General Question

jahono's avatar

What chemical/physical properties help compare fuels in combustion engines? and how to apply them.

Asked by jahono (145 points ) December 21st, 2009

There are the general thermodynamic considerations like Max thermal efficiency and autoignition temperature, but I’ve also come across “flame propagation speed” and “combustion temperature range” which I havn’t encountered before. Does anybody have any advice or article links which can relate, for example, flame propogation speed to the power generated within a cylinder in a combustion engine.

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9 Answers

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

The ratings for fuel energy, flame propagation, combustion speed are based on comparison with octane in gasoline and pentane or cetane (depending on the applicatton) for diesel or jet fuel.. There are many textbooks on petroleum technology, the Wiki article and references give a good starting point.

jahono's avatar

THanks for the info, do you have a link for the wiki article your referring to, Ive wiki’d Petroleum technology, fuel energy, flame propogation speed, octane rating etc with no luck

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@jahono Try looking up “fuel chemistry” or gasoline /diesel characteristics. I forget now what it was under. I’ll look too. There is an API guide (American Petroleum Institute) that defines all these different tests and terms. Maybe they have a website that deals with this.

engineeristerminatorisWOLV's avatar

Physical properties like ignition temperature or the flash point,expansion coefficient of the gases after combustion and chemical properties like the by products and the energy efficiency are the two most important things to keep in mind while going for the fuel.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@engineeristerminatorisWOLV And the API guide/manual has all this data and the test protocols for deternining them, There is a section called :standards methods: giving the procedures and equipment used,

engineeristerminatorisWOLV's avatar

Indeed,they have had the repeated experiments done and they have put forth their findings.Quite helpful that is.

jahono's avatar

Thanks very much guys, good to see you here ETW. Have googled “American Petroleum Institute Flame Propagatin Speed” and found (what looks like) a helpful google book result Fundamentals Of Combustion By Mishra will post any direct quotes etc (if any) which relate flame prop speed etc after a read through.

engineeristerminatorisWOLV's avatar

@jahono :Nice to see you here too.As usual you are contributing well to the technical side of the site.

jahono's avatar

Didn’t find anything helpful in above link Fundamentals Of Combustion By Mishra, but found this which relates flame speed and power.

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