Energetic research on methanol-fueled automobile engines has been forwarded from the viewpoints of low environmental pollution and the use of alternate fuel since the oil crisis, and they are now being tested on vehicles in various countries in the world. Various technical issues have already been solved or the prospect is bright for them. It can be said that this type of engine is very close to completion at present. On the other hand, it is an actual situation in the marine engine field that the research on this type of engine has hardly been tested so far, since it has seldom been evaluated from the viewpoint of environmental pollution control because it is used at sea and the idea to use methanol on marine engines is not established yet.
Methanol has a cetane number of three and, consequently, extremely low ignitability. Marine engines with spark ignition can not exhibit mean effective pressures as high as those of ordinary diesel engines because of the high rate of pressure rise during ignition and they can not permit misfiring because of the large volume of their exhaust systems. The dual fuel injection system which has actual service results on large-sized gas engines has therefore been selected as the ignition system for this research. Since methanol is not only corrosive but also insufficient in lubricating ability, elemental research has been needed to solve these issues