Event Title

Ecotec Efficiency: Investigation of Potential Thermal Efficiency Improvements of Ethanol Blended Fuels

Location

CSU 204

Start Date

9-4-2012 1:00 PM

End Date

9-4-2012 2:00 PM

Student's Major

Automotive and Manufacturing Engineering Technology

Student's College

Science, Engineering and Technology

Mentor's Name

Christopher Reek

Mentor's Department

Automotive and Manufacturing Engineering Technology

Mentor's College

Science, Engineering and Technology

Description

The project attempts to identify if there are any efficiency benefits that can be gained through engine modification and the use of different ethanol blends than currently available. Ethanol is a renewable fuel source that is made from biomass and emits fewer pollutants than standard gasoline when used in internal combustion engines. However, ethanol has a lower energy density which results in lower miles per gallon fuel economy. This study will attempt to identify a blend of ethanol and gasoline that better balances the advantages and disadvantages of the fuels. The testing utilized a four cylinder gasoline engine made by General Motors. The engine was set up on an engine dynamometer and connected to computer software that recorded data and monitored engine parameters. The test engine has many technologically advanced features that make it ideal for the testing that was done. These features include a directly injected fuel system, dual variable camshaft timing, and a turbocharger. The first step in the process was to do baseline fuel efficiency testing on the engine. Next, the engine was modified and optimized to run on specific blends of fuel with varying ethanol content. Then the original testing was repeated to compare the efficiency of the engine on the various ethanol blends to the baseline efficiency. Although testing has not been completed, preliminary results show that the fuel consumption of the test engine on E85 could be reduced by increasing the static compression of the engine and optimizing the engine calibration.

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Apr 9th, 1:00 PM Apr 9th, 2:00 PM

Ecotec Efficiency: Investigation of Potential Thermal Efficiency Improvements of Ethanol Blended Fuels

CSU 204

The project attempts to identify if there are any efficiency benefits that can be gained through engine modification and the use of different ethanol blends than currently available. Ethanol is a renewable fuel source that is made from biomass and emits fewer pollutants than standard gasoline when used in internal combustion engines. However, ethanol has a lower energy density which results in lower miles per gallon fuel economy. This study will attempt to identify a blend of ethanol and gasoline that better balances the advantages and disadvantages of the fuels. The testing utilized a four cylinder gasoline engine made by General Motors. The engine was set up on an engine dynamometer and connected to computer software that recorded data and monitored engine parameters. The test engine has many technologically advanced features that make it ideal for the testing that was done. These features include a directly injected fuel system, dual variable camshaft timing, and a turbocharger. The first step in the process was to do baseline fuel efficiency testing on the engine. Next, the engine was modified and optimized to run on specific blends of fuel with varying ethanol content. Then the original testing was repeated to compare the efficiency of the engine on the various ethanol blends to the baseline efficiency. Although testing has not been completed, preliminary results show that the fuel consumption of the test engine on E85 could be reduced by increasing the static compression of the engine and optimizing the engine calibration.

Recommended Citation

Olmstead, Jonathan. "Ecotec Efficiency: Investigation of Potential Thermal Efficiency Improvements of Ethanol Blended Fuels." Undergraduate Research Symposium, Mankato, MN, April 9, 2012.
http://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/urs/2012/oral-session-09/1