In situ fuel concentration measurement near spark plug in spark-ignition engines by 3.39 μm infrared laser absorption method

Eiji Tomita, Nobuyuki Kawahara, Sadami Yoshiyama, Akihiko Kakuho, Teruyuki Itoh, Yoshisuke Hamamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Recently, improving the thermal efficiency and reducing the exhaust emissions of internal combustion engines have become crucial. To this end, it is important to determine the fuel concentration in the vicinity of the spark plug near the spark timing, because initial combustion affects the subsequent main combustion in spark-ignition engines. In this study, a fiber optic system linked to an optical sensor installed in the spark plug, by means of which light can pass through the combustion chamber, was developed to determine the fuel concentration near the spark plug using an IR absorption method. A He-Ne laser with a wavelength of 3.39 μm that coincides with the absorption line of hydrocarbons was used as a light source. By exchanging an ordinary spark plug for this spark plug with the optical sensor, successive measurement of fuel concentration before the spark timing near the spark plug was performed in a port-injection spark-ignition engine fueled with iso-octane under the firing condition. The effects of pressure and temperature on the molar absorption coefficient of fuel were clarified in advance. The air/fuel ratio averaged for many cycles near the spark plug with this optical system agreed with that measured with a buret, which represented the mean value averaged over a protracted period. Next, this sensor was applied to determine the air/fuel ratio quantitatively in a direct-injection gasoline engine. As a result, it was clarified that the air/fuel ratio and its standard deviation near the spark plug have a strong relationship to stable engine operation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)735-741
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of the Combustion Institute
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Event30th International Symposium on Combustion - Chicago, IL, United States
Duration: Jul 25 2004Jul 30 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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