Shock tube studies of ethanol preignition

Miguel Figueroa Labastida, Jihad Badra, Ayman M. Elbaz, Aamir Farooq

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Understanding premature ignition or preignition is of great importance as this phenomenon influences the design and operation of internal combustion engines. Preignition leading to super-knock restricts the efficiency of downsized boosted engines. To gain a fundamental understanding of preignition and how it affects an otherwise homogeneous ignition process, a shock tube may be used to decipher the influence of fuel chemical structure, temperature, pressure, equivalence ratio and bath gas on preignition. In a previous work by Javed et al. (2017), ignition delay time measurements of n-heptane showed significantly expedited reactivity compared to well-validated chemical kinetic models in the intermediate-temperature regime. In the current work, ethanol is chosen as a representative fuel that, unlike n-heptane, does not exhibit negative temperature coefficient (NTC) behaviour. Reactive mixtures containing 2.9% and 5% of ethanol at equivalence ratios of 0.5 and 1 were used for the measurement of ignition delay times behind reflected shock waves at 2 and 4 bar. Effect of bath gas was studied with mixtures containing either Ar or N2. In addition to conventional side-wall pressure and OH* measurements, a high-speed imaging setup was utilized to visualize the shock tube cross-section through a transparent quartz end-wall. The results suggest that preignition events are more likely to happen in mixtures containing higher ethanol concentration and that preignition energy release is more pronounced at lower temperatures. High-speed imaging shows that low-temperature ignition process is usually initiated from an individual hot spot that grows gradually, while high-temperatures ignition starts from many spots simultaneously which consume the reactive mixture almost homogeneously.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)176-185
Number of pages10
JournalCombustion and Flame
StatePublished - Sep 26 2018


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