. ADEPT queried industry expert sources to acquire and transmit the heating values for the various blends.

  1. Performance/Combustion Tests

Preparation for Performance/Combustion tests at SwRI is underway. ADEPT followed up on two procurement requirements: an engine and the necessary fuels.

ADEPT explored the possibility of either using the ORTECH engine, purchasing a new one from the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADoT), or buying an engine from a Cummins distributor. LADoT approved the purchase of an engine currently in inventory at El Dorado-National. ADEPT decided to purchase the engine from LADoT.

Fuels cannot be purchased until an engine acquisition decision is made. A new engine will require more "break-in" fuel. Quotes for Fuels #1, #2 and Certification Fuel were received from Air Liquide and Phillips 66. These quotes are being refined. A fuel purchase decision will be made once an engine is selected and the emissions test results are fully evaluated. SwRI and ADEPT selected Bell Hydrogas to supply the "break-in" fuel. Break-in fuel was ordered.

ADEPT and SwRI further refined the test protocol.

  1. Durability Tests

Revisions to ORTECH's Durability proposal were received. SwRI replied to follow-up questions so its quote is fully comparable to ORTECH's. The estimated Durability test time period is between seven and thirteen weeks.

 

  1. Project Management Support and Administrative Work Performed
  1. Task Group Meeting

On September 17, the Task Group met to review the project data and assess which fuel blends were eligible for subsequent phases of testing. ARB's slides and September 23 explanation are enclosed in the appendices.

  1. Project Fundraising

ARCO signed the Project Management Agreement adding $50,000 to the project. A written request was submitted to South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) by ARB to expedite funding for a new B5.9LPG engine.

ADEPT submitted funding proposals to Dynegy/Chevron and to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ADEPT continued funding proposal follow up/research and preparation for submittals to:

Funding from the Sacramento Air Quality Management District (SMAQMD) for the durability test engine remains in limbo until warranty issues on the Cummins B5.9LPG engine are resolved.

Tosco funded the composition test on Fuel #5.

  1. Project Expenditures

Table 4 below shows September expenditures and total expenditures to date.

 Table 4: September Expenditures and Total Expenditures to Date

Item Funds Expended

In September
Total Funds Expended
Fuel (Aeriform)

$0.00

$3,000.00

Emissions Tests (ORTECH)

$0.00

$109,960.00

Fuel Properties (Dixie)

$0.00

$9,6790.50

Project Management

$5,547.99

$20,382.87

Attorney Fees

$0.00

$2,250.00

Subcontractor

$0.00

$473.29

Miscellaneous

$0.00

$17.72

Total

$5,547.99

$145,763.63

Project Account Balance: $1,312.83

 Table 5 shows total funds received to date from each funder.

Table 5: Total Funds Received to Date

Funder Amount
NPGA

$8,920.00

NRCan

$61,356.48

SCAQMD

$30,000.00

Shell

$36,000.00

WPGA

$10,800.00

Total

$147,076.48

 

  1. Project Contracts and Other Documents

Except for Cummins, all signatures for filing the MOU were received. The Alternative Fuels Research and Education Division (AFRED), Tosco, and Cummins contracts are in various stages of completion. The Disclosure of Joint Research Venture Filing is undergoing legal review at ARCO.

ADEPT issued the draft June monthly report for review. ARB issued the minutes of the July 28 Task Group meeting.

Travel associated with effort described:

No travel was conducted in September.

  1. Work planned for the next reporting period (October 1 - 31, 1998)

Project Management-ADEPT

  1. Continue general project management.
  2. Prepare and complete funding contracts and letters of agreement for co-sponsors.
  3. Continue fundraising.
  4. Review ORTECH's final report.
  5. Review ARB-El Monte's results.
  6. Obtain an engine and fuel for Performance/Combustion tests.
  7. Review proposals for Durability tests and recommend a lab.

 Test Program

  1. ORTECH will submit its Final Report for Medium-Duty emission tests.
  2. ARB-El Monte will finalize results and submit a draft Final Report for Light-Duty emission tests.
  3. SwRI will prepare for Performance/Combustion tests.

 V. 	Attachments:

Project Timeline (GANTT Chart).

ARB-El Monte Data (9/14, 9/16, 9/23, 9/28).

ARB Task Group Meeting Slides and Explanation (9/16, 9/21).

Dixie Fuel Analysis (9/16).

VI.	Disclaimer

This report was prepared by The ADEPT Group, Inc. (ADEPT) as a result of work co-sponsored by the SCAQMD and Task Group members. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of SCAQMD. SCAQMD, their officers, employees, contractors, and subcontractors make no warranty, expressed or implied, and assumes no legal liability for the information in this report. SCAQMD has not approved or disapproved this report, nor have they passed upon the accuracy or adequacy of the information contained herein.

  1. Glossary of Acronyms

Delta 	 Coefficient of Variability

AFRED	Alternative Fuels Research and Education Division

API	American Petroleum Institute

ARB	California Air Resources Board

ARB-El Monte	ARB Haagen Smit Laboratory in El Monte, CA

CEC	California Energy Commission

CO	carbon monoxide

Dixie	Dixie Services

EMA	Engine Manufacturers Association

EPA	Environmental Protection Agency

g/bhp-hr	grams/brake horse power/hour

LADoT	Los Angeles Department of Transportation

LPG	liquefied petroleum gases

MOU	memorandum of understanding

NMOG	non-methane organic gases

NOx	oxides of nitrogen

NPGA	National Propane Gas Association

NRCan	Natural Resources Canada

SCAQMD	South Coast Air Quality Management District

SMAQMD	Sacramento Air Quality Management District

SwRI	Southwest Research Institute

TAC	Technical Assessment Committee

THC	total hydrocarbons

WPGA	Western Propane Gas Association