Cetane Number

Cetane Number is a relative measure of the time delay between the beginning of fuel injection and the start of combustion. In a cold engine, a low cetane number will cause difficult starting and white exhaust smoke until the engine warms up. In engines with charge air cooling, a low cetane number fuel may also cause white exhaust smoke during light load operation. A minimum cetane number of 43 is specified for best engine performance. However, the cetane number alone should not be considered when selecting a quality fuel. Other properties, such as 95% distillation temperature and carbon residue, should also be considered. Calculated Cetane Index is sometimes reported instead of Cetane Number. Cetane Index is an empirical property determined mathematically from boiling range temperatures and specific gravity of the fuel, whereas Cetane Number is determined through an engine test. Additives may be used by the fuel marketer to improve the cetane number; however, they have no effect on cetane index. Evaluate both properties when selecting diesel fuel. The effect of biodiesel fuel on Calculated Cetane Index is unknown.

Document Number:0000061837