Modeling and Cold Start in Alcohol-Fueled Engines

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Neat alcohol fuels offer several benefits over conventional gasoline in automotive applications. However, their low vapor pressure and high heat of vaporization make it difficult to produce a flammable vapor composition from a neat alcohol fuel during a start under col ambient conditions. Various methods have been introduced to compensate for this deficiency. In this study, we applied computermodeling and simulation to evaluate the potential of four cold-start technologies for engines fueled by near-neat alcohol. The four technologies were a rich combustor device, a partial oxidation reactor, a catalytic reformer, and an enhanced ignition system. We ranked the competing technologies by their ability to meet two primary criteria for cold starting an engine at -25 deg. C and also byseveral secondary parameters related to commercialization. Our analysis results suggest that of the four technologies evaluated, the enhanced ignition system is the best option for further development.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages61
StatePublished - 1998

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-540-24180


  • alcohol fuels
  • alternative fuels
  • cold starts
  • modeling technologies


Dive into the research topics of 'Modeling and Cold Start in Alcohol-Fueled Engines'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this