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Experimental determination of suitable ethanol–gasoline blend rate at high compression ratio for gasoline engine

Experimental determination of suitable ethanol–gasoline blend rate at high compression ratio for gasoline engine

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Published by ISLAM I. Fekry
Ethanol produced from biomass has high octane number and gives lower emissions. Therefore, it is used as alternative fuel in the
gasoline engines. In this study, ethanol was used as fuel at high compression ratio to improve performance and to reduce emissions
in a small gasoline engine with low efficiency. Initially, the engine whose compression ratio was 6/1 was tested with gasoline, E25
(75% gasoline + 25% ethanol), E50, E75 and E100 fuels at a constant load and speed. It was determined from the experimental results
that the most suitable fuel in terms of performance and emissions was E50. Then, the compression ratio was raised from 6/1 to 10/1. The
engine was tested with E0 fuel at a compression ratio of 6/1 and with E50 fuel at a compression ratio of 10/1 at full load and various
speeds without any knock. The cylinder pressures were recorded for each compression ratio and fuel. The experimental results showed
that engine power increased by about 29% when running with E50 fuel compared to the running with E0 fuel. Moreover, the specific fuel
consumption, and CO, CO2, HC and NOx emissions were reduced by about 3%, 53%, 10%, 12% and 19%, respectively.
Ethanol produced from biomass has high octane number and gives lower emissions. Therefore, it is used as alternative fuel in the
gasoline engines. In this study, ethanol was used as fuel at high compression ratio to improve performance and to reduce emissions
in a small gasoline engine with low efficiency. Initially, the engine whose compression ratio was 6/1 was tested with gasoline, E25
(75% gasoline + 25% ethanol), E50, E75 and E100 fuels at a constant load and speed. It was determined from the experimental results
that the most suitable fuel in terms of performance and emissions was E50. Then, the compression ratio was raised from 6/1 to 10/1. The
engine was tested with E0 fuel at a compression ratio of 6/1 and with E50 fuel at a compression ratio of 10/1 at full load and various
speeds without any knock. The cylinder pressures were recorded for each compression ratio and fuel. The experimental results showed
that engine power increased by about 29% when running with E50 fuel compared to the running with E0 fuel. Moreover, the specific fuel
consumption, and CO, CO2, HC and NOx emissions were reduced by about 3%, 53%, 10%, 12% and 19%, respectively.

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Published by: ISLAM I. Fekry on Mar 17, 2009
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Experimental determination of suitable ethanol–gasoline blend rateat high compression ratio for gasoline engine
M. Bahattin Celik
*
Karabuk University, Technical Education Faculty, 78050 Karabuk, Turkey
Received 17 April 2007; accepted 26 October 2007Available online 19 November 2007
Abstract
Ethanol produced from biomass has high octane number and gives lower emissions. Therefore, it is used as alternative fuel in thegasoline engines. In this study, ethanol was used as fuel at high compression ratio to improve performance and to reduce emissionsin a small gasoline engine with low efficiency. Initially, the engine whose compression ratio was 6/1 was tested with gasoline, E25(75% gasoline + 25% ethanol), E50, E75 and E100 fuels at a constant load and speed. It was determined from the experimental resultsthat the most suitable fuel in terms of performance and emissions was E50. Then, the compression ratio was raised from 6/1 to 10/1. Theengine was tested with E0 fuel at a compression ratio of 6/1 and with E50 fuel at a compression ratio of 10/1 at full load and variousspeeds without any knock. The cylinder pressures were recorded for each compression ratio and fuel. The experimental results showedthat engine power increased by about 29% when running with E50 fuel compared to the running with E0 fuel. Moreover, the specific fuelconsumption, and CO, CO
2
, HC and NO
x
emissions were reduced by about 3%, 53%, 10%, 12% and 19%, respectively.
Ó
2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords:
Ethanol; Performance; Emissions; High compression ratio
1. Introduction
The increasing demand for energy and stringent pollu-tion regulations as a result of the population growth andtechnological development in the world promote researchon alternative fuels[1]. The investigations have concen-trated on decreasing fuel consumption and on loweringthe concentration of toxic components in combustionproduct by using non-petroleum, renewable, sustainableand non-polluting fuels[2]. The high octane ratings of the alcohols and their high heats of vaporization havemade them preferred fuels for use in-high compressionratio (CR), high-output engines. High octane values whichcan permit significant increases of compression ratio and/or spark advance, and high heats of evaporation whichcan provide fuel–air charge cooling and density increase,and thus higher mass throughput[3]. In theory, for anun-throttled Otto-cycle engine, the efficiency
g
can be writ-ten as
g
= 1
À
(1/
e
À
1
), where
e
is compression ratio and
is specific heat ratio. If the compression ratio can be furtherraised, the heat efficiency and engine power output can beimproved[4]. As a fuel for spark ignition engines, alcoholshave some other advantages over gasoline, such as thereduction of CO and UHC emissions[5]. As ethanol fuelalso has high heat of vaporization, it reduces the peak tem-perature inside the cylinder and hence reduces the NO
x
emissions[6].Ethanol is an alcohol-based alternative fuel producedby fermenting and distilling starch crops that have beenconverted into simple sugars. Feedstocks for this fuelinclude corn, barley and wheat. Ethanol can be producedfrom cellulose feedstock such as corn stalks, rice straw,and sugar cane which are examples of feedstock that con-tain sugar[7]. As ethanol can be produced from agricul-tural crops, its cost can be lower in the states whoseeconomy is largely based on agriculture and it can be used
1359-4311/$ - see front matter
Ó
2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.doi:10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2007.10.028
*
Tel.: +90 370 4338200; fax: +90 370 4338204.
E-mail address:
www.elsevier.com/locate/apthermeng
 Available online at www.sciencedirect.com
Applied Thermal Engineering 28 (2008) 396–404
 
as alternative fuel. Thus, dependence for foreign oil isreduced in these states. The simplest approach to theuse of alcohols in spark ignition (SI) engines is to blendmoderate amounts of alcohols with gasoline. The secondand more technically challenging option is to use alcoholsessentially neatly as engine fuel[3].Several studies have been conducted on the usage of eth-anol and ethanol–gasoline blends as fuel in the SI engines.Hsieh et al.[5]investigated the engine performance andpollutant emission of an SI engine using ethanol–gasolineblends (E0, E5, E10, E20 and E30). Their experimentalresults indicated that torque output and fuel consumptionslightly increase when using ethanol–gasoline blended fuel;CO and HC emissions decrease dramatically as a result of the leaning effect. When ethanol is added to the blendedfuel, it can provide more oxygen for the combustion pro-cess and leads to the so-called ‘‘leaning effect
. In anotherstudy by Wu et al.[4], ethanol–gasoline blended fuels (E0,E5, E10, E20 and E30) were tested in a conventional engineunder various air–fuel equivalence ratios for its perfor-mance and emissions. The results of the tests showed thattorque output increased slightly at small throttle openingwhen ethanol gasoline blended fuel was used. It was alsoshown that CO, CO
2
and HC emissions were reduced withthe increase of ethanol content in the blended fuel. Yu¨kseland Yu¨ksel[8]investigated the use of ethanol–gasolineblend (E60) as a fuel in an SI engine. In this study, itwas found that using ethanol–gasoline blended fuel, theCO and HC emissions would be reduced approximatelyby 80% and 50%, respectively. Moreover, significantdecreases in the engine power were not observed. Bayrak-tar[9]investigated the effects of ethanol addition (from0% to 12%) to gasoline on an SI engine performance andexhaust emissions. The effective power and effective effi-ciency increased with increasing ethanol amount in theblended fuel as a result of improved combustion and COemissions also decreased. Al-Hasan[10]investigated theeffect of ethanol–unleaded gasoline blends on performanceand emission. The unleaded gasoline was blended with eth-anol to prepare 10 test blends ranging from 0% to 25% eth-anol with an increment of 2.5%. Ethanol addition resultedin an increase in brake power, brake thermal efficiency,volumetric efficiency and fuel consumption by about8.3%, 9%, 7% and 5.7% mean average values, respectively.Yu¨cesu et al.[11]investigated the effects of ethanol–gaso-line blends (E0, E10, E20, E40, E60) on engine perfor-mance and exhaust emissions in different compressionratios (8/1–13/1). According to the results of the experi-ment, it was found that as the compression ratio increased,engine torque and HC emissions also increased. The fuelscontaining high ratios of ethanol, E40 and E60 had impor-tant effects on the reduction of CO and HC emissions.Song et al.[12]investigated the effects of the additives of ethanol (up to 9.79% ethanol) and methyl
tert
-butyl ether(up to 20% MTBE) in various blend ratios into the gasolinefuel on the exhaust emissions in an EFI gasoline engine.The experimental results showed that ethanol broughtabout generally lower regulated engine-out emissions(CO, THC and NO
x
) than MTBE did. He et al.[13]inves-tigated the emission characteristics of an EFI engine withethanol blended gasoline fuels. In the tests, E0, E10 andE30 fuels were used. Their results showed that the increaseof ethanol content decreased THC, CO and NO
x
emis-sions. El-Emam and Desoky[14]investigated the combus-tion of alternative fuels theoretically and experimentally inSI engines. The results showed that there was an increase inengine thermal efficiency and decrease in NO
x
and COemissions when ethanol and methanol fuels were used.Topgu¨l et al.[15]investigated the effects of ethanol– unleaded gasoline blends (E0, E10, E20, E40, E60) andignition timing on performance and emissions. The exper-imental result showed that the brake torque slightlyincreased, and CO and HC emissions decreased when eth-anol–gasoline blend was used. It was also found thatblends with ethanol allowed the compression ratio toincrease without any knock. Bardaie and Janius[16]inves-tigated the conversion of SI engine for alcohol usage. Theymade some modifications on the carburettor. According tothe experimental results, it was determined that power losswas only 3–4% when running with ethanol compared togasoline. Abdel-Rahman and Osman[17]investigated theeffect of ethanol–gasoline blends (E10, E20, E30 andE40) on engine performance and emissions at various com-pression ratios (8, 10, and 12). For each fuel blend, there isan optimum compression ratio that gives maximum indi-cated power. In this study, optimum compression ratioswere found to be 8, 10 and 12 for E10, E20 and E30 fuels,respectively.Studies were also carried out regarding the use of alco-hols as a fuel in the small gasoline engines (25 HP or less).Charalampos et al.[18]investigated the behavior of a smallfour-stroke engine when mixtures of gasoline–ethanol andgasoline–methanol were used as fuel. In the engine tests, 11test blends ranging from 0% to 100% ethanol with an incre-ment of 10% were used. CO emissions were decreased asethanol content in fuel increased. Moreover, HC emissionswere decreased as ethanol content in fuel increased, but HCemissions significantly increased when using E90 and E100fuel. Jia et al.[19]investigated the emission characteristic of a four-stroke motorcycle engine using 10% ethanol–gaso-line blended fuel (E10) at different driving modes on thechassis dynamometers. The results indicated that CO andHC emissions were lower when using E10 as compared tothe use of unleaded gasoline. Magnusson et al.[20]investi-gated the regulated HC, CO and NO
x
emissions of a two-stroke chain saw engine using ethanol, gasoline and etha-nol–gasoline blends as fuel. The emissions of CO, HCand NO were reduced when the ethanol content wasincreased. But HC increased when using E85 and E100fuels. When using ethanol and ethanol–gasoline blendsinstead of gasoline, the engine power did not vary signifi-cantly. Desoky and Rabie[21]investigated the perfor-mance of small spark ignition engines running onalcohols, gasoline and alcohol–gasoline blends. The results
M.B. Celik/Applied Thermal Engineering 28 (2008) 396–404
397
 
showed that the fuel economy benefits of using alcoholsgasoline blends were found to be substantial.Small spark ignition gasoline-fuelled engines can befound all over the world performing in a variety of rolesincluding power generation, agricultural applications andmotive power for small boats. To attain low cost, theseengines are typically air cooled, simple carburettors areused to regulate the fuel supply and magneto ignition sys-tems are employed[22]. As these engines run at very lowcompression ratio and slightly rich mixture, they have verylow efficiency and high emission values. Moreover, theseengines cause significant air pollution as they do not havea catalytic converter.From the above literature review, it is understood thatthere are slight increases or decreases in power when theethanol andethanol–gasolineblends areusedattheoriginalcompression ratio in the engines. In addition, CO, HC, andNO
x
emissions decrease. However, fuel consumptionincreases. If ethanol and ethanol–gasoline blends are usedat high compression ratio, power increases and fuel con-sumption decreases. The compression ratio of air-cooledsmall engines is low (e.g. 5/1, 6/1). In air-cooled smallengines, the wall temperatures are higher than those of water-cooled engines and the knock tendency is also higher.Thus,thecompressionratiois keptlower inthese enginestopreventknock.Significantimprovementscanbeobtainedinpower and efficiency if the small engines with low compres-sion ratio can be run at higher compression ratios usingfuels resistant to the knock. Gains of about 25–30% inpower can be obtained when the compression ratio of anengine is raised from 5/1, 6/1 to 9/1, 10/1[23,24]. Ethanolhas high octane number, both permits the rising of the com-pression ratio and gives lower emission.To the best of the author’s knowledge, no research hasyet been carried out by increasing the compression ratioin the small engines running with ethanol. There are twoaims of this study. One of them is to determine the suitableethanol–gasoline blend rate in terms of performance andemissions for small engines. The other is to investigateexperimentally the improvement of the performance andemissions by testing the engine with suitable ethanol–gaso-line blend fuel at high compression ratio without anyknock.
2. Experimental studies
The experimental set-up, shown inFig. 1, consisted of test engine, dynamometer (D.C. dynamometer), fuel andair flow meters, cylinder pressure measuring system,exhaust gas analysis system and various measuring equip-ments. In the tests, a single-cylinder four-stroke smallengine whose original compression ratio was 6/1 was used.To increase the compression ratio, engine cylinder headwas changed and the modified cylinder head was usedinstead of it. Thus, the compression ratio could be raisedfrom 6/1 up to 10/1. To adjust ignition timing, electronicignition system was used instead of magneto ignition sys-tem.Table 1shows the specifications of the test engine.For all the tests, the ignition timing was adjusted basedon maximum torque at each engine speed. The heatingvalue of ethanol is lower than that of gasoline. Therefore,it necessitates 1.5–1.8 times more ethanol fuel to achievethe same energy output. To this effect, carburettor main jet was enlarged and the main jet cross-section was variedusing a conical screw. The excess air ratio was adjustedto 1.0 for all the tests. To prevent the phase separation,
87654321. Engine 2. Dynamometer 3. Air flowmeter 4. Fuel flowmeter 5. Temperature indicators6. Exhaust gas analyzer 7. Load and speed indicators 8. Dynamometer control unit9. Pressure transducer 10. Inductive pick-up 11.Charge amplifier 12.Oscilloscope 13. Computer 1911121013
Fig. 1. Test set-up.398
M.B. Celik/Applied Thermal Engineering 28 (2008) 396–404

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