Alcohol fuels for spark-ignition engines: Performance, efficiency, and emission effects at mid to high blend rates for ternary mixtures

James W.G. Turner*, Andrew G.J. Lewis, Sam Akehurst, Chris J. Brace, Sebastian Verhelst, Jeroen Vancoillie, Louis Sileghem, Felix C.P. Leach, Peter P. Edwards

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This paper follows on from an earlier publication on high-blend-rate binary gasoline-alcohol mixtures and reports results for some equivalent ternary fuels from several investigation streams. In the present work, new findings are presented for high-load operation in a dedicated boosted multi-cylinder engine test facility, for operation in modified production engines, for knock performance in a single-cylinder test engine, and for exhaust particulate emissions at part load using both the prototype multi-cylinder engine and a separate single-cylinder engine. The wide variety of test engines employed have several differences, including their fuel delivery strategies. This range of engine specifications is considered beneficial with regard to the “drop-in fuel” conjecture, since the results presented here bear out the contention, already established in the literature, that when specified according to the known ternary blending rules, such fuels fundamentally perform identically to their binary equivalents in terms of engine performance, and outperform standard gasolines in terms of efficiency. However, in the present work, some differences in particulate emissions performance in direct-injection engines have been found at light load for the tested fuels, with a slight increase in particulate number observed with higher methanol contents than lower. A hypothesis is developed to explain this result but in general it was found that these fuels do not significantly affect PN emissions from such engines. As a result, this investigation supplies further evidence that renewable fuels can be introduced simply into the existing vehicle fleet, with the inherent backwards compatibility that this brings too.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6390
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Alcohols
  • E-fuels
  • Gasoline-alcohol blends
  • Renewable fuels
  • Ternary blends

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Control and Optimization
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Alcohol fuels for spark-ignition engines: Performance, efficiency, and emission effects at mid to high blend rates for ternary mixtures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this