Derived from natural gas, coal, and even biomass Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) diesel fuels have a number of very desirable properties. The potential for emissions reduction with F-T diesel fuels in laboratory engine tests and on-road vehicle tests is well documented. While a number of chemical and physical characteristics of F-T fuels have been attributed to the observed reduction in emissions, the actual effects of both the fuel properties and in-cylinder combustion characteristics in modern diesel engines are still not well understood. In this study a 2002, six-cylinder, 5.9 liter, Cummins ISB 300 diesel engine, outfitted with an in-cylinder pressure transducer. was subjected to a subset of the Euro III 13-mode test cycle under steady-state operating conditions. Emissions and in-cylinder pressure measurements were conducted for neat F-T diesel, low sulfur diesel (LSD), ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD), and a blend of FT/LSD. In addition, a detailed chemical analysis of the fuels was carried out. The differences in the measured combustion characteristics and fuel properties were compared to the emissions variations between the fuels studied, and an explanation for the observed emissions behavior of the fuels was developed.

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