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The process of formation of a combustible fuel-air

mixture by mixing the proper amount of fuel with
air before admission to engine cylinder is called
carburetion and the device which does this job is
called a carburetor.

Factors Affecting Carburetion

 Engine Speed
 Vaporiastion characteristics of the fuel
 Temperature of incoming air
 Design of the carburetor

Since modern engines are high speed type, the time

available for mixture formation is very limited. An
engine running at 3000 rpm has only about 10
milliseconds for mixture induction during intake
In order to have high quality carburetion the
velocity of air stream at the point where the fuel is
injected has to be increased. This can be achieved by
introducing a venturi in the path of the air.

The temperature and pressure of surrounding air

has a large influence on efficient carburetion. Higher
atmospheric air temperature increases the
vaporization of and produces a more homogeneous

An increase in atmospheric temperature, however,

leads to a decrease in power output of the engine
when the air-fuel ratio is constant due to reduced
mass flow into the cylinder or, in other words,
reduced volumetric efficiency.
 Air Fuel Mixtures
 Chemically correct mixture
 Rich mixture
 Lean mixture

Chemically correct or stoichiometric mixture is one

in which there is just enough air for complete
combustion of the fuel. To burn one kg of octane
(C8H18) completely 15.12 kg of air is required.

Hence chemically correct A/F ratio for C8H18 is

15.12:1; usually approximated to 15:1.

A mixture which contains less air than the

stoichiometric requirement is called a rich mixture.
A mixture which contains more air than the
stoichiometric requirement is called a lean mixture.
The carburetor should provide an A/F ratio in
accordance with engine operating requirements and
this ratio must be within the combustible range.

Requirements of Automotive Engine Air-Fuel

Actual air-fuel requirements in an automotive
engine vary considerably from the ideal condition.
The carburetor must be able to supply the required
air-fuel ratio in the following conditions;

 Idling (mixture must be enriched)

 Cruising (mixture must be leaned)
 High power (mixture must be enriched)
Idling Range
An idling engine is one which operates at no load
and with nearly closed throttle. Under idling
conditions the engine requires a rich mixture.

This is due to the existing pressure conditions within

the combustion chamber and the intake manifold
which cause exhaust gas dilution of the fresh charge.

The amount of fresh charge brought in during

idling, however, is much less than that during full
throttle operation, due to very small opening of

This results in a much larger proportion of exhaust

gas being mixed with fresh charge under idling
As the throttle gradually opens from A to B, the
pressure differential between the inlet manifold and
the cylinder becomes smaller and exhaust gas
dilution of the fresh charge diminishes.

Cruising Range
In the cruising range from B to C, the exhaust gas
dilution problem is relatively insignificant. The
primary interest lies in getting maximum fuel

Power Range
During peak power operation the engine requires a
richer mixture, as indicated by the line CD due to
the following reasons;
 To provide best power: Since high power is
desired, it is logical to transfer the economy
settings of the cruising range to that mixture
which will produce the maximum power usually
in the range of 12:1.

 To prevent overheating of exhaust valve.

At high power, increased mass of gas at high

temperature heats up area near exhaust valve.
Enriching the mixture reduces the flame
temperature and cylinder temperature.

This reduces the cooling problem and also reduces

the tendency to damage exhaust valves at high

In the cruising range, the mass of charge is smaller

and the tendency to burn the exhaust valve is not as
Automobile engines generally operate well below full
power and a complicated and expensive system for
enrichment for this purpose is not economically
Principle of Carburetion
Both air and gasoline are drawn through the
carburetor and into the engine cylinders by the
suction created by the downward movement of the

This suction is due to an increase in volume of the

cylinder and a consequent decrease in the gas
pressure in the chamber. It is the difference in

Between the atmosphere and cylinder that causes

the air to flow into the chamber.

In the carburetor, air passing into the combustion

chamber picks up fuel discharged from a tube. This
tube has a fine orifice called carburetor jet which is
exposed to the air path.
In order to produce strong suction, the pipe in the
carburetor carrying air to the engine is made to
have restriction.

The restriction is made in the form of a venturi to

minimize throttling losses.

The end of the fuel jet is located at the venturi or

throat of the carburetor.

The opening of the fuel discharge jet is usually

located where the suction is maximum.

The Simple Carburetor

A simple carburetor mainly consists of a float
chamber, fuel discharge nozzle, a venturi, a throttle
valve and a choke. The float and a needle valve
system maintain a constant level of gasoline in the
float chamber. The schematic of a simple carburetor
is shown in Figure.
During suction stroke air is drawn through the
venturi. Venturi is a tube of decreasing cross-section
with a minimum area at the throat.

As air passes through the velocity increases reaching

a maximum at the venturi throat. From the float
chamber, the fuel is fed to a discharge jet, the tip of
which is located in the throat of the venturi.

Due to pressure differential between the float

chamber and the throat of venture, known as
carburetor depression, fuel is discharged into the air

The gasoline engine is quantity governed, which

means that when power output is to be varied at a
particular speed, the amount of charge delivered to
the cylinder is varied.

This is achieved by means of a throttle valve usually

of the butterfly type which is situated after the
venturi tube.
As the throttle is closed less air flows through the
venturi tube and less is the quantity of air-fuel
mixture delivered to the cylinder and hence power
output is reduced.

As the throttle is opened, more air flows through the

choke tube resulting in increased quantity of
mixture being delivered to the engine.

Size of a Carburetor
The size of a carburetor is generally given in terms
of the diameter of the venturi tube in mm and the jet
size in hundredths of a millimeter.

The calibrated jets have a stamped number which

gives the flow in ml/min under a head of 500 mm of
pure benzol.
For a venturi of 30 to 35 mm size (having a jet size
which is one sixteenth of venturi size) the pressure
difference (p1-p2) is about 50 mm of Hg.

The velocity at the throat is about 90-100 m/s and

the coefficient of discharge for venturi is usually

The Choke and the Throttle

When the vehicle is kept stationary for a long period
during winter season and overnight, starting
becomes more difficult.

At low cranking speeds and intake temperatures a

very rich mixture is required for ignition (sometimes
9:1). For initiating combustion, fuel-vapour and air
in the form of a mixture at a ratio that can sustain
combustion is required.
The most popular method of providing such mixture
is by the use of choke valve. This is simply butterfly
valve located between the entrance between the
carburetor and the venturi throat.

When the choke is partly closed, large pressure drop

occurs at venturi throat that will normally result
from the quantity of air passing through the venturi

Sometimes the choke valves are spring loaded to

ensure that large carburetor depression and
excessive choking does not persist after the engine
has started, and reached a desired speed.

The choke can be made to operate automatically by

means of a thermostat so that the choke is closed and
goes out of operation when engine warms up after
However the speed and output is of an engine is
controlled by the use of throttle valve, which is
located on the downstream side of the venturi.

The more the throttle is closed the greater is the

obstruction to the flow of the mixture placed in the
passage and the less is the quantity of the mixture
delivered to the cylinders.

The decreased quantity of the mixture gives a less

powerful impulse to the pistons and output of the
engine is reduced accordingly.

In short the throttle is simply a means to regulate

the output of the engine by varying the quantity of
charge going into cylinder.
 It provides the required air-fuel ratio only in
one throttle position.
 At other throttle positions the mixture is either
leaner or richer depending upon whether the
throttle is opened more or less.
 Normally a simple carburetor produces a rich
mixture with increasing throttle opening.



Requirement of Gasoline Injection

 To have uniform distribution of fuel in a multi-
cylinder engine.
 To improve breathing capacity i.e. volumetric
 To reduce fuel loss during scavenging in case of
two-stroke engines.
By adopting gasoline injection each cylinder can get
same richness of the air-gasoline mixture and the
misdistribution can be avoided to a great extent.
Types of Injection Systems:

Electronic Fuel Injection System (EFI)

Modern gasoline injection systems use engine
sensors, a computer, and solenoid operated fuel
injectors to meter and injects the right amount of
fuel into engine cylinders.

An electronic control unit (ECU) or the computer

receives electrical signals in the form of current or
voltage from various sensors. It then uses the stored
data to operate the injectors, ignition system and
other engine related devices.

As a result less unburned fuel leaves the engine as

emissions, and the vehicle gives better mileage. A
typical EFI system has been shown in Figure 2.2
Typical sensors for an EFI are as follows;
Exhaust gas or oxygen sensor: Senses the amount of
oxygen in exhaust and calculates A/F ratio.

Engine temperature sensor: Senses the temperature

of the engine coolant and from the data the
computer adjusts the mixture strength to rich side
for cold starting.
Air flow sensor: Monitors mass or volume of air
flowing into the intake manifold for adjusting the
quantity of fuel.

Air inlet temperature sensor: Checks the

temperature of the ambient air entering the engine
for fine tuning the mixture strength.

Manifold pressure sensor: Monitors vacuum in the

engine intake manifold so that the mixture strength
can be adjusted with change in engine speed.

Knock sensor: Microphone type sensor that detects

ping or preignition noise so that the ignition timing
can be retarded.

The fuel injector in an EFI is nothing but a fuel

valve. When it is not energized, spring pressure
makes the injector to remain closed and no fuel will
enter the engine.
When the computer sends the signal through the
injector coil, the magnetic field attracts the injector
armature. Fuel then spurts into the intake manifold.

 Improvement in volumetric efficiency. It
eliminates majority of carburetor pressure
losses and almost eliminates the requirement of
manifold heating.
 Manifold wetting is eliminated due to the fuel
being injected into or close to the cylinder and
need not flow through the manifold.
 Atomization of fuel is independent of cranking
speed and therefore starting will be easier.
 Less volatile fuel can be used.
 Variation of air-fuel ratio is negligible even
when vehicle takes different positions like
turning, and uneven roads.
 High maintenance cost
 Difficulty in servicing
 Possibility of malfunction of some sensors