Strategies to Introduce n-Butanol in Gasoline Blends

This paper shows the most relevant properties when replacing ethanol by renewable n-butanol.


Abstract: The use of oxygenated fuels in spark ignition engines (SIEs) has gained increasing attention in the last few years, especially when coming from renewable sources, due to the shortage of fossil fuels and global warming concern. Currently, the main substitute of gasoline is ethanol, which helps to reduce CO and HC emissions but presents a series of drawbacks such as a low heating value and a high hygroscopic tendency, which cause higher fuel consumption and corrosion problems, respectively. This paper shows the most relevant properties when replacing ethanol by renewable n-butanol, which presents a higher heating value and a lower hygroscopic tendency compared to the former. The test matrix carried out for this experimental study includes, on the one hand, ethanol substitution by n-butanol in commercial blends and, on the other hand, either ethanol or gasoline substitution by n-butanol in E85 blends (85% ethanol-15% gasoline by volume). The results show that the substitution of n-butanol by ethanol presents a series of benefits such as a higher heating value and a greater interchangeability with gasoline compared to ethanol, which makes n-butanol a promising fuel for SIEs in commercial blends. However, the use of n-butanol in E85 blends substituting either gasoline or ethanol may cause cold-start problems due to the lower vapor pressure of n-butanol. For this reason, a combined substitution of n-butanol by both gasoline and ethanol is proposed so that n-butanol can be used without start problems. 


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