Effects of isoalcohol blending with gasoline on autoignition behavior in a rapid compression machine: Isopropanol and isobutanol

S. Scott Goldsborough, Song Cheng, Dongil Kang, Chiara Saggese, Scott W. Wagnon, William J. Pitz

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Alcohols, and particularly isoalcohols, are potentially advantageous blendstocks towards achieving efficient, low-carbon intensity internal combustion engines. Their use in advanced configurations, such as boosted spark-ignition or spark-assisted compression ignition, requires a comprehensive understanding of their blending effects on the low- and intermediate-temperature autoignition behavior of petroleum-derived gasoline. An experimental and modeling study of such autoignition characteristics quantified in a twin-piston rapid compression machine was conducted. Isopropanol and isobutanol were blended into a research-grade gasoline (FACE-F) at oxygenate blend levels of 0-30% vol/vol, with tests conducted at 700-1000 K, 20 and 40 bar, and dilute stoichiometric fuel loadings. Changes to overall reactivity, including first-stage and main ignition times, and preliminary exothermicity were established, with comparisons made to previous measurements with ethanol-blended FACE-F gasoline. Results showed that at low-temperature/NTC conditions (700-860 K) the isoalcohols suppress first-stage reactivity and associated heat release while main ignition times are extended. At NTC/intermediate-temperature (860-1000 K) conditions changes to fuel reactivity are less significant with isopropanol slightly suppressing reactivity and isobutanol promoting ignition. Detailed chemical kinetic modeling was used to interpret the experimental measurements. Overall trends of suppression or promotion in the blending behavior are reasonably captured by the model. Sensitivity and rate of production analyses indicate that at lower temperatures H-atom abstraction reactions from the surrogate fuel molecules (e.g., cyclopentane, isooctane) and the isoalcohols via OH are important leading to TC3H6OH and IC4H8OH-C radicals, for isopropanol and isobutanol respectively, which act as scavengers in the system. At higher temperatures, similar chemistries are dominant, but there is an increasing importance of abstraction by HO2. The kinetic modeling also indicates that the promoting effect of isobutanol at higher temperatures is due to the increased abstractions at the γ-sites, while at lower temperatures abstraction at the α-site leads to greater reactivity suppression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5363-5371
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the Combustion Institute
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes
Event38th International Symposium on Combustion, 2021 - Adelaide, Australia
Duration: 24 Jan 202129 Jan 2021


  • Autoignition
  • FACE-F gasoline
  • Isobutanol
  • Isopropanol
  • Rapid compression machine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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