2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Education through Applied Learning and Hands-on Practical Experience with Flex Fuel Vehicles

Presented at ETD Learning Approaches

The main goals of this research work are to conduct experiments, gather data and measure the horsepower of an internal combustion engine that runs on flex fuel. The tested fuels in this experiment include liquid gasoline, propane, and Syngas produced from woody biomass waste. The engine was first mounted on a stationary stand for ease of access to all of its components and for the convenience of installing a conversion kit for alternative fuels. Since the engine was previously proven to run on liquid gasoline with published specifications and known recorded data, the next step was to plan a conversion of the engine from liquid gasoline to a natural gas internal combustion engine. This was accomplished by a natural gas conversion kit. This kit is exactly like the one that would be used to convert generators to natural gas and can be purchased as a whole, making assembly and fitment faster and more accurate. The engine kit was installed, tuned and tested running on propane and syngas.
The installed kit enabled the engine to run, as anticipated, on propane gas. Also, a secondary experiment was performed to test the engine power output as well as other factors such as efficiency and durability. In order to obtain measurements of power output, the engine was installed onto a rolling Dynamometer. The conclusions from these tests yielded high accuracy Horsepower results; however, more importantly for this research assignment, all of the data collected, experiments created, and information obtained were done in a hands on, active learning environment. This type of applied learning comes with many benefits in comparison to traditional learning in a classroom setting. One of the main benefits is that the student can immediately learn by doing and see the impact of a scientific or engineering theory on a subject in a real world application. Furthermore, the experiments were designed to give the students a sense of what it would be like to work as a professional and prepare them for post-graduation. Giving the students such hands on experience proved to be invaluable because this type of applied learning is very similar to how the industry operates on a daily basis.

  1. Dr. Hazem Tawfik State University of New York, Farmingdale [biography]
  2. Dr. Yeong Ryu State University of New York, Farmingdale [biography]
  3. Mr. Rob Kowalski Farmingdale State College [biography]

The full paper will be available to logged in and registered conference attendees once the conference starts on June 24, 2017, and to all visitors after the conference ends on June 28, 2018

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