A Single-Cylinder Engine Study of Methanol Fuel-Emphasis on Organic Emissions 760378
Exhaust emission and performance characteristics of a single-cylinder engine fueled with methanol are compared to those obtained either with gasoline or a methanol-water blend. Our measurements of engine efficiency and power, and CO and NOx emissions agree with trends established in the literature. Consequently, the emphasis is placed on organic emissions (unburned fuel including hydrocarbons, and aldehydes), an area in which there is no consensus in the literature.
In all cases with methanol fueling, the unburned fuel (UBF) emissions were virtually all methanol as opposed to hydrocarbon compounds. Without special measures to overcome methanol's large heat of vaporization, UBF emissions were four times greater with methanol than those with gasoline. Similarly, aldehyde emissions were an order of magnitude greater with methanol. These high levels of organic emissions with methanol were related to inadequate fuel-air mixture preparation, which was caused by methanol's large heat of vaporization. Modifying the single-cylinder engine intake system to improve vaporization reduced UBF emissions 80 to 90 percent with methanol and 30 to 50 percent with gasoline. Aldehyde emissions were also significantly reduced by improving mixture preparation, but remained three to four times greater for methanol than for gasoline.
Blending 10 percent water with methanol resulted in: 1) reduced engine efficiency and power, 2) increased UBF emissions, 3) no measurable effect on aldehyde and CO emissions, and 4) reduced NOx emissions. Our tests indicate that the advantages of blending water with methanol are outweighed by the disadvantages.