Enhancement of Corn-based Fuel for Recreational Engines and Vehicles

Michigan Technical University/Scott Miers

E15 is replacing E10 at fuel stations, which means snowmobiles and other recreational vehicles will be required to operate on a fuel for which they have not been calibrated. When E15 fuel is used in a snowmobile that was calibrated for E0, exhaust system temperature and NOx emissions increase, carbon monoxide and 1,3 butadiene emissions decrease, cold-start performance degrades, and fuel consumption increases.

This project will determine if changes to the engine calibration can minimize the negative impacts of E20 while taking advantage of improved fuel properties to reduce emissions and potentially increase performance. Steady-state engine dynamometer testing will be used to evaluate the effect of E20 with the stock engine calibration on emissions, combustion, and performance. Additional engine testing to conduct a limited recalibration of the engine calibration unit (ECU) to minimize the negative effects of E20 will then be conducted.

The final component of the project will be to identify sensors (exhaust, fuel, etc.) that could be incorporated into the control system for in-field, real-time calibration changes. This would permit the engine calibration to be changed at each fuel fill-up, maximizing performance and minimizing emissions.