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A Rapid Compression Study of the Butanol Isomers at Elevated Pressure

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posted on 2017-06-07, 18:09 authored by Bryan WeberBryan Weber, Chih-Jen Sung
Presented at the 7th US National Technical Meeting of the Combustion Institute on 21 March 2011


To enable the transition away from non-renewable energy sources, it is important to understand the fundamental combustion properties of fuels created from renewable sources. One fuel of particular recent interest is butanol. n-Butanol has received significant attention as a transportation fuel with the potential to replace ethanol and gasoline. In addition, there are three isomers of butanol (sec-, iso-, and tert-butanol) which are being investigated as high octane gasoline additives. The butanol system also comprises the smallest alcohol system with primary, secondary and tertiary alcohol groups, so studying the butanol system will provide a base from which to build models of higher alcohols.

Much of the recent work on the butanol system has focused on n-butanol. Fundamental combustion data such as laminar flame speeds, species sampling measurements and ignition delays have all been reported for n-butanol, but data is scarcer for the isomers. We present ignition delay data for all four isomers of butanol at high pressure and low to intermediate temperature using our Rapid Compression Machine.