Spectroscopic Investigation of Initial Combustion Stages in a SI Engine Fuelled with Ethanol and Gasoline
It is well known that ethanol can be used in spark-ignition (SI) engines as a pure fuel or blended with gasoline. High enthalpy of vaporization of alcohols can affect air-fuel mixture formation prior to ignition and may form thicker liquid films around the intake valves, on the cylinder wall and piston crown. These liquid films can result in mixture non-homogeneities inside the combustion chamber and hence strongly influence the cyclic variability of early combustion stages. Starting from these considerations, the paper reports an experimental study of the initial phases of the combustion process in a single cylinder SI engine fueled with commercial gasoline and anhydrous ethanol, as well as their blend (50%vol alcohol). The engine was optically accessible and equipped with the cylinder head of a commercial power unit for two-wheel applications, with the same geometrical specifications (bore, stroke, compression ratio).