Browse Publications Technical Papers 2017-24-0115

Experimental Investigation of Fuel Injection and Spark Timing for the Combustion of n-Butanol and iso-Butanol and Their Blends with Gasoline in a Two-Cylinder SI Engine 2017-24-0115

In this study, the combustion of butanol, neat and mixed with gasoline, was investigated on a 0.6 liter two-cylinder spark ignition engine with fully adjustable fuel injection and spark timing, coupled with an eddy current dynamometer. Two isomers of butanol, n-butanol and iso-butanol, were examined. This basic parameter study gives information about potential requirements of engine control systems for butanol FFV.
Compared to the traditionally used ethanol, butanol does not exhibit hygroscopic behaviour, is chemically less aggressive and has higher energy density. On other hand, different laminar burning velocity and higher boiling temperature of butanol, compared to gasoline, requires some countermeasures to keep the engine operation reliable and efficient.
Optimum spark timing for n-butanol, iso-butanol and their mixtures with gasoline, response to both lean and rich mixture composition, and three-way catalyst performance are reported and discussed for selected steady state operating conditions. For low loads, the results suggest a spark advance decrease, larger for n-butanol than for iso-butanol, while at higher loads, the optimal timing is comparable for all fuels.
Deviation from stoichiometric mixture composition did not affect significant points of heat release of and its variability for all tested fuels and fuel mixtures. The three-way catalyst performance is generally comparable when either isomer of butanol in any concentration is used. Furthermore, for some components at certain conditions observed conversion efficiency was increased or decreased when butanol is combusted.
Overall, the combustion of both n-butanol and iso-butanol and their mixtures with gasoline was, at steady state operation with fully heated engine, and after adjustments of spark timing and of fueling rate, comparable with gasoline. Starting of a cold engine, a known problematic aspect of using any alcohol fuel, was not addressed in this study.


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