Internal Combustion Engines

Design and Development of a New Landfill/Biogas Engine Oil for Modern, High BMEP Natural Gas Engines

[+] Author and Article Information
John D. Palazzotto, Joseph Timar, Alan T. Beckman

 Chevron Oronite Co., LLC, Richmond, CA 94801

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 134(8), 082808 (Jun 29, 2012) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4006697 History: Received October 31, 2011; Revised December 07, 2011; Published June 29, 2012; Online June 29, 2012

The use of higher brake mean effective pressure (BMEP) engines in landfill or alternative gas applications has dramatically increased in the past few years. Operators are using these engines due to their ability to provide lower emissions, coupled with improved economics for the end user due to the higher density or power output capability compared to an engine of similar size and displacement. Landfill gas (LFG) quality can vary greatly, along with the contaminant level due to the composition of the landfill. This environment poses unique challenges to both the engine and the engine oil, including shorter oil drain intervals, corrosive attack of engine components, with increased piston and combustion chamber deposits, to name but a few. Maintaining longer oil drain intervals minimizes unscheduled oil drains, which can decrease the overall cost of the landfill operation. High BMEP engines provide higher power output, however,at the cost of increased maintenance in severe fuel applications. Excessive piston crown and combustion chamber deposits from landfill gas impurities can have a deleterious effect on engine emissions, which may lead to the inability to meet local emissions regulations. Engine lubricants must provide adequate oil life along with minimizing deposit related issues that may negatively impact regular scheduled maintenance cycles, thus reducing engine downtime and increasing revenues. Traditionally, the approach has been that oils formulated for landfill applications used excess base reserve to sufficiently neutralize the acids being formed during the combustion process. Unfortunately, this approach increases the sulfated ash content of the lubricant, which lends itself to increased ash deposits and negatively impacts the combustion dynamics of these high BMEP engines, which are sensitive to ash deposition. Based upon requests for a longer life lubricant without compromising deposit control characteristics to serve landfill applications, a new product development project was specifically targeted for late model, high BMEP engines, which are prone to detonation and sensitive to ash related deposits. This paper presents the development bench testing, and proof of performance field evaluations of a new generation, low ash landfill gas engine oil.

Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

SASH comparisons

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Figure 2

(a) Oxidation performance in nitration bench test, (b) nitration performance in nitration bench test, and (c) viscosity increase in nitration bench test

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Figure 3

(a) HCL corrosion bench test, and (b) H2 SO4 corrosion bench test

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(a) Base retention—site A, and (b) new LFG formulation base retention—site B

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Acid increase—site A

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Metals and contaminants—site B

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(a) Site A piston (thrust) with previous generation LFG technology, (b) site A piston (thrust) with new LFG technology, (c) site B piston (thrust) with new LFG technology, and (d) site B piston (anti-thrust) with new LFG technology

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Combustion chamber

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Valve recession measurement

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Exhaust and intake valves—site A

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Exhaust and intake valve guides—site A

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(a) Cylinder liner (anti-thrust) from previously used commercial LFG—site A, and (b) cylinder liner (anti-thrust) from next generation LFG oil—site B



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