1998-05-04

Improving the Cold Start Performance of Alcohol Fueled Engines Using a Rich Combustor Device 981359

Alcohols (methanol and ethanol) have been identified as having the potential to improve air quality when used to replace conventional gasoline. This potential is primarily due to the different organic species that are emitted by alcohol-fueled engines. The use of “near neat” alcohols gives greater benefits than fuels containing lower levels of alcohol, but neat alcohols present a significant cold starting problem.The primary objective of this study was to develop a rich combustor device which will extend the cold start range of alcohol fueled engines to -30° C. In this approach a portion of the fuel is burned outside the engine under fuel-rich conditions. This rich combustion creates a product stream that contains significant amounts of hydrogen and carbon monoxide (along with other gases such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen, water vapor, and organics). The hydrogen and carbon monoxide are combustible and non-condensable and provide the fuel for starting the engine. Once the engine starts, the engine transitions to the normal fuel system.

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