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Comparison of Liquified Petroleum Gas

(LPG) and Gasoline
as Fuel For Internal Combustion Engine
By: Joseph Henry C. Santiago

1. INTRODUCTION

This research paper introduces and defines the comparison of liquified petroleum
gas and gasoline as fuel for internal combustion engine. The internal combustion
engines which are the subject of this paper is spark- ignition engines (sometimes
called Otto engines). The common fuel for combustion engines are diesel and gasoline
but as the technology advances the use of LPG as fuel for combustion engine is now
widespread through the use of available conversion kit.

1.1 INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE

The internal combustion engine heat engine that converts chemical energy
in a fuel into mechanical energy, usually made available on a rotating output shaft.
Chemical energy of the fuel is first converted to thermal energy by means of
combustion or oxidation with air inside the engine. This thermal energy raises the
temperature and pressure of the gases within the engine, and the high-pressure gas
then expands against the mechanical mechanisms of the engine. This expansion is
converted by the mechanical linkages of the engine to a rotating crankshaft, which is
the output of the engine. The crankshaft, in turn, is connected to a transmission
and/or power train to transmit the rotating mechanical energy to the desired final use.
Most internal combustion engines are reciprocating engines having pistons that
reciprocate back and forth in cylinders internally within the engine. (Pulkrabek, 1997)
The reciprocating internal combustion engine must be by far the most common
form of engine or prime mover. As with most engines, the usual aim is to achieve a

high work output with a high efficiency; the means to these ends arc developed
throughout this book. The term 'internal combustion engine' should also include open
circuit gas turbine plant where fuel is burnt in a combustion chamber. However, it is
normal practice to omit the prefix 'reciprocating'; nonetheless this is the key principle
that applies to both engines of different types and those utilizing different operating
principles.
Reciprocating engines can have one cylinder or many, up to 20 or more. The
cylinders can be arranged in many different geometric configurations. Sizes range
from small model airplane engines with power output on the order of hundred of
watts to large multi-cylinder stationary engines that produce thousands of kilowatts
per cylinder. (Stone, 1985)
The fuel-air mixture before combustion and the burned products after
combustion are the actual working fluids. The work transfers which provide the
desired power output occur directly between these working fluids and the mechanical
components of the engine. The internal combustion engines which are the subject of
this paper are spark-ignition. (Heywood, 1992)

1.2 SPARK- IGNITION OR (SI) ENGINE

An SI engine starts the combustion process in each cycle by use of a spark plug.
The spark plug gives a high-voltage electrical discharge between two electrodes which
ignites the air-fuel mixture in the combustion chamber surrounding the plug.

2: SI Engine Structure 1. 1-3a) or fuel-injection system (Fig. the temperature of the air entering the intake system is controlled by mixing ambient air with air heated by contact with the exhaust manifold. The ratio of mass flow of air to mass flow of fuel must be held approximately constant at about 15 to ensure reliable combustion.3 SPARK – IGNITION OPERATION In SI engines the air and fuel are usually mixed together in the intake system prior to entry to the engine cylinder.com Figure 1. Image Source: Google Images Figure 1. Image Source: http://bananasaboutcars. In automobile applications. 1-3b).3a: Carburetor . using a carburetor (Fig.

3b: Fuel-Injection System 1. Image Source: http://kids.com Figure 1.com Figure 1.britannica. Each cylinder requires four strokes of its piston two revolutions of the crankshaft to complete the sequence of events which produces one power stroke.4 ENGINE OPERATING CYCLE The majority of reciprocating engines operate on what is known as the four stroke cycle. Image Source: http://bananasaboutcars.4: Fuel-Injection System .

oxidizing chemical reaction in which a fuel chemically combines with oxygen in the atmosphere and releases energy in the form of heat. raising both the pressure and temperature in the cylinder. Second Stroke: Compression Stroke . Intake and exhaust valves must be closed to ensure that the cylinder is sealed to provide compression.1.The intake event is when the air-fuel mixture is introduced to fill the combustion chamber. Ignition (Combustion) . Proper combustion involves a short but finite time to spread a flame throughout the combustion chamber. The spark at the spark plug initiates combustion at approximately 20° of crankshaft rotation before TDC (BTDC). This compresses the air-fuel mixture. First Stroke: Intake Stroke . 2. Combustion is the rapid. The charge is the volume of compressed air-fuel mixture trapped inside the combustion chamber ready for ignition. The atmospheric oxygen and fuel vapor are consumed by a progressing flame front. The intake event occurs when the piston moves from TDC to BDC and the intake valve is open. the intake valve closes and the piston travels back to TDC with all valves closed. Compressing the air-fuel mixture allows more energy to be released when the charge is ignited. Depending on engine design. 3. Ambient atmospheric pressure forces the air-fuel mixture through the open intake valve into the cylinder to fill the low pressure area created by the piston movement. The intake valve then closes and the air-fuel mixture is sealed inside the cylinder. The movement of the piston toward BDC creates a low pressure in the cylinder. A flame front is the boundary wall that separates the charge from the . The intake valve remains open a few degrees of crankshaft rotation after BDC.The ignition (combustion) event occurs when the charge is ignited and rapidly oxidized through a chemical reaction to release heat energy. The combustion chamber is sealed to form the charge. The cylinder continues to fill slightly past BDC as the air-fuel mixture continues to flow by its own inertia while the piston begins to change direction.When the piston reaches BDC.

1973) Petroleum fuels ignite and burn readily. As the piston reaches BDC during the power stroke combustion the exhaust valve opens. which is a mixture of many hydrocarbon components and is manufactured from crude petroleum. and the throw of the engine. forcing the exhaust gases out through the open exhaust valve. 5. The torque applied initiates crankshaft rotation. and the fuel product line generated from it developed along with the development of the IC engine. The flame front progresses across the combustion chamber until the entire charge has burned. and produce a great deal of heat and power in relation to their weight. 1. During the power Stroke. The amount of torque produced is determined by the pressure on the piston.The high pressure created by the combustion process force the piston head away from the cylinder head. 4. Piston force and subsequent motion are transferred through the connecting rod to apply torque to the crankshaft. the size of the piston. Crude oil is made up almost entirely of carbon and hydrogen with some traces of other species. The carbon and hydrogen can combine in many ways and form many different molecular compounds. Third Stroke: Power Stroke . (Oberte. Piston movement evacuates exhaust gases to the atmosphere. and inertia of the flywheel and other moving parts push the piston back to TDC. It varies from 83% to 87% carbon and 11% to 14% hydrogen by weight. Crude oil was first discovered in Pennsylvania in 1859. both valves are closed.5 FUEL The main fuel for SI engines is gasoline.000 different hydrocarbon components. One test of a crude oil sample identified over 25. Fourth Stroke: Exhaust Stroke The exhaust stroke is the final stroke and occurs when the exhaust valve is open and the intake valve is closed. The one composition requirement common to all petroleum fuels is that they consist entirely of hydrocarbon molecules (hydrogen and carbon) . combustion by-products.

detergents. Lane 1980).5-2. In this paper. Additives and blending agents are added to the hydrocarbon mixture to improve the performance and stability of gasoline. These compounds include anti-knock agents.1. and 20-50% total aromatics (0.5. Table 1. additives. upper-cylinder lubricants.5. the refinery processes available. anti-rust agents. lead scavengers.5.com Figure 1.5. 3-7% cycloalkanes. Information regarding the property of gasoline is located in Table 1. 2-5% alkenes.1 (a): Chemical Identity . l-4% cycloalkenes. the gasoline and LPG are the fuel subjected to comparison. and blending agents. the overall balance of product demand. The composition of gasoline varies widely. anti-oxidants. except for small amounts of impurities and/or additives. 1. anti-icing agents. The typical composition of gasoline hydrocarbons (% volume) is as follows: 4-8% alkanes. and dyes (IARC 1989.5% benzene).1 Gasoline is a refined product of petroleum consisting of a mixture of hydrocarbons. metal deactivators. depending on the crude oils used. 25-40% isoalkanes. and the product specifications.1: Source: hindustanpetroleum.

are flammable mixtures of hydrocarbon gases used as fuel.com Figure 1.1 (b): Physical and Chemical Data Source: hindustanpetroleum. Source: hindustanpetroleum. LPG is a mixture of two flammable but nontoxic gases called propane and butane. while butane molecules (C 4H10) have ten hydrogen atoms .5. Liquefied gases are made from natural gas liquids (NGL). About two thirds of the LPG people use is extracted directly from the Earth in the same way as ordinary natural gas.5.1 (b): Fire and Explosion Hazard Data 1. which are in turn recovered from associated petroleum gas (APG).com Figure 1. Chemically.5. Both of these are hydrocarbons (their molecules are made from different combinations of hydrogen and carbon atoms): propane molecules (C3H8) have eight hydrogen atoms attached to three carbon atoms. The rest is manufactured indirectly from petroleum (crude oil) drilled from the Earth in wells in the usual way. LPG is a fossil fuel closely linked to oil.2 Liquefied Petroleum Gas also referred to as simply propane or butane.

2 : Source: haldiapetrochemicals. LPG sometimes contains a variation of butane called isobutane. Information regarding the identity of LPG. refer to Table 1.com Figure 1.2 (a): Chemical Identity Source: haldiapetrochemicals.5.5.2.2 (b): Physical and Chemical Data Source: haldiapetrochemicals.5.com Figure 1.2 (c): Fire and Explosion Hazard Data .5.5. bonded to four carbon atoms. Table 1.com Figure 1. which has the same component atoms (four carbons and ten hydrogens) connected together in a slightly different way.

and fungi feed on the fuel and use the water in the fuel for their oxygen supply. Gums are high molecular weight compounds containing hydrogen. When gums precipitate from the fuel. develop during the refining process. fuels are filtered upon delivery into bulk and operating storage systems to remove as much sediment as possible before the fuel is delivered to the end user. and usually sulfur and nitrogen. Water is a very common fuel impurity.6 FUEL IMPURITIES Refined petroleum fuels can contain a variety of undesirable impurities that originate from the crude oil. Sulfur compounds can be corrosive to metals in fuel systems and are controlled by the total sulfur content limits found in the fuel specification. Microbes. The most common fuel impurities are discussed below. and other insoluble impurities. and/or elevated temperatures. sand. Water can condense from the fuel itself. dirt. mineral scale. They are formed when the hydrocarbon molecules in stored fuels are oxidized or polymerized after exposure to air. Anti-oxidant fuel additives can prevent the formation of gums. Minimizing water content and treating with a biocide additive will control microbial growth in fuel. Fuel can become contaminated with water during shipping and storage. bacteria. Sediment is a common contaminant of fuels and usually consists of rust. They can multiply and plug fuel filters with an odorous slime. including algae. oxygen. Some of the microbes can also produce corrosive acid byproducts. Microbial contamination occurs after fuels leave the refinery since the refining process sterilizes fuel. Metals formed during certain refining processes can oxidize and contribute to the formation of filter clogging gums in any type of fuel. or are introduced during shipment or storage. may leak into .1. To address this problem. sunlight. they can clog and form deposits on vital engine components such as filters and injectors. This problem is addressed by using a metal deactivator additive. causing mild to severe engine performance problems. carbon.

Water is denser than fuel and can be removed as it collects at the bottom of a storage container . Often. Common fuel additives include: Alkyl lead was a common gasoline additive until the late 1960s used to obtain higher octane ratings and reduce engine "knock. . As Leaded automotive gasoline typically contained one or more grams per liter (>1. the chemical composition of the additive may be more readily available. and improve the overall performance and reliability of the fuel.7 FUEL ADDITIVES Fuel additives are intended to help improve fuel economy. 1. pumps. reduce impurities and harmful deposits. and injectors. the precise chemical composition of many fuel additives and additive packages is proprietary to the manufacturer. or it may be present in containers before they are filled with fuel. Today. lower maintenance costs. Different fuels may be formulated with different "packages" of fuel additives. Aviation gasoline (Avgas) continues to contain significant concentrations of alkyl lead. Where additives are approved for use or required by American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards or military standards.000 ppm.000 parts per million [ppm]) of alkyl lead. typically at levels greater than 1. reduce exhaust emissions." Lead additives have been reduced or entirely phased out of most automotive gasoline formulations due to the environmental hazards associated with lead-containing exhaust emissions. unleaded automotive gasoline contains only a few ppm of lead. Particular combinations and percent content of additives may be specified in a fuel's governing standard. fuel containers from the outside. Anti-oxidants are primarily used to prevent gum formation in gasolines and aviation fuels. Water in fuel may also contain other impurities that can cause corrosion problems and damage filters. Additives may also be added to fuels during storage or at the time of fueling.

Thermal stress results in fuel breakdown that can cause carbon build-up on engine nozzles. Oxygenates are oxygen-containing hydrocarbons that are added to automotive gasoline to boost the octane rating. and augmenter anomalies. or capacity to reduce friction of fuels. aviation. The increased oxygen content promotes more complete combustion. Biocides may be added to any type of fuel to kill microbes when their growth becomes a recurring problem. transfer. flameouts. Corrosion inhibitors are used primarily in gasoline. Metal deactivators prevent metal contaminants in any type of fuel from oxidizing with hydrocarbons and other compounds to form gums or precipitates. Corrosion inhibitors protect against corrosion during pipeline transfer and storage of fuels. Alternative Fuels Data Center – Fuel Properties Comparison . which leads to damage of engine components. and shipment. They have also been found to improve the lubricity. aviation fuels. and diesel fuels. Common oxygenating additives are methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) and ethanol. Conductivity additives increase the electrical conductivity of gasolines. reduce the smog-forming tendencies of exhaust gases. 2. thereby reducing tailpipe emissions. and manifolds. Detergent additives prevent the buildup of gum deposits in engines and extend fuel injector life. fuel degradation changes the spray pattern in the combustor or afterburner. Thermal stability refers to the ability of the fuel to be used in a system without degradation. and diesel fuels. They also help keep fuel filters clean. Detergent additives are primarily found in diesel fuels and automotive gasoline. In some instances. Thermal stability additives reduce fuel fouling of critical jet engine components. and suppress engine knock. thereby reducing the buildup of static charges during mixing. afterburner spray assemblies.

afdc.gov/ 3.energy. Source: http://www. Specific Carbon Dioxide Emissions of Various Fuels Figure 3: .

Source: Fachbuch Regenerative Energiesysteme and UBA 4. Shares of Energy – Related Greenhouse Gas Emissions Figure 5: . Shares of Greenhouse Gas Emissions 5.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Various Fuels Figure 6: Source: http://www.energy.afdc.gov/ .6.

its share of energy-related CO2 emissions is 1.05% of total U. since diesel (compression) engines are generally more efficient than spark-ignition engines.2% of the U.S.S. Coal.53% of the U. in 2005. Fuel consumption varies by fuel type and technology for each application. For example. its share of GHG emissions is smaller than its share of energy supply. In the U. The mass of carbon dioxide released per Btu of fuel – the “carbon content” – is a good first-order indicator of the CO2 emissions comparison between fuels. energy supply and 36. The carbon content for twelve common fuels is shown in (Table 3). the highest emitting major fuel. methane and nitrous oxide together represent less than 1% of the total CO2-equivalent emissions from stationary combustion sources (Climate Leaders 2004). some of the CO2 emissions disadvantage of diesel compared to other fuels is offset.S. Figure 4 shows the relative contribution to total U. Although LPG contributes 1. emissions.S. The amount of fuel consumed plays an equally important role.) Small amounts of methane and nitrous oxide are also emitted during combustion.. represents 28. energy supply. Because of LPG’s relatively low GHG emission rate. carbon content represents only part of the CO2 emissions equation. . GHG emissions by fossil fuel combustion and from other sources. While it is a good indicator. In general.4% of energy-related CO2.S. (Further details for estimating CO2 emissions are provided in the Methodology section. Figure 5 illustrates the relative contribution to total energy related CO2 emissions for the U.S. though they play a minor role in affecting climate change as compared to carbon dioxide. while LPG combustion represents only 1. because lighter hydrocarbons consist of fewer carbon atoms per molecule. lighter hydrocarbons release less carbon dioxide during combustion than heaver hydrocarbons. CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion represent 79% of total emissions.32%. The Greenhouse Gas (GHG) footprint of LPG is relatively small compared to gasoline fuel in terms of total emissions and emissions per unit of energy consumed.

The engine has a compression ratio of 8. . 2.300 .6. It can be assumed that there is a 4% exhaust residual left over from the previous cycle. conditions in the cylinder combustion chamber are 100 kPa and 60°C. conditions in the cylinder combustion chamber are 100 kPa and 60°C. a mechanical efficiency of 86%. a heating value of 44. and combustion efficiency ᶯ c = 100%. OTTO CYCLE ANALYSIS USING EXAMPLE PROBLEM 3-1 A four-cylinder.025.6:1. and combustion efficiency ᶯ c = 100%. GASOLINE: A four-cylinder. a heating value of 43. Fuel is isooctane with AF=15. SI automobile engine operates at wide open throttle (WOT) on a four-stroke air-standard Otto cycle at 3000 revolutions per minute (RPM). Do a complete thermodynamic analysis of this engine.5-liter.000 . A. Do a complete thermodynamic analysis of this engine. It can be assumed that there is a 4% exhaust residual left over from the previous cycle. SI automobile engine operates at wide open throttle (WOT) on a four-stroke air-standard Otto cycle at 3000 revolutions per minute (RPM). At the start of the compression stroke.025. and a stroke-to-bore ratio = 1. Fuel is gasoline with AF=14. 2.7. a mechanical efficiency of 86%. At the start of the compression stroke. The engine has a compression ratio of 8.5-liter.6:1. and a stroke-to-bore ratio = 1.

86  Exhaust = 4% = 0.GIVEN:  Four(4) cylinder  AF = 14.5 liters  Air-standard Otto cycle  QHV = 43.6  ᶯc = 100%  ᶯm = 86% = 0.04  = 1.025  P1 = 100 kPa  T1 = 60°C = 333K SOLUTION: P-V DIAGRAM Displacement volume for one cylinder: .6  2.000  3000 RPM  rc = 8.

0000822 = 0. Vd = = 0.35 = 707 K V2 = Vc = 0.0000822 m3 The mass of gas mixture (mm) in the cylinder is made up of air (ma).000740 kg State 2: P2 = P1 (rc)k = (100 kPa)(8.35 = 1826 kPa T2 = T1 (rc)k-1 = (333 K)(8.000707 m3 Calculate for mass of gas mixture (mm) mm = = = 0.000625 + 0.0000822 m3 State 1: T1 = 333K (Given) P1 = 100 kPa (Given) V1 = Vd + Vc = 0.000625 m3 Find the clearance volume: rc = = 8. and exhaust residual (mex): .625 L = 0. fuel (mf).6)1.6)0.6 = Vc = 0.

000740 kg) (0.821 ) (T3 – 707 K) T3 = T max = 3930 .000740) = 0.000045539 kg mex = (0.000740) = 0.96)(0.96)(0.35 = 555.795 kPa T4 = T 3 ( ) k-1 = (3930.55X10-5 kg) (43.1244 K) ( ) 0.0) = (0. ma = ( )(0.000740) = 0.505 kPa State 4: P4 = P3 ( ) k = (10.0000822 m3 For constant volume: P3 = P2 ( ) = (1826 kPa) ( ) P3 = Pmax = 10.150.04)(0.000 ) (1.1244 K V3 = V2 = 0.35 = 1850.0000296 kg mm = 0.150.000664862 kg mf = ( )(0.000740 kg State 3: Qin = Qin mf QHV ᶯc = mm Cv (T3 – T2) (4.505 kPa) ( ) 1.682 K .

0) .000045539 kg) (43.0.2269 kJ) Wnet = 1.2518 kJ Work absorbed during one cycle: W1-2 = = W1-2 = .0249 kJ Heat added during one cycle: Qin = mf QHV ᶯc = (0.000 ) (1.2518 kJ + (-0. V4 = V1 = 0.2269 kJ Net indicated work during one cycle: Wnet = W1-2 + W3-4 = 1.000707 m3 Work produced during one cycle: W3-4 = = W3-4 = 1.

86 .997  ᶯm = 86% = 0. a mechanical efficiency of 86%.5 liters  = 1. 2. The engine has a compression ratio of 8. conditions in the cylinder combustion chamber are 100 kPa and 60°C. GIVEN:  Four(4) cylinder  2.523395 ᶯt = 52. SI automobile engine operates at wide open throttle (WOT) on a four-stroke air-standard Otto cycle at 3000 revolutions per minute (RPM).6:1. Qin = 1.025. It can be assumed that there is a 4% exhaust residual left over from the previous cycle. Do a complete thermodynamic analysis of this engine.5-liter. and a stroke-to-bore ratio = 1. a heating value of 10. and combustion efficiency ᶯ c = 100%.6  QHV = 10.5  3000 RPM  rc = 8.5 [4] .34% B. LIQUEFIED PETROLEUM GAS (LPG) VARIATION: A four-cylinder.997 [3] .958177 kJ Indicated thermal efficiency ᶯt = = = 0.025  Air-standard Otto cycle  AF = 15. At the start of the compression stroke. Fuel is LPG with AF=15.

04  P1 = 100 kPa  T1 = 60°C = 333K . ᶯc = 100%  Exhaust = 4% = 0.

0000822 m3 State 1: T1 = 333K (Given) P1 = 100 kPa (Given) .000625 m3 Find the clearance volume: rc = = 8.625 L = 0. SOLUTION: P-V DIAGRAM Displacement volume for one cylinder: Vd = = 0.6 = Vc = 0.

000740) = 0.000740 kg State 2: P2 = P1 (rc)k = (100 kPa)(8.000667345 kg mf = ( )(0.35 = 707 K V2 = Vc = 0.6)1.0000296 kg mm = 0.6)0.0000822 = 0.000707 m3 Calculate for mass of gas mixture (mm) mm = = = 0.000043055 kg mex = (0.04)(0.000740) = 0.0000822 m3 The mass of gas mixture (mm) in the cylinder is made up of air (ma).000625 + 0.35 = 1826 kPa T2 = T1 (rc)k-1 = (333 K)(8. fuel (mf). and exhaust residual (mex): ma = ( )(0. V1 = Vd + Vc = 0.96)(0.000740 kg State 3: Qin = Qin .000740) = 0.96)(0.

9566 K V3 = V2 = 0.997 )=(7.428 kPa T4 = T 3 ( ) k-1 =( )( ) 0.253.31 x10-5kg) (10.3815 kPa) ( ) 1.2746 . mf QHV ᶯc = mm Cv (T3 – T2) (4.0000822 m3 For constant volume: P3 = P2 ( ) = (1826 kPa) ( ) P3 = Pmax = 10.4 x10-4kg) (0.35 = 1869.3815 kPa State 4: P4 = P3 ( ) k = (10.35 = 561.253.821 ) (T3 – 707 K) T3 = T max = 3969.439 K V4 = V1 = 0.000707 m3 Work produced during one cycle: W3-4 = = W3-4 = 1.

2269 kJ Net indicated work during one cycle: Wnet = W1-2 + W3-4 = 1.997 )(1.0.528503 ᶯt = 52.3055 x10-5kg) (10.2269 kJ) Wnet = 1.0477 kJ Heat added during one cycle: Qin = mf QHV ᶯc = (4.98239 kJ Indicated thermal efficiency ᶯt = = = 0.Work absorbed during one cycle: W1-2 = = W1-2 = .0) Qin = 1.8503% .2746 kJ + (-0.

It shows that the heat added during one cycle of the LPG is higher than gasoline this is due to the gaseous nature of LPG. In terms of CO2 emissions and greenhouse gas. LPG is much more eco-friendly and environmentally preferred fuel and pollutant emissions are also less.6 pesos per liter compared to gasoline with 45 pesos per liter. In terms of fuel cost. . however there are some factors needed to be considered like the conversion and maintenance costs when converting gasoline fuel to LPG fuel in combustion engine.8. However the performance of LPG is lower because of high auto ignition temperature compared to gasoline. It is more economical to use the LPG as fuel. the LPG clearly surpasses gasoline. CONCLUSION: The LPG has a higher octane number than gasoline which enables higher compression ratios to be employed and therefore gives more thermal efficiency as shown in the Otto cycle analysis. LPG is much cheaper than gasoline with a 27. fuel distribution inside the cylinder is improved and higher performance of engine is achieved.

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