A study was conducted on a direct-injection, single-cylinder, research-type diesel engine to determine the effect of adding ethanol or isopropanol to diesel fuel on the ignition delay period. The test parameters were alcohol content, intake-air properties, and fuel-air ratio. It was found that the ignition delay of alcohol-diesel blends is prolonged as the alcohol content is increased. Ethanol-diesel blends developed longer ignition delays than those developed by isopropanol-diesel blends. The results showed that ignition delay of alcohol-diesel blends can be effectively shortened using intake-air preheating and/or supercharging. The high activation energy of alcohols with respect to diesel fuel is believed to be responsible for the long ignition delays associated with the use of alcohols as alternate fuels in compression ignition engines.

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