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1. (WO2019007857) USE OF A PARAFFINIC GASOIL
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USE OF A PARAFFINIC GASOIL

Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to the use of a paraffinic gasoil for providing certain benefits in an Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system in a compression ignition engine. In particular, the present invention relates to the use of a paraffinic gasoil for reducing the build up of deposits in an Exhaust Gas Recirculation system in a compression ignition engine.

Background of the Invention

Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) is a NOx emission control technique applicable to a wide range of diesel engines from light-, medium- and heavy-duty diesel engines systems right up to two-stroke low-speed marine engines. The configuration of an EGR system depends on the required EGR rate and other demands of the particular application. Most EGR systems include the following main hardware components: one or more EGR control valves, one or more EGR coolers, piping, flanges and gaskets.

It has been found that EGR systems have a tendency to become fouled by deposits that build up on the various

EGR hardware components. This is a particular problem with high pressure EGR systems. Deposits forming in the system can cause increased NOx emissions and fuel consumption and can cause the system to fail by jamming the EGR valve in severe cases. Oxidation catalysts and/or particulate filters can be fitted before the EGR system to reduce hydrocarbons and particulates from the exhaust gas which cause EGR fouling, but this adds cost and complexity and therefore isn't widely employed by manufacturers. In the case of low pressure EGR, the DPF is situated between the engine and the low pressure EGR system, therefore deposits are not such a problem in these configurations.

It would therefore be desirable to provide a fuel based solution that prevents the formation of deposits in the first instance, and is applicable to all EGR systems, irrespective of the equipment that the manufacturer has employed .

It has now been surprisingly found that by using a paraffinic gasoil in a diesel fuel composition, a surprising and hitherto unrecognised reduction in the build up of EGR deposits can be achieved.

Summary of the Invention

According to the present invention there is provided the use of a paraffinic gasoil in a diesel fuel

composition for reducing the build up of deposits in an Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system of a compression ignition internal combustion engine.

According to another aspect of the present invention there is provided a method for reducing the build up of deposits in an Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system of a compression ignition internal combustion engine, which method comprises a step of introducing into said engine a diesel fuel composition which comprises a paraffinic gasoil.

It has been found that use of a paraffinic gasoil in a diesel fuel composition can provide reduced build up of deposits in the EGR system of a compression ignition internal combustion engine.

It has also been found that use of a paraffinic gasoil in a diesel fuel composition can prevent the formation of deposits in the EGR system in the first place and is applicable to all EGR systems, irrespective of the equipment that the manufacturer has employed.

Brief Description of the Drawings

Figure 1 is a graphical representation of the results shown in Table 3 below.

Detailed Description of the Invention

As used herein there is provided the use of a paraffinic gasoil in a diesel fuel composition for the purpose of reducing the build up of deposits in an EGR system of a compression ignition engine. In the context of this aspect of the invention, the term "reducing the build up of deposits" embraces any degree of reduction in the build up of deposits. The reduction in the build up of deposits may be of the order of 10% or more,

preferably 20% or more, more preferably 50% or more, and especially 70% or more compared to the build up of deposits in an EGR system caused by an analogous fuel formulation which does not contain a paraffinic gasoil. As used herein, the term "reducing the build up" also encompasses the prevention of EGR deposit formation in the first place.

It has been found that the present invention is particularly useful in the case of high pressure EGR systems because these systems are more susceptible to deposit build up than low pressure EGR systems.

It is also envisaged that the present invention may be used for the purpose of clean up of existing EGR deposits formed with conventional diesel fuel.

A first essential component herein is a paraffinic gasoil. The paraffinic gasoil fuel is preferably present in the diesel fuel composition herein at a level in the range from 20% v/v to 100% m/m, preferably from 50% v/v to 100% v/v, more preferably from 80% v/v to 100%v/v, even more preferably from 90% v/v to 100% v/v, based on the total diesel fuel composition.

The paraffinic gasoil for use in the present

invention can be derived from any suitable source as long as it is suitable for use in a diesel fuel composition.

Suitable paraffinic gasoils include, for example,

Fischer-Tropsch derived gasoils, and gasoils derived from hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO) , and mixtures thereof.

From the viewpoint of preventing and reducing EGR deposits, while ensuring other properties such as

viscosity, density and distillation properties stay within the requirements of diesel specifications, the paraffinic gasoil used herein is preferably a Fischer-Tropsch derived gasoil fuel. The paraffinic nature of Fischer-Tropsch derived gasoil means that diesel fuel compositions containing it will have high cetane numbers compared to conventional diesel.

While Fischer-Tropsch derived gasoil is the preferred paraffinic gasoil for use herein, the term "paraffinic gasoil" as used herein also includes those paraffinic gasoils derived from the hydrotreating of vegetable oils

(HVO) . The HVO process is based on an oil refining technology. In the process, hydrogen is used to remove oxygen from the triglyceride vegetable oil molecules and to split the triglyceride into three separate chains thus creating paraffinic hydrocarbons.

In accordance with the presence invention, the paraffinic gasoil for use herein, (i.e. the Fischer-Tropsch derived gasoil, the hydrogenated vegetable oil derived gasoil) will preferably consist of at least 95% w/w, more preferably at least 98% w/w, even more

preferably at least 99.5% w/w, and most preferably up to 100% w/w of paraffinic components, preferably iso- and normal paraffins.

By "Fischer-Tropsch derived" is meant that a fuel or base oil is, or derives from, a synthesis product of a Fischer-Tropsch condensation process. The term "non-Fischer-Tropsch derived" may be interpreted accordingly. A Fischer-Tropsch derived fuel may also be referred to as a GTL (gas-to-liquid) fuel.

The Fischer-Tropsch reaction converts carbon monoxide and hydrogen into longer chain, usually

paraffinic, hydrocarbons:

n (CO + 2H2) = (-CH2-)n + nH20 + heat, in the presence of an appropriate catalyst and typically at elevated temperatures (e.g. 125 to 300°C, preferably 175 to 250°C) and/or pressures (e.g. 5 to 100 bar, preferably 12 to 50 bar) . Hydrogen: carbon monoxide ratios other than 2:1 may be employed if desired.

The carbon monoxide and hydrogen may themselves be derived from organic or inorganic, natural or synthetic sources, typically either from natural gas or from organically derived methane.

Gas oil, kerosene fuel and base oil products may be obtained directly from the Fischer-Tropsch reaction, or indirectly for instance by fractionation of Fischer-Tropsch synthesis products or from hydrotreated Fischer-Tropsch synthesis products. Hydrotreatment can involve hydrocracking to adjust the boiling range (see, e. g.

GB2077289 and EP0147873) and/or hydroisomerisation which can improve cold flow properties by increasing the proportion of branched paraffins. EP0583836 describes a two-step hydrotreatment process in which a Fischer-Tropsch synthesis product is firstly subjected to hydroconversion under conditions such that it undergoes substantially no isomerisation or hydrocracking (this hydrogenates the olefinic and oxygen-containing

components), and then at least part of the resultant product is hydroconverted under conditions such that hydrocracking and isomerisation occur to yield a

substantially paraffinic hydrocarbon fuel or oil.

Desired diesel fuel fraction (s) may subsequently be isolated for instance by distillation.

Other post-synthesis treatments, such as

polymerisation, alkylation, distillation, cracking-decarboxylation, isomerisation and hydroreforming, may be employed to modify the properties of Fischer-Tropsch condensation products, as described for instance in US-A- 4125566 and US-A-4478955.

Typical catalysts for the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis of paraffinic hydrocarbons comprise, as the catalytically active component, a metal from Group VIII of the periodic table, in particular ruthenium, iron, cobalt or nickel.

Suitable such catalysts are described for instance in

EP0583836.

An example of a Fischer-Tropsch based process is the SMDS (Shell Middle Distillate Synthesis) described in

"The Shell Middle Distillate Synthesis Process", van der Burgt et al (vide supra) . This process (also sometimes referred to as the Shell "Gas-to-Liquids" or "GTL" technology) produces diesel range products by conversion of a natural gas (primarily methane) derived synthesis gas into a heavy long-chain hydrocarbon (paraffin) wax which can then be hydroconverted and fractionated to produce liquid transport fuels such as gasoils and kerosene. Versions of the SMDS process, utilising fixed-bed reactors for the catalytic conversion step, are currently in use in Bintulu, Malaysia, and in Pearl GTL, Ras Laffan, Qatar. Kerosenes and (gas) oils prepared by the SMDS process are commercially available for instance from the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies.

By virtue of the Fischer-Tropsch process, a Fischer-Tropsch derived gasoil has essentially no, or

undetectable levels of, sulphur and nitrogen. Compounds containing these heteroatoms tend to act as poisons for

Fischer-Tropsch catalysts and are therefore removed from the synthesis gas feed. Further, the process as usually operated produces no or virtually no aromatic components.

For example, the aromatics content of a Fischer-Tropsch gasoil, as determined for instance by ASTM D4629, will typically be below 1% w/w, preferably below 0.5% w/w and more preferably below 0.1% w/w.

Generally speaking, Fischer-Tropsch derived fuels have relatively low levels of polar components, in particular polar surfactants, for instance compared to petroleum derived fuels. It is believed that this can contribute to improved antifoaming and dehazing

performance. Such polar components may include for example oxygenates, and sulphur and nitrogen containing compounds. A low level of sulphur in a Fischer-Tropsch derived fuel is generally indicative of low levels of both oxygenates and nitrogen-containing compounds, since all are removed by the same treatment processes.

The Fischer-Tropsch derived gasoil fuel used in the present invention is a liquid hydrocarbon middle

distillate fuel with a distillation range similar to that of a petroleum derived diesel, that is typically within the 160°C to 400°C range, preferably with a T95 of 360°C or less. Again, Fischer-Tropsch derived fuels tend to be low in undesirable fuel components such as sulphur, nitrogen and aromatics.

The Fischer-Tropsch derived gasoil fuel used in the present invention will typically have a density (as measured by EN ISO 12185) of from 0.76 to 0.80,

preferably from 0.77 to 0.79, more preferably from 0.775 to 0.785 g/cm3 at 15°C.

The Fischer-Tropsch derived gasoil fuel used in the present invention preferably has a cetane number (ASTM

D613) of greater than 70, suitably from 70 to 85, most suitably from 70 to 77.

The Fischer-Tropsch derived gasoil fuel used in the present invention preferably has a kinematic viscosity at 40°C (as measured according to ASTM D445) in the range from 2.0 mm2/s to 5.0 mm2/s, preferably from 2.5 mm2/s to 4.0 mm2/s .

The Fischer-Tropsch derived gasoil used in the present invention preferably has a sulphur content (ASTM D2622) of 5 ppmw (parts per million by weight) or less, preferably of 2 ppmw or less.

The Fischer-Tropsch derived gasoil fuel as used in the present invention is that produced as a distinct finished product, that is suitable for sale and used in applications that require the particular characteristics of a gasoil fuel. In particular, it exhibits a

distillation range falling within the range normally relating to Fischer-Tropsch derived gasoil fuels, as set out above .

A fuel composition according to the present

invention may include a mixture of two or more Fisher-Tropsch derived gasoil fuels .

In accordance with the present invention, the

Fischer-Tropsch derived components used herein (i.e. the Fischer-Tropsch derived gasoil) will preferably comprise no more than 3% w/w, more preferably no more than 2% w/w, even more preferably no more than 1% w/w of cycloparaffins (naphthenes ) , by weight of the Fischer-Tropsch derived component .

The Fischer-Tropsch derived components used herein (i.e. the Fischer-Tropsch derived gasoil) preferably comprise no more than 1% w/w, more preferably no more than 0.5% w/w, of olefins, by weight of the Fischer-Tropsch derived component .

The diesel fuel compositions described herein of the present invention are particularly suitable for use as a diesel fuel, and can be used for arctic applications, as winter grade diesel fuel due to the excellent cold flow properties .

For example, a cloud point of -10°C or lower (EN 23015) or a cold filter plugging point (CFPP) of -20°C or lower (as measured by EN 116) may be possible with fuel compositions herein.

The diesel fuel compositions described herein may comprise a diesel base fuel in addition to a paraffinic gasoil .

The diesel base fuel may be any petroleum derived diesel suitable for use in an internal combustion engine, such as a petroleum derived low sulphur diesel comprising <50 ppm of sulphur, for example, an ultra low sulphur diesel (ULSD) or a zero sulphur diesel (ZSD) .

Preferably, the low sulphur diesel comprises <10 ppm of sulphur.

The petroleum derived low sulphur diesel preferred for use in the present invention will typically have a density from 0.81 to 0.865, preferably 0.82 to 0.85, more preferably 0.825 to 0.845 g/cm3 at 15°C; a cetane number (ASTM D613) at least 51; and a kinematic viscosity (ASTM

D445) from 1.5 to 4.5, preferably 2.0 to 4.0, more preferably from 2.2 to 3.7 mm2/s at 40°C.

In one embodiment, the diesel base fuel is a

conventional petroleum-derived diesel.

Generally speaking, in the context of the present invention the fuel composition may be additivated with fuel additives. Unless otherwise stated, the (active matter) concentration of each such additive in a fuel composition is preferably up to 10000 ppmw, more

preferably in the range from 5 to 1000 ppmw,

advantageously from 75 to 300 ppmw, such as from 95 to 150 ppmw. Such additives may be added at various stages during the production of a fuel composition; those added to a base fuel at the refinery for example might be selected from anti-static agents, pipeline drag reducers, middle distillate flow improvers (MDFI) (e.g.,

ethylene/vinyl acetate copolymers or acrylate/maleic anhydride copolymers), lubricity enhancers, anti-oxidants and wax anti-settling agents.

The fuel composition may include a detergent, by which is meant an agent (suitably a surfactant) which can act to remove, and/or to prevent the build-up of, combustion related deposits within an engine, in

particular in the fuel injection system such as in the injector nozzles. Such materials are sometimes referred to as dispersant additives. Where the fuel composition includes a detergent, preferred concentrations are in the range 20 to 500 ppmw active matter detergent based on the overall fuel composition, more preferably 40 to 500 ppmw, most preferably 40 to 300 ppmw or 100 to 300 ppmw or 150 to 300 ppmw. Detergent-containing diesel fuel additives are known and commercially available. Examples of suitable detergent additives include polyolefin

substituted succinimides or succinamides of polyamines, for instance polyisobutylene succinimides or

polyisobutylene amine succinamides, aliphatic amines, Mannich bases or amines and polyolefin (e.g.

polyisobutylene ) maleic anhydrides. Particularly preferred are polyolefin substituted succinimides such as polyisobutylene succinimides .

Other components which may be incorporated as fuel additives, for instance in combination with a detergent, include lubricity enhancers; dehazers, e.g. alkoxylated phenol formaldehyde polymers; anti-foaming agents (e.g. commercially available polyether-modified polysiloxanes); ignition improvers (cetane improvers) (e.g. 2-ethylhexyl nitrate (EHN) , cyclohexyl nitrate, di-tert-butyl peroxide and those disclosed in US4208190 at column 2, line 27 to column 3, line 21); anti-rust agents (e.g. a propane-1,2-diol semi-ester of tetrapropenyl succinic acid, or polyhydric alcohol esters of a succinic acid derivative, the succinic acid derivative having on at least one of its alpha-carbon atoms an unsubstituted or substituted aliphatic hydrocarbon group containing from 20 to 500 carbon atoms, e.g. the pentaerythritol diester of polyisobutylene-substituted succinic acid) ; corrosion inhibitors; reodorants; anti-wear additives; antioxidants (e.g. phenolics such as 2, 6-di-tert-butylphenol, or phenylenediamines such as N, ' -di-sec-butyl-p-phenylenediamine) ; metal deactivators; static dissipator additives; and mixtures thereof.

It is preferred that the additive contain an anti-foaming agent, more preferably in combination with an anti-rust agent and/or a corrosion inhibitor and/or a lubricity additive .

It is particularly preferred that a lubricity enhancer be included in the fuel composition, especially when it has a low (e.g. 500 ppmw or less) sulfur content. The lubricity enhancer is conveniently present at a

concentration from 50 to 1000 ppmw, preferably from 100 to 1000 ppmw, based on the overall fuel composition.

The (active matter) concentration of any dehazer in the fuel composition will preferably be in the range from 1 to 20 ppmw, more preferably from 1 to 15 ppmw, still more preferably from 1 to 10 ppmw and advantageously from 1 to 5 ppmw. The (active matter) concentration of any ignition improver present will preferably be 600 ppmw or less, more preferably 500 ppmw or less, conveniently from 300 to 500 ppmw.

According to another aspect of the present

invention, there is provided the use of one or more additives for reducing the build up of deposits in an Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system of a compression ignition internal combustion engine system wherein the additive is selected from additives which have one or more of the following functionalities:

Reduction of hydrocarbon emissions;

Reduction of particulate emissions;

Retention of dispersancy post combustion;

Retention of detergency post combustion;

Retention of hydrophilic properties post combustion;

Reduction of smoke emissions;

Reduction of soot oxidation temperature.

The present invention may in particular be

applicable where the fuel composition is used or intended to be used in a direct injection diesel engine, for example of the rotary pump, in-line pump, unit pump, electronic unit injector or common rail type, or in an indirect injection diesel engine. The fuel composition may be suitable for use in heavy-and/or light-duty diesel engines, and in engines designed for on-road use or off-road use .

In order to be suitable for at least the above uses, the diesel fuel composition of the present invention preferably has one or more of the following

characteristics :

-a kinematic viscosity at 40°C of 1.9 mm2/s or greater, more preferably in the range from 1.9 to 4.5 mm2/s;

-a density of 800 kg/m3 or greater, more preferably in the range from 800 to 860, even more preferably 800 to 845 kg/m3;

-a T95 of 360°C or less;

-a cloud point in the range from 0°C to -13°C, more preferably from -5°C to -8°C;

-a CFPP in the range of from -8°C to -30°C, more

preferably from -15°C to -20°C.

The invention is illustrated by the following non-limiting examples.

Examples

Two different fuels were used in the examples herein. One fuel was a GTL gasoil containing 10 ppm of a hindered phenol antioxidant (2, 6-di-tert-butyl-4 -methylphenol otherwise known as BHT) .

Table 1 shows the physical and compositional characteristics of the GTL gasoil used in the examples herein. The GTL gasoil was obtained from Pearl GTL, Ras Laffan and is commercially available from the Shell/Royal

Dutch Group of Companies. The second fuel was a

conventional diesel fuel (Diesel B7) . The physical characteristics of the conventional diesel fuel (Diesel B7) used in the examples is shown in Table 2. As used herein "Diesel B7" means diesel base fuel containing 7% biofuel components.

Table 1

Test Test Method Units

Parameter

Visual Visual Clear and Appearance bright

Density at DIN EN ISO kg/m3 11 1 .9 15°C 12185

Distillation DIN EN ISO

3405

IBP DIN EN ISO °C 179.6

3405

5% v/v DIN EN ISO °C 204.9

3405

10% v/v DIN EN ISO °C 213.5

3405

20% v/v DIN EN ISO °C 231.0

3405

30% v/v DIN EN ISO °C 248.7

3405

40% v/v DIN EN ISO °C 263.5

3405

50% v/v DIN EN ISO °C 275.6

3405

60% v/v DIN EN ISO °C 287.4

3405

70% v/v DIN EN ISO °C 299.5

3405

80% v/v DIN EN ISO °C 312.6

3405

90% v/v DIN EN ISO °C 327.6

3405

95% v/v DIN EN ISO °C 337.7

3405

FBP DIN EN ISO °C 344.2 3405

Residue & DIN EN ISO %vol 2.0 Loss 3405

E250 DIN EN ISO %vol 31.4

3405

E300 DIN EN ISO %vol 71.0

3405

Kinematic DIN EN ISO mm2/ s 2.6881 Viscosity at 3104

40°C

Flashpoint DIN EN ISO °C 74.3

2719

S DIN EN ISO mg/kg <5

20884

Table 2

Test Method

The engine used in the examples was a standard PSA DV6 1.6L Euro 5 engine. A clean EGR system was weighed, then fitted to the engine.

The test was run for 24 hours continuously, at 2500 rpm and 5kW (19Nm) test condition. The engine coolant temperature was controlled to 37°C for the entire test duration. When the test was completed, the engine was dismantled, and all EGR components weighed. All EGR components were then photographed, before the entire EGR system was cleaned using solvents and a sonic bath, to remove the deposits. The clean EGR system was then reweighed before being fitted to the engine to run the next test. The tests toggled between B7 and GTL fuel. Two tests were run on each fuel.

The results of these experiments are shown in Table 3 below.

Table 3

Figure 1 is a graph of the Results set out in Table

3.

Discussion

As can be seen from the results in Table 3 and the graph in Figure 1, there is a significant reduction in the amount of deposits formed on the EGR components in the case of the GTL fuel compared with the conventional diesel B7 fuel.