Implementation of Engine Control and Measurement Strategies for Biofuel Research in Compression-Ignition Engines
Mangus, Michael D.
University of Kansas
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The global petroleum fuel supply is a limited resource that is understood to have negative influences on the environment because of its usage. In order address this issue, researchers are investigating sources of sustainable energy to offset this finite energy supply. One promising option for the transportation sector is biodiesel derived from various feedstocks. In order to perform viable research in the area of sustainable biodiesel, a multi-disciplinary effort to study the entire biodiesel spectrum from production to tailpipe emissions is underway at the University of Kansas. A critical aspect of this research includes investigating the effects of biodiesel combustion on engine operation. This includes observing engine power output, fuel consumption, and mechanical wear. In order to detect these characteristics effectively, full instrumentation of a single-cylinder compression-ignition engine is necessary. This engine serves as a test apparatus for experimental fuels and as a student-training tool. Of particular interest is the upgrade of this engine's fuel system to include electronically controlled fuel injection using an engine control unit. To aid in future research and to serve as a training reference, a detailed description of the construction, maintenance, and troubleshooting of the engine, dynamometer, auxiliary systems, and data acquisition equipment is included. Furthermore, this dissertation contains findings from biodiesel studies illustrating how fuel properties, such as fuel viscosity, play a role in injection and combustion behavior. The completed engine testing system provides the opportunity to continue into more sophisticated research venues, such as low temperature combustion and multiple injection events.
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