Cold starting of methanol-fueled engines using direct fuel injection system



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In the late 1970s, attention to alternate fuels was prompted by fuel shortages, high oil prices, and foreign oil dependency concerns. Today there is also wide-spread concern for "clean air," which calls for more strict standards for engines and fuels that produce objectionable emissions. Methanol is identified as one of the most desirable alternatives to petroleum-based automotive fuels. One of the major problems remaining to be solved in the development of vehicles that run on methanol is cold-starting. When the outside temperature is less than 50 °F (10 °C), the engine has difficulty in starting. The objective of this research was to develop an economical and a reliable technique to start the engine on pure methanol (MlOO) at ambient temperatures down to- 20 °F ( -28 °C). To solve this problem, direct injection was employed. Direct injection involves injecting methanol directly into the combustion chamber. A Kawasaki 650 cc, four-stroke, single-cylinder, spark-ignition motorcycle engine was modified to perform these cold-start tests. By employing an innovative technique of "Direct In-Cylinder Injection of Methanol at Sub-atmospheric Cylinder Pressures," successful cold-starts were achieved at temperatures as low as -38 °C ( -36 °F) without using any external heat source. The formation of a 6% methanol vapor concentration at the instant of spark was determined to be the criterion for a successful cold-start.



Spark ignition engines, Methanol as fuel, Automobiles -- Motors -- Fuel injection systems