Experimental investigations of butanol-gasoline blends effects on the combustion process in a SI engine
Istituto Motori-CNR, Via Marconi 8, Naples, 80125, Italy
International Journal of Energy and Environmental Engineering 2012, 3:6 doi:10.1186/2251-6832-3-6Published: 21 May 2012
Fuel blend of alcohol and conventional hydrocarbon fuels for a spark-ignition engine can increase the fuel octane rating and the power for a given engine displacement and compression ratio. In this work, the influence of butanol addition to gasoline in a port fuel injection, spark-ignition engine was investigated. The experiments were realized in a single-cylinder ported fuel injection spark-ignition (SI) engine with an external boosting device. The optically accessible engine was equipped with the head of a commercial SI turbocharged engine with the same geometrical specifications (bore, stroke and compression ratio) as the research engine. The effect on the spark ignition combustion process of 20% and 40% of n-butanol blended in volume with pure gasoline was investigated through cycle-resolved visualization. The engine worked at low speed, medium boosting and wide-open throttle. Fuel injections both in closed-valve and open-valve conditions were considered. Comparisons between the parameters related to the flame luminosity and the pressure signals were performed. Butanol blends allowed working in more advanced spark timing without knocking occurrence. The duration of injection for butanol blends was increased to obtain a stoichiometric mixture. In open-valve injection condition, the fuel deposits on intake manifold and piston surfaces decreased, allowing a reduction in fuel consumption. BU40 granted the performance levels of gasoline and, in open-valve injection, allowed to minimize the abnormal combustion effects including the emission of ultrafine carbonaceous particles at the exhaust. In-cylinder investigations were correlated to engine out emissions.