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Open AccessArticle

Diagnosis and Improvement of Combustion Characteristics of Methanol Miniature Reciprocating Piston Internal Combustion Engine

1
College of Mechatronics & Automotive Engineering, Chongqing Jiaotong University, Chongqing 400074, China
2
College of Automotive Engineering, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400044, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Micromachines 2020, 11(1), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11010096
Received: 6 December 2019 / Revised: 3 January 2020 / Accepted: 10 January 2020 / Published: 16 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Section A:Physics)
A micro-reciprocating piston internal combustion engine with liquid hydrocarbon fuel has the potential to supply ultrahigh density energy to micro electro mechanical system because of its high-density energy, simple structure, and mature energy conversion principle. However, the diagnostic test of the combustion characteristics of the micro reciprocating piston internal combustion engine shows that its combustion characteristics are poor, and the combustion rate was lower with the combustion duration of more than 50 °CA. The mean indicated pressure (Pmi) value was only 0.137 MPa, the combustion stability was very poor, and the cycle variation rate of the Pmi was up to 60%. To improve its combustion performance, the method to enhance combustion in micro-space is explored then. Mechanism studies have shown that the pyrolysis reaction of nitromethane and hydrogen peroxide can produce amounts of free radicals OH, with the possibility of improving the combustion of methanol. Therefore, a method for adjusting the composition of methanol fuel to enhance combustion is proposed, and the method is theoretically confirmed. Finally, based on this method, the test was carried out. The results showed that the combustion rate increased and the combustion duration decreased by 6% after adding nitromethane. The power performance was enhanced, and the Pmi value was increased by 30%. The combustion stability was enhanced, and the cycle variation rate of the Pmi was reduced to 16.9%. Nitromethane has a significant effect on improving the combustion characteristics of methanol, and the enhancement of the latter was mainly reflected in the ignition phase of the combustion process. This study indicates that exploring the fuel additive that can increase the concentration of OH radical in the reaction is an effective method to improve the micro-space combustion, which will facilitate the development of micro-piston internal combustion engine to supply energy to a micro electro mechanical system. View Full-Text
Keywords: micro-energy power systems; micro internal combustion engine; combustion diagnosis; methanol micro-energy power systems; micro internal combustion engine; combustion diagnosis; methanol
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Tang, G.; Wang, S.; Zhang, L.; Shang, H. Diagnosis and Improvement of Combustion Characteristics of Methanol Miniature Reciprocating Piston Internal Combustion Engine. Micromachines 2020, 11, 96.

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