Weinheim, Germany – Freudenberg Sealing Technologies (FST) has partnered with Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT) to study the impact of new fuels on sealing materials.
Sponsored by the German Baden-Württemberg state government, the research initiative reFuels involves developing new solutions to ‘rethink fuels’ and cut carbon emissions.
As part of the initiative, KIT is collaborating with a number of industrial partners to find alternatives to fossil fuels, other than elective drives.
"The challenge is that new fuels cannot have a negative impact on vehicles and their components," Freudenberg explained in a release 8 March.
FST’s particular focus is on the reaction of sealing materials to alternative fuels.
In a series of experiments, FST said it had examined material reactions after exposure to oxymethylene ether (OME), “one of the most often mentioned synthetic fuels.”
The experimental fuels were composed of standard diesel with an OME admixture equal to 10 to 30% of volume.
Other experiments were carried out using pure OME and 100% fossil diesel as a benchmark.
According to FST, the experiments illustrated that an OME mixture of up to 30% added to conventional diesel generated “only minor additional swelling at a lower level in all fluorinated rubber materials tested.”
This, it said, means that a reduction in fossil fuels is possible.
“We could replace a certain share of the fossil-based diesel with OME,” explained Boris Traber, head of global material development at FST.
“And we have the right sealing materials for fuel systems,” he added.
According to Freudenberg, Germany is set to miss its climate protection goals of a 40% cut in emissions by 2020 from the 1990 benchmark.