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Technical Paper

Autoignition of Alcohols and Ethers in a Rapid Compression Machine

The autoignition characteristics of methanol, ethanol and MTBE (methyl tert-butyl ether) have been investigated in a rapid compression machine at pressures in the range 20-40 atm and temperatures within 750-1000 K. All three oxygenated fuels tested show higher autoignition temperatures than paraffins, a trend consistent with the high octane number of these fuels. The autoignition delay time for methanol was slightly lower than predicted values using reported reaction mechanisms. However, the experimental and measured values for the activation energy are in very good agreement around 44 kcal/mol. The measured activation energy for ethanol autoignition is in good agreement with previous shock tube results (31 kcal/mol), although ignition times predicted by the shock tube correlation are a factor of three lower than the measured values. The measured activation energy for MTBE, 41.4 kcal/mol, was significantly higher than the value previously observed in shock tubes (28.1 kcal/mol).
Technical Paper

Flame Kernel Development in a Methanol Fueled Engine

The combustion behavior in a modem 4-valve engine using a broad range of methanol/gasoline fuel mixtures was studied. The initial flame development was examined by using a spark plug fiber optics probe. Approximately, the kernel expansion speed, Sg, is relatively unchanged from M0 to M40; jumps by ∼30% from M40 to M60; and then remains roughly constant from M60 to M100. Statistics of the IMEP indicate that at a lean idle condition the combustion rate and robustness correlate with Sg: a higher value of Sg gives better combustion. Thus M60-M100 fuels give better idle combustion behavior than the M0-M40 fuels.
Technical Paper

Alcohol Fueled Heavy Duty Vehicles Using Clean, High Efficiency Engines

Non-petroleum based liquid fuels are essential for reducing oil dependence and greenhouse gas generation. Increased substitution of alcohol fuel for petroleum based fuels could be achieved by 1) use in high efficiency spark ignition engines that are employed for heavy duty as well as light duty operation and 2) use of methanol as well as ethanol. Methanol is the liquid fuel that is most efficiently produced from thermo-chemical gasification of coal, natural gas, waste or biomass. Ethanol can also be produced by this process but at lower efficiency and higher cost. Coal derived methanol is in limited initial use as a transportation fuel in China. Methanol could potentially be produced from natural gas at an economically competitive fuel costs, and with essentially the same greenhouse gas impact as gasoline. Waste derived methanol could also be an affordable low carbon fuel.
Technical Paper

Detailed Calculation of Heating, Evaporation, and Reaction Processes of a Thin Liquid Layer of Hydrocarbon Fuel

A one-dimensional model has been developed for the species and energy transfer over a thin (0.1-0.5 mm) layer of liquid fuel present on the wall of a spark-ignition engine. Time-varying boundary conditions during compression and flame passage were used to determine the rate of methanol vaporization and oxidation over a mid-speed, mid-load cycle, as a function of wall temperature. The heat of vaporization and the boiling point of the fuel were varied about a baseline to determine the effect of these characteristics, at a fixed operating point and lean conditions (ϕ = 0.9). The calculations show that the evaporation of fuels from layers on cold walls starts during flame passage, peaking a few milliseconds later, and continuing through the exhaust phase.
Technical Paper

The Contribution of Methanol (VOC) Emissions from Windshield Washer Fluid Use to the Formation of Ground-Level Ozone

The potential for methanol emissions from the use of windshield washer fluid to contribute significantly to the formation of ground-level ozone in Canada is assessed. Reactivity and plausible chemical mechanisms for ozone formation are discussed. Assuming an environmental half-life of methanol of one month, a significant amount of these methanol emissions could participate in ozone formation. Options for reducing methanol emissions from this source were investigated in consultation with industry stakeholders. Recommendations included seasonal conversion to summer formulations, limiting methanol content, modifying OEM practices, and investigating more efficient fluid delivery systems.
Technical Paper

Effects of Ethanol Evaporative Cooling on Particulate Number Emissions in GDI Engines

The spark ignition engine particulate number (PN) emissions have been correlated to a particulate matter index (PMI) in the literature. The PMI value addresses the fuel effect on PN emission through the individual fuel species reactivity and vapor pressure. The latter quantity is used to account for the propensity of the non-volatile fuel components to survive to the later part of the combustion event as wall liquid films, which serve as sources for particulate emission. The PMI, however, does not encompass the suppression of vaporization by the evaporative cooling of fuel components, such as ethanol, that have high latent heat of vaporization. This paper assesses this evaporative cooling effect on PN emissions by measurements in a GDI engine operating with a base gasoline which does not contain oxygenate, with a blend of the gasoline and ethanol, and with a blend of the gasoline, ethanol, and a hydrocarbon additive so that the blend has the same PMI as the original gasoline.
Technical Paper

Fuel Effects on Throttle Transients in PFI Spark Ignition Engines

The fuel effects on throttle transients in PFI spark ignition engines were assessed through experiments with simultaneous step change of the throttle position from part load to WOT and increment of the injected fuel amount. The test matrix consisted of various gasoline/methanol blends from pure gasoline to pure methanol, coolant temperatures at 40C (for cold engine condition) and 80C (for warm engine), and different levels of fuel enrichment at the WOT condition. The x-τ model was used to interpret the engine GIMEP response in the transient. Using the model, a procedure was developed to calculate the parameters of the transient from the data. These parameters were systematically regressed against the fuel distillation points, the increment in injected fuel mass in the transient, and the enthalpy required to evaporate the fuel increment as the explanatory variables.