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Journal Article

Effect of Ethanol on Part Load Thermal Efficiency and CO2 Emissions of SI Engines

This paper presents engine dynamometer testing and modeling analysis of ethanol compared to gasoline at part load conditions where the engine was not knock-limited with either fuel. The purpose of this work was to confirm the efficiency improvement for ethanol reported in published papers, and to quantify the components of the improvement. Testing comparing E85 to E0 gasoline was conducted in an alternating back-to-back manner with multiple data points for each fuel to establish high confidence in the measured results. Approximately 4% relative improvement in brake thermal efficiency (BTE) was measured at three speed-load points. Effects on BTE due to pumping work and emissions were quantified based on the measured engine data, and accounted for only a small portion of the difference.
Journal Article

Effect of Heat of Vaporization, Chemical Octane, and Sensitivity on Knock Limit for Ethanol - Gasoline Blends

Ethanol and other high heat of vaporization (HoV) fuels result in substantial cooling of the fresh charge, especially in direct injection (DI) engines. The effect of charge cooling combined with the inherent high chemical octane of ethanol make it a very knock resistant fuel. Currently, the knock resistance of a fuel is characterized by the Research Octane Number (RON) and the Motor Octane Number (MON). However, the RON and MON tests use carburetion for fuel metering and thus likely do not replicate the effect of charge cooling for DI engines. The operating conditions of the RON and MON tests also do not replicate the very retarded combustion phasing encountered with modern boosted DI engines operating at low-speed high-load. In this study, the knock resistance of a matrix of ethanol-gasoline blends was determined in a state-of-the-art single cylinder engine equipped with three separate fuel systems: upstream, pre-vaporized fuel injection (UFI); port fuel injection (PFI); and DI.
Journal Article

Effects of Fuel Octane Rating and Ethanol Content on Knock, Fuel Economy, and CO2 for a Turbocharged DI Engine

Engine dynamometer testing was performed comparing fuels having different octane ratings and ethanol content in a Ford 3.5L direct injection turbocharged (EcoBoost) engine at three compression ratios (CRs). The fuels included midlevel ethanol “splash blend” and “octane-matched blend” fuels, E10-98RON (U.S. premium), and E85-108RON. For the splash blends, denatured ethanol was added to E10-91RON, which resulted in E20-96RON and E30-101 RON. For the octane-matched blends, gasoline blendstocks were formulated to maintain constant RON and MON for E10, E20, and E30. The match blend E20-91RON and E30-91RON showed no knock benefit compared to the baseline E10-91RON fuel. However, the splash blend E20-96RON and E10-98RON enabled 11.9:1 CR with similar knock performance to E10-91RON at 10:1 CR. The splash blend E30-101RON enabled 13:1 CR with better knock performance than E10-91RON at 10:1 CR. As expected, E85-108RON exhibited dramatically better knock performance than E30-101RON.
Journal Article

Fuel Economy and CO2 Emissions of Ethanol-Gasoline Blends in a Turbocharged DI Engine

Engine dynamometer testing was performed comparing E10, E20, and E30 splash-blended fuels in a Ford 3.5L EcoBoost direct injection (DI) turbocharged engine. The engine was tested with compression ratios (CRs) of 10.0:1 (current production) and 11.9:1. In this engine, E20 (96 RON) fuel at 11.9:1 CR gave very similar knock performance to E10 (91 RON) fuel at 10:1 CR. Similarly, E30 (101 RON) fuel at 11.9:1 CR resulted in knock-limited performance equivalent to E20 at 10:1 CR, indicating that E30 could have been run at even higher CR with acceptable knock behavior. The data was used in a vehicle simulation of a 3.5L EcoBoost pickup truck, which showed that the E20 (96 RON) fuel at 11.9:1 CR offers 5% improvement in U.S. EPA Metro-Highway (M/H) and US06 Highway cycle tank-to-wheels CO₂ emissions over the E10 fuel, with comparable volumetric fuel economy (miles per gallon) and range before refueling.
Technical Paper

Octane Numbers of Ethanol-Gasoline Blends: Measurements and Novel Estimation Method from Molar Composition

Ethanol has a high octane rating and can be added to gasoline to produce high octane fuel blends. Understanding the octane increase with ethanol blending is of great fundamental and practical importance. Potential issues with fuel flow rate and fuel vaporization have led to questions of the accuracy of octane measurements for ethanol-gasoline blends with moderate to high ethanol content (e.g., E20-E85) using the Cooperative Fuel Research (CFR™) engine. The nonlinearity of octane ratings with volumetric ethanol content makes it difficult to assess the accuracy of such measurements. In the present study, Research Octane Number (RON) and Motor Octane Number (MON) were measured for a matrix of ethanol-gasoline blends spanning a wide range of ethanol content (E0, E10, E20, E30, E50, E75) in a set of gasoline blendstocks spanning a range of RON values (82, 88, 92, and 95). Octane ratings for neat ethanol, denatured ethanol, and hydrous ethanol were also measured.