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Fuel 89 (2010) 287–293

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Hydrous ethanol vs. gasoline-ethanol blend: Engine performance and emissions

Rodrigo C. Costa 1, José R. Sodré *
Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Av. Dom José Gaspar, 500, 30535-610 Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: This work compares the performance and emissions from a production 1.0-l, eight-valve, and four-stroke
Received 3 February 2009 engine fuelled by hydrous ethanol (6.8% water content in ethanol) or 78% gasoline-22% ethanol blend. The
Received in revised form 1 June 2009 engine was tested in a dynamometer bench in compliance with NBR/ISO 1585 standard. The performance
Accepted 15 June 2009
parameters investigated were torque, brake mean effective pressure (BMEP), brake power, specific fuel
Available online 1 July 2009
consumption (SFC), and thermal efficiency. Carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), hydrocarbons
(HC) and oxides of nitrogen (NOX) exhaust emissions levels are also presented. The results showed that
torque and BMEP were higher when the gasoline-ethanol blend was used as fuel on low engine speeds.
Internal combustion engine
Alternate fuels
On the other hand, for high engine speeds, higher torque and BMEP were achieved when hydrous ethanol
Ethanol fuel was used. The use of hydrous ethanol caused higher power at high engine speeds, whereas, for low
engine speeds, both fuels produced about the same power. Hydrous ethanol produced higher thermal
efficiency and higher SFC than the gasoline-ethanol blend throughout all the engine speed range studied.
With regard to exhaust emissions hydrous ethanol reduced CO and HC, but increased CO2 and NOX levels.
Ó 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction tion. Such engines are often called ‘‘flex-fuel”, and became attrac-
tive because car owners no longer depend on ethanol price and
The 1973 oil crisis in the Middle East caused a global search for market availability.
alternative fuels that could replace petroleum-based fuels. In Brazil Ethanol is an ecological fuel, as it is obtained from renewable
the government launched the National Ethanol Program, aiming to energy sources. It contributes for CO2 reduction in the atmosphere
stimulate production of sugar-cane ethanol to be used as automo- through photosynthesis of the vegetable source. In Brazil, anhy-
tive fuel. Then, the automobile industry started the development of drous ethanol and hydrous ethanol are produced from sugar-cane.
engines and components adequate for this source of energy. The Anhydrous ethanol has a maximum water mass content of 0.7%,
program had its best results in 1986, when ethanol-fuelled vehicles measured at the temperature of 20 °C, and is added as an anti-
accounted to 96% of the total number of vehicles sold in the coun- knock additive to regular gasoline at a concentration between
try. In 1989 ethanol-fuelled vehicles sales fell dramatically due to 20% and 25%. Hydrous ethanol has a maximum water concentra-
insufficient ethanol production and to high selling price at gas sta- tion of 7.4%, and fuels automobiles and light commercial vehicles.
tions. Ethanol producers claimed that high prices were due to low Flexible fuel vehicles, powered by engines that can be fuelled by
productivity crops and attractive sugar price in the international ethanol or gasoline, are currently responsible for most car sales
market. in Brazil and its success in the market is expected to continue for
In 1990, with reduced imports taxation, Brazil allowed several the coming years. Thus, the objective of this work is to evaluate en-
foreign-made vehicle models to be sold the country. To be more gine performance when hydrous ethanol (ethanol with 6.8% water
competitive, the local automotive industry modernized their mass content) or regular gasoline (with 22% v/v anhydrous etha-
assembly plants, developed and launched new products in the nol) is used as fuel. A production 1.0-l flex-fuel engine was used
market. Production of automobiles powered by 1.0-l engines was for the investigation.
also encouraged by low taxation, which placed Brazil among the
top ten world car manufacturers. One of the most recent innova- 2. Literature review
tions by the local automotive industry is the launch of engines that
can be fuelled by gasoline, ethanol or a blend of both at any propor- One of the main advantages ethanol offers when compared to
gasoline is its anti-knock performance, allowing its use in higher
compression ratio engines. At high temperature, ethanol produces
* Corresponding author. Tel.: +55 31 3319 4911; fax: +55 31 3319 4910. superior thermal efficiency due its higher heat of vaporization. As
E-mail addresses: (R.C. Costa), ricardo@pucmi-
ethanol can burn richer fuel/air mixtures, it allows for higher en- (J.R. Sodré).
Tel.: +55 31 9655 0783; fax: +55 31 3319 4910. gine power output in comparison to gasoline. However, due to its

0016-2361/$ - see front matter Ó 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
288 R.C. Costa, J.R. Sodré / Fuel 89 (2010) 287–293

lower heating value, the use of ethanol instead of gasoline results cated, high ethanol blend fuel operation. After modifications and
in higher fuel consumption. Engine cold start is also a problem running on a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline, the vehicle
for ethanol, due to its low vapour pressure [1]. showed improved emissions, acceleration, fuel economy, and hill
Rasskazchikova et al. [2] discussed the use of ethanol as high oc- climb performance.
tane additive to automotive gasoline. The authors concluded that, Kremer and Fachetti [7] presented the Brazilian scenario
despite the high cost, ethanol is the most promising octane-raising regarding the use of ethanol as automotive fuel. Increasing ethanol
additive available. That is justified by the low toxicity, reduced content on gasoline from 22% to 24% did not have significant ef-
environmental pressure when burning ethanol-containing fuel, fects on engine calibration, emissions and fuel consumption. How-
and production from renewable raw material. ever, for ethanol concentrations above 26%, power loss, driveability
Silva et al. [3] evaluated the effect of ethanol and other additives problems, and fuel consumption increase are expected.
on the anti-knock properties and Reid vapour pressure (RVP) of Stan et al. [8] presented a comparative analysis of mixture for-
gasoline. Addition of ethanol up to 25% by volume in gasoline led mation process and engine performance when running on gasoline
to increased RVP and octane ratings. or ethanol, using a single-cylinder, four-stroke spark ignition en-
Holley et al. [4] carried out a study on the extinction of pre- gine. The authors observed that the main advantages of using eth-
mixed flames of mixtures of ethanol and other liquid fuels with anol instead of gasoline were reduced specific fuel consumption
air. Experiments were performed using digital particle image and lower carbon dioxide emissions.
velocimetry, and were numerically simulated using detailed Clemente et al. [9] described the overall improvements
description of chemical kinetics and molecular transport. The re- achieved on the development of an engine running on hydrous eth-
sults showed that, for the same equivalence ratio, the alcohol anol (water concentration 7%) or on a blend of 22% ethanol and 78%
flames are more resistant to extinction than the hydrocarbon gasoline. The use of hydrous ethanol improved peak torque and
flames under fuel-lean conditions. peak power by 9% and 14%, respectively, with respect to the etha-
Table 1 presents the physical–chemical characteristics of hy- nol-gasoline blend. On the other hand, SFC was higher by 35%
drous ethanol and the gasoline-ethanol blend [5]. For the same when hydrous ethanol was used instead of the ethanol-gasoline
air quantity, a higher amount of hydrous ethanol is required to pro- blend.
duce a stoichiometric mixture in comparison to the fuel blend. As Olberding et al. [10] tested a transit van modified to operate on
modern spark ignition engines are set to run on slightly rich mix- either gasoline or ethanol–water fuel mixtures. The use of 70% eth-
tures, the use of hydrous ethanol results in higher fuel consump- anol and 30% water fuel mixture produced a substantial increase
tion. Despite its lower heating value, hydrous ethanol has a on engine thermal efficiency in comparison to conventional gaso-
higher octane number than the fuel blend. This allows for use of line fuel.
higher compression ratios, thus improving engine performance. A Dai et al. [11] developed a simulation model for an engine
flexible fuel engine features a compression ratio that is high for fuelled by ethanol and ethanol-gasoline blends. The model was
gasoline operation and moderate when fuelled by ethanol. Engine validated by experimental data for engine burn rates, fuel con-
knock is avoided when gasoline is used through application of sumption, exhaust temperature and exhaust emissions of E22
more retarded ignition timing. As gasoline heat of vaporization is (78% gasoline + 22% ethanol) and E85 (15% gasoline + 85% ethanol)
lower, better cold start and driveability during the warm-up period fuels. The authors found that the use of E85 increases engine ther-
are attained for the blend in comparison to hydrous ethanol. mal efficiency and BMEP, in comparison to E22. It was also found
Ethanol combustion is faster and flame temperature is lower in that E85 reduces exhaust hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide at
comparison to gasoline. As a result, lower heat loss to the combus- varying mixture equivalence ratio. Using retarded ignition timing,
tion chamber walls and higher thermal efficiency is attained. Eth- oxides of nitrogen emissions were also reduced with E85
anol combustion generates a higher product volume and, thus, operation.
higher pressures are reached in the cylinder. Owen and Coley [1] Li et al. [12] modified a motorcycle gasoline-fuelled spark igni-
described an improvement of 16% on the performance of a sin- tion engine to operate with ethanol. The authors observed an in-
gle-cylinder, ethanol-fuelled engine when the compression ratio crease in torque and power when ethanol was used as fuel. At
was increased from 8.0 to 18.0. Although the output power can full load the results showed decreased HC and CO emissions, while
be improved, fuel consumption is always higher when methanol NOX emissions were increased with the use of the oxygenated fuel.
or ethanol is used as fuel in place of gasoline. Retarded ignition timing caused decreased HC and NOX emissions,
Davis and Heil [6] described design modifications and perfor- but also reduced power output.
mance changes resulting from modification of a vehicle for dedi-

3. Ethanol fuel
Table 1
Physical-chemical properties of gasoline-ethanol blend and hydrous ethanol.
Ethanol (CH3CH2OH) is more reactive than hydrocarbon fuels,
Parameter 78% Gasoline 22% ethanol Hydrous ethanol such as gasoline. Since it is an alcohol, its molecular structure
Density (kg/l) 0.74 0.81 shows a polar fraction due to the hydroxyl radical and a non polar
Lower heating value (kcal/kg) 9400 5970 fraction in its carbon chain. That explains why ethanol can be dis-
Stoichiometric air/fuel ratio 13.1 8.70
solved in both gasoline (non polar) and in water (polar). Due to its
Chemical structure C6.39 H13.60 O0.61 C2 H6.16 O1.08
Carbon mass (%) 76.7 50.59 short carbon chain, the properties of ethanol polar fraction over-
Hydrogen mass (%) 13.6 12.98 come the non polar properties. The formation of hydrogen bridges
Oxygen mass (%) 9.7 36.42 in ethanol molecule results in higher boiling temperature in com-
Sulphur mass (%) 0.09 0 parison to that of gasoline (see Table 1). Ethanol is less toxic than
Self-ignition temperature (°C) 400 420
Temperature of vaporization (°C) 40–220 78
methanol – another alcohol used as fuel.
Heat of vaporization (kcal/kg) 105 237 The simple structure of ethanol molecule makes it suitable for
Research octane number (RON) – 106 spark ignition internal combustion engines operation. The high oc-
Motor octane number (MON) 80 87 tane number of ethanol allows for higher compression ratios in
Vapour pressure (bar) 27.5 29
comparison to gasoline fuelled engines (see Table 1). In Brazil, eth-
Laminar flame speed (m/s) 0.30 0.42
anol is produced from sugar-cane, a renewable energy source. Su-
R.C. Costa, J.R. Sodré / Fuel 89 (2010) 287–293 289

gar cane molasses contains about 40% sucrose, which hydrolysis by for engine development, which allowed for optimization of mix-
an enzyme called invertase produces glucose or fructose (Eq. (1)). ture equivalence ratio and ignition timing for all the speed range
The enzyme is elaborated by brewers yeast. Ethanol is formed by tested.
glucose (C6 H12 O6 ) fermentation in the presence of another enzyme The engine was tested in an eddy current dynamometer, of
called zymase (Eq. (2)). maximum torque 235 N m and maximum power 110 kW. The
dynamometer was controlled by a programmable electronic sys-
C12 H22 O11 þH2 O ! x C6 H12 O6 þ ð2  xÞC6 H12 O6 06x61 tem, allowing for real-time data acquisition, visualization and pro-
ðsucroseÞ ðglucoseÞ ðfructoseÞ
cessing. The dynamometer was equipped with a load cell of 0–100
ð1Þ kgf (0–981 N) read range, 0.01 kgf (0.98 N) resolution, and 0.5%
maximum error. The engine was also equipped with a magnetic
C6 H12 O6 ! 2C2 H5 OH þ2CO2 ð2Þ speed sensor, of 35 rev/min maximum uncertainty. The engine
ðglucoseÞ ðethanolÞ
was mounted in the dynamometer bench (Fig. 1) inclined 14.5°
From distillation of the liquid resulting from fermentation in clockwise, similar to the way it is mounted on a vehicle. An accel-
high fractioning columns, hydrous ethanol with 6.8% of water by erometer measured the engine vibration frequency, which signal
mass can be obtained. This blend behaves as a pure substance dur- was used to detect knocking through an oscilloscope.
ing evaporation, and its evaporation temperature is lower than that Ambient temperature and humidity were also controlled in the
of 100% ethanol. In order to obtain pure ethanol, hydrous ethanol test cell. The lubricating oil was cooled to keep the recommended
must be treated by calcium oxide (CaO) and, then, be distilled. operation temperature. Fuels were stored in 200-l stainless steel
tanks, and were selected manually through valve actuators. Fuel
consumption was determined through continuous mass measure-
4. Engine operating parameters ment of the fuel supplied to the engine at each 10 s in an electronic
balance, of 0.001 g resolution. The fuel flow measurement system
Air/fuel mixture equivalence ratio, k, is defined by the relation- had a read range between 0 and 150 kg/h, and 0.12% maximum
ship between the actual air/fuel ratio and the stoichiometric air/ error.
fuel ratio:
ðA=FÞ ðm_ a =m_ fÞ
k¼ ¼ ð3Þ
ðA=FÞs ðm_ a =m_ f Þs Table 2
Baseline engine conditions.
where m _ a and m
_ f are the engine intake air flow rate and fuel flow
rate, respectively. The stoichiometric air/fuel mixture contains the Parameter Description
necessary air amount to fully burn the fuel. Number of cylinders 4 in line
Brake power (Pb) is given by the product of engine torque (T) Bore  stroke 0.0700  0.0649 m
Displaced volume 999.057  106 m3
and rotational speed (x):
Compression ratio 12.00 ± 0.15
Pb ¼ T  x ð4Þ Combustion chamber volume 25.490  106 m3
Intake valve diameter 0.0310 m
The torque is obtained by the product of the load applied and Exhaust valve diameter 0.0265 m
the dynamometer arm length. Brake mean effective pressure is a Valve lift 0.0090 m
Intake valve opens 2 °BTDCa
measure of the power produced per cycle as a function of engine
Intake valve closes 221 °ATDCb
size: Exhaust valve opens 222 °BTDC
Exhaust valve closes 1 °ATDC
T Pb
BMEP ¼ ¼ ð5Þ Idle speed 850 50 rev/min
Vc Vc  x Fuel/air equivalence ratio 1.12 0.01
Lubricant SAE 15W40
where Vc is the piston displaced volume per cycle. Specific fuel con-
sumption, SFC, is the fuel amount consumed per unit of power pro- Before top dead centre.
duced, that is: After top dead centre.

SFC ¼ ð6Þ
where m _ f is the fuel mass flow rate into the engine. The engine ther-
mal efficiency gt is a measure of the fuel conversion efficiency, given
by the relationship between the energy available at the engine out-
put and the fuel energy content:
gt ¼ _ b ð7Þ
mf  Q LV
where QLV is the fuel lower heating value.

5. Experimental section

5.1. Experimental apparatus

Experiments were carried out on a production, 1.0-l, four-

stroke, four-cylinder, 8-valve spark ignition engine, which techni-
cal specifications are described in Table 2. The engine could be
fuelled by gasoline, ethanol or a blend of both in any proportion.
The fuel injection system was controlled by an electronic module Fig. 1. Engine and dynamometer.
290 R.C. Costa, J.R. Sodré / Fuel 89 (2010) 287–293

Platinum resistance PT-100 thermometers, with read range be- 1.136

tween –200 and 800 °C, 0.1 °C resolution, and 0.35% maximum er- HYDROUS ETHANOL
ror, were used to measure the inlet and outlet cooling water 1.132
temperatures, lubricant temperature, and intake air temperature.
In this case, the sensor was located at 50 mm from the intake con- 1.128
duit inlet, insulated for engine radiation. Chromel–alumel K-type
thermocouples, with read range between 0 and 1260 °C, 0.1 °C res- 1.124

olution, and 0.75% maximum error, were used to measure the tem-
peratures of the exhaust gases and the catalytic converter.
The intake air pressure was measured by transducers located
before the filter element, in the air filter, and after the throttle
body. The exhaust gas pressure was measured after the catalytic
converter. Fuel and oil pressures were also acquired. Exhaust O2
concentration was measured by a linear lambda sensor located at
1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000
about 100 mm before the catalytic converter inlet. Air/fuel mixture
equivalence ratio was determined from the lambda sensor read- ENGINE SPEED (rev/min)
ings in the range between 0.500 and 2.500, 0.001 resolution, ±
Fig. 3. Fuel influence on air/fuel mixture equivalence ratio.
0.007 maximum error, and response time between 0.08 and 0.15 s.
Carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide emissions were measured
by a non-dispersive infrared (NDIR) analyzer. Hydrocarbons were 1500 rev/min, with 250 rev/min intervals. Raw emissions measure-
determined by a flame ionization detector (FID) analyzer, and oxi- ments were performed at a different set of tests, in the speed range
des of nitrogen emissions were measured by a chemiluminescent between 6000 and 2500 rev/min, with 500 rev/min steps.
detector (CLD) analyzer. The gas sample was collected from the ex-
haust pipe, before the catalytic converter. 6. Results and discussion

5.2. Experimental method As shown by Eq. (5), BMEP is directly proportional to the torque
developed by the engine. Fig. 4 shows slightly higher torque and
Ignition timing was optimized by the minimum advance for BMEP at speeds below 3250 rev/min when gasoline-ethanol blend
best torque (MBT), when hydrous ethanol was used, or by the det- was used as fuel. For speeds over 4000 rev/min, the use of hydrous
onation limit (DLI), for gasoline-ethanol fuel blend. Ignition timing ethanol produced higher torque and BMEP. At low engine speeds
was set by MBT for ethanol due to its high anti-knock property the higher heating value of gasoline (Table 1) is responsible for
(high octane number). The ignition timing map obtained for both the higher torque and BMEP obtained for the fuel blend. For high
fuels is shown in Fig. 2. Air/fuel mixture equivalence ratio (Fig. 3) engine speeds, the faster flame velocity (Table 1) [5] together with
was also optimized to obtain the maximum torque with the mini- increasing advance on ignition timing (Fig. 2) makes hydrous eth-
mum fuel amount. These procedures were carried out for the en- anol produce higher torque and BMEP than the gasoline-ethanol
gine speed range tested. blend. At high engine speeds, there is less time available to com-
Preliminary engine run in tests were performed according to plete combustion in an engine cycle, and a faster flame velocity
FIAT 7-A6000 standard [13]. The experiments were performed is required. Advancing ignition timing increases combustion cham-
according to NBR-ISO 1585 standard [14], at wide open throttle. In- ber pressure and temperature and, thus, the flame speed is also in-
take air temperature was kept at 20 ± 2 °C, ambient pressure creased. The flame speed is known to be influenced by several
around 910 mbar, ambient humidity between 48% and 52%, outlet parameters, such as air/fuel mixture, mixture temperature and
cooling water temperature 82 ± 2 °C, and oil pressure below pressure [15].
3.50 ± 0.02 bar. Oil level was set at 3/4 of the maximum. The mea- High torque at low engine speeds is often desirable for acceler-
sured power was corrected to the standard atmospheric conditions ation, as automotive spark ignition engines normally operates be-
according to ABNT [14]. For the performance tests, data was col- tween 2000 and 3000 rev/min at both city and highway driving. In
lected under steady state conditions starting at 6500 down to this regard, the use of the gasoline-ethanol blend instead of hy-

35.0 97.5 10.92

95.0 10.64

92.5 10.36
90.0 10.08

BMEP (bar)

87.5 9.80
25.0 85.0 9.52
22.5 82.5 9.24
80.0 8.96
77.5 8.68
75.0 8.40
15.0 72.5 8.12
1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000
ENGINE SPEED (rev/min) ENGINE SPEED (rev/min)

Fig. 2. Ignition map for ethanol and fuel blend. Fig. 4. Fuel influence on torque and BMEP.
R.C. Costa, J.R. Sodré / Fuel 89 (2010) 287–293 291

drous ethanol has advantages, as shown by Fig. 4. In this speed (see Table 1). The thermal efficiency obtained with hydrous etha-
range a maximum difference of 2.4% is observed, corresponding nol was as much as 14.1% higher than that obtained with the fuel
to 1.9 N m at 2000 and 2500 rev/min. In the high speed range, blend, which is agreement with the findings by [10]. The peak ther-
the use of hydrous ethanol produced torque up to 3.7% higher, cor- mal efficiency observed was 37.0%, at 4000 rev/min.
responding to 3.1 N m at 5750 rev/min. A peak torque of 94.9 N m The higher hydrous ethanol consumption for obtaining an
at 4250 rev/min was obtained with the use of hydrous ethanol. equivalent engine power, shown by Fig. 7, was expected. For both
Fig. 5 shows that the power developed by both fuels is nearly fuels the engine operated at a mixture equivalence ratio of
the same up to 5000 rev/min. With higher speed the use of hydrous 1.12 ± 0.01 (Fig. 3), and the stoichiometric air/fuel ratio is 13.1
ethanol produced higher power. As explained before, the higher for the gasoline-ethanol blend and 8.7 for hydrous ethanol (Table
flame velocity of hydrous ethanol (see Table 1) together with the 1). SFC for hydrous ethanol is up to 54% higher than that of gaso-
increasing spark advance are probably the main responsible for line-ethanol blend, as a consequence of the lower heating value
the differences observed at high engine speeds. On the other hand, of hydrous ethanol with respect to that of the ethanol-gasoline
the slightly higher torque produced by the gasoline-ethanol blend blend (see Table 1). This result is in agreement to those by Owen
at low engine speeds (see Fig. 4) was not enough to produce signif- and Coley [1], Kremer and Fachetti [7], and Clemente et al. [9]. Im-
icant differences in power. Hydrous ethanol produced up to 3.7% proved fuel economy using hydrous ethanol instead of the ethanol-
(1.9 kW) higher power than the gasoline-ethanol fuel blend, at gasoline blend, as reported by Davis and Heil [6] and Stan et al. [8],
4750 rev/min, and a peak power of 52.4 kW at 6000 rev/min. could only be possible with engine modifications, especially in the
The improvements in torque (Fig. 4) and power (Fig. 5) at high compression ratio.
engine speeds obtained through the use of hydrous ethanol are be- Fig. 8 shows the gasoline-ethanol blend/hydrous ethanol SFC ra-
low those shown by [9]. That is because the values reported by tio on volume basis. Considering that most of automotive engine
those authors referred to dedicated engines, while a flexible fuel speed operational range is between 2000 and 3000 rev/min, from
engine is investigated in the present work. an economic stand-point the use of hydrous ethanol is only indi-
When fuelled by hydrous ethanol the engine produced higher cated if its retail price is at most 73% the selling price of gaso-
thermal efficiency throughout all the speed range tested, as shown line-ethanol blend.
in Fig. 6. This could be explained by the decreased heat loss to the Fig. 9 shows that hydrous ethanol produces higher carbon diox-
cylinder walls due to a shorter combustion period associated to ide and lower carbon monoxide engine-out emissions than the gas-
more advanced ignition timing (see Fig. 2) and faster flame speed oline-ethanol blend throughout the whole speed range studied.

55 0.450
50 0.425
45 0.400

SFC (kg/kW.h)

35 0.350

25 0.300
20 0.275
10 0.225
1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000
ENGINE SPEED (rev/min) ENGINE SPEED (rev/min)
Fig. 5. Fuel influence on brake power. Fig. 7. Fuel influence on SFC.

38.0 0.78


35.0 0.74

30.0 0.68
1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000
ENGINE SPEED (rev/min) ENGINE SPEED (rev/min)

Fig. 6. Fuel influence on thermal efficiency. Fig. 8. Gasoline-ethanol blend/hydrous ethanol volume fuel consumption ratio.
292 R.C. Costa, J.R. Sodré / Fuel 89 (2010) 287–293

16.0 gasoline-ethanol blend, with higher presence of carbon and hydro-

gen (Table 1), is more favourable for unburned HC formation than
hydrous ethanol. On the other hand, Fig. 11 shows that hydrous
12.0 ethanol produces higher oxides of nitrogen emissions than the gas-
oline-ethanol blend for most of the speed range investigated. That
CO, CO2 (%)

10.0 CO 2 HYDROUS ETHANOL is due to the faster flame speed of hydrous ethanol (Table 1) to-
CO 2 GASOLINE-ETHANOL BLEND gether with the more advanced ignition timing (Fig. 2), which fa-
CO HYDROUS ETHANOL vours the production of higher peak pressure and, therefore,
6.0 higher peak temperature in the combustion chamber. As it is well
known, NOX formation is a strong function of peak chamber tem-
perature. The regulated emissions results are in agreement with
2.0 those found by Dai et al. [11] and Li et al. [12].

7. Conclusions
2500 3000 3500 4000 4500 5000 5500 6000
ENGINE SPEED (rev/min)
Fig. 9. Fuel influence on carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide emissions.  The use of 78% gasoline plus 22% ethanol fuel blend at engine
speeds below 3250 rev/min resulted in up to 2.4% higher torque
and BMEP than when hydrous ethanol fuelled the production
The higher oxygen content in the hydrous ethanol molecules fa- engine tested.
vours conversion of the CO produced during combustion into  For speeds over 4000 rev/min, the use of hydrous ethanol
CO2. From these results, the use of hydrous ethanol is beneficial resulted in higher torque and BMEP in relation to the gasoline-
with respect to emissions control, as CO is a regulated pollutant. ethanol fuel blend.
On the other hand, the global warming effects of CO2 must be con-  Up to 3.7% higher power was obtained with hydrous ethanol fuel
sidered when choosing hydrous ethanol as fuel. in comparison to the gasoline-ethanol fuel blend for speeds over
Hydrous ethanol also appears to be a good choice for HC emis- 5000 rev/min.
sions reduction, as shown by Fig. 10. The chemical structure of the  The use of hydrous ethanol produced higher engine thermal effi-
ciency throughout the whole speed range investigated, reaching
a maximum improvement of 14.1%.
 SFC for hydrous ethanol use was around 54% higher than when
HYDROUS ETHANOL the gasoline-ethanol fuel blend was used.
GASOLINE-ETHANOL BLEND  From the results in the production engine tested, usage of
hydrous ethanol is only cost-effective if its maximum retail price
is 72% of that of the gasoline-ethanol fuel blend.
400  The use of hydrous ethanol decreases CO and HC emissions and
HC (ppm)

increases CO2 and NOX emissions, when compared to gasoline-

300 ethanol blend.
 The increase in NOX emissions when using hydrous ethanol is
200 due to advanced ignition timing applied to obtain higher power

0 Acknowledgements
2500 3000 3500 4000 4500 5000 5500 6000
ENGINE SPEED (rev/min) The authors thank FIAT Powertrain Technologies for the finan-
cial support to this project.
Fig. 10. Fuel influence on total hydrocarbon emissions.


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