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Technical Paper

Spray and Combustion Characteristics of n-Butanol in a Constant Volume Combustion Chamber at Different Oxygen Concentrations

A very competitive alcohol for use in diesel engines is butanol. Butanol is of particular interest as a renewable bio-fuel, as it is less hydrophilic and it possesses higher heating value, higher cetane number, lower vapor pressure, and higher miscibility than ethanol or methanol. These properties make butanol preferable to ethanol or methanol for blending with conventional diesel or gasoline fuel. In this paper, the spray and combustion characteristics of pure n-butanol fuel was experimentally investigated in a constant volume combustion chamber. The ambient temperatures were set to 1000 K, and three different oxygen concentrations were set to 21%, 16%, and 10.5%. The results indicate that the penetration length reduces with the increase of ambient oxygen concentration. The combustion pressure and heat release rate demonstrate the auto-ignition delay becomes longer with decreasing of oxygen concentrations.
Technical Paper

A Study of Effects of Volatility on Butanol-Biodiesel-Diesel Spray and Combustion

Ternary blends of butanol-biodiesel-diesel with different blending ratios were tested inside a constant volume chamber under various ambient temperatures so as to investigate the spray and combustion characteristics of the fuels. Applying the high speed imaging, a sudden drop in spray penetration was observed at ambient temperature of 800 K and 900 K for fuels with certain blending ratio, but not at 1000 K and 1200 K. When the spray penetration of the butanol-biodiesel-diesel blends was compared to that of the biodiesel-diesel blends under non-combusting environment, a sudden drop in spray penetration length was also observed at 1100 K. The results indicated that for the non-combusting case, the tip of the spray jet erupted into a plume sometime after injection for the butanol-biodiesel-diesel blend at an ambient temperature of 1100 K. Such phenomenon was not seen with the biodiesel-diesel blend, neither with the same fuel but at a lower ambient temperature of 900 K.
Technical Paper

Effect of Ambient Temperature on Flame Lift-off and Soot Formation of Biodiesel Sprays

Pure diesel and biodiesel were tested inside a constant-volume combustion chamber which simulates the in-cylinder conditions similar to a diesel engine and is more flexible to change the engine operation boundary conditions. The ambient temperature effect on flame lift-off length for both fuels was first investigated with fixed injection pressure, duration, ambient density, and ambient oxygen concentration. This was determined from time-averaged OH chemiluminescence imaging technique. Then, the impacts of the observed lift-off length variations on oxygen ratio upstream of the lift-off location and the soot formation process were also studied. A Forward Illumination Light Extinction (FILE) soot measurement technique was adopted to study the soot formation process. The FILE technique with the capability of two-dimensional time-resolved quantitative soot measurement provides the much-needed information to investigate the soot formation mechanism.