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Isopropanol as Fuel for Small Unmanned Aircraft

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DOI: 10.4236/aast.2017.23003    1,036 Downloads   2,011 Views Citations


Gasoline engines are increasingly popular for use in small unmanned aircraft requiring endurance due to the specific energy of gasoline (47.3 MJ·kg-1) and its cost effectiveness. However, gasoline is volatile and it poses a health hazard. In this work, isopropanol is proposed and investigated as viable fuel for small gasoline engines. Isooctane is used as a benchmark for performance comparison. The field testing reveals that isopropanol offers similar running performance and ease of starting. The maximum output power of isopropanol is surprisingly found to occur at a more advanced ignition timing compared with isooctane. The significant outcome of this study is that isopropanol can readily be used as a replacement fuel for existing engines without the need for any modifications to the ignition module or the engine itself.

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Poh, C. and Poh, C. (2017) Isopropanol as Fuel for Small Unmanned Aircraft. Advances in Aerospace Science and Technology, 2, 23-30. doi: 10.4236/aast.2017.23003.

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