Reducing the viscosity of diesel fuel with electrorheological effect

Enpeng Du, H. Tang, K. Huang, R. Tao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Improving engine efficiency and reducing pollutant emissions are extremely important. Here the authors report their finding, using electrorheology to reduce the viscosity of diesel fuel. Diesel is made of many different molecules, 75% small molecules and 25% large molecules. In addition, it contains other nanoscale particles, such as sulfur. Therefore, diesel can be regarded as a liquid suspension. Under a strong electric field, the large molecules aggregate into small clusters, yielding a lower viscosity. For high-sulfur diesel, the applied electric field is around 1 kV/mm. However, for ultra-low-sulfur diesel, the required electric field must be around 2 kV/mm. This viscosity reduction leads to finer mist in fuel atomization, improving the combustion, and engine efficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1713-1716
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures
Issue number15
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • Electrorheological
  • energy harvesting
  • viscosity of diesel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering


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