METHANOL AS AN AUTOMOTIVE FUEL: A SUMMARY OF RESEARCH IN THE M.I.T. ENERGY LABORATORY

The current status of studies on the use of methanol blends as automotive fuels is briefly reviewed. Experiments with a single-cylinder spark-ignition engine demonstrated that methanol-gasoline blends show emissions and efficiency closely comparable to gasoline alone and that the blends yield a slight extension of the lean limit of operation. Methanol alone significantly extends the lean limit of operation and permits operation at much higher compression ratios with corresponding improvements in efficiency. Substantial changes to conventional carburetion technology would be required to obtain acceptable engine start-up characteristics, however. Studies of the phase stability of methanol-gasoline blends have quantified the tendency for traces of water to cause separation of blends into organic and aqueous phases, as temperature drops and this is shown to be a strong function of methanol content, water content, gasoline composition and added solubilizer for methanol/water. It was found possible to enhance the solvent power of gasoline with addition of various solubilizers such as t-butyl alcohol and benzyl alcohol, although significant quantities of solubilizers were in some cases necessary. Also described are the information and proposal activities of the methanol group of the MIT Energy Laboratory and the development of a proposal for a fleet test program.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Sponsored in part by Hawley (J. B.), Jr., Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Energy Laboratory, 77 Massachusetts Avenue
    Cambridge, MA  USA  02139

    Hawley, WB, Jr

    Minneapolis, MN  USA 
  • Authors:
    • Donnelly, R G
    • Heywood, J B
    • LoRusso, J
    • O'Brien, F
    • Reed, T B
  • Publication Date: 1976-4

Media Info

  • Pagination: 57 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00154402
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Report/Paper Numbers: MIT-EL-76-013 Final Rpt.
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 31 1978 12:00AM