Ignition studies of two small esters were performed using a rapid compression facility (RCF). The esters (methyl butanoate and butyl methanoate) were chosen to have matching molecular weights, and C:H:O ratios, while varying the lengths of the constituent alkyl chains. The effect of functional group size on ignition delay time was investigated using pressure time-histories and high speed digital imaging. The mixtures studied covered a range of conditions relevant to oxygenated fuels and fuel additives, including bio-derived fuels. Low temperature and moderate pressure conditions were selected for study due to their relevance to advanced low temperature combustion strategies, and internal combustion engine conditions. The results are discussed in terms of the reaction pathways affecting the ignition properties.

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