Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics


Scott Andrew Miers


A push to reduce dependency on foreign energy and increase the use of renewable energy has many gas stations pumping ethanol blended fuels. Recreational engines typically have less complex fuel management systems than that of the automotive sector. This prevents the engine from being able to adapt to different ethanol concentrations. Using ethanol blended fuels in recreational engines raises several consumer concerns. Engine performance and emissions are both affected by ethanol blended fuels.

This research focused on assessing the impact of E22 on two-stroke and four-stroke snowmobiles. Three snowmobiles were used for this study. A 2009 Arctic Cat Z1 Turbo with a closed-loop fuel injection system, a 2009 Yamaha Apex with an open-loop fuel injection system and a 2010 Polaris Rush with an open-loop fuel injection system were used to determine the impact of E22 on snowmobile engines. A five mode emissions test was conducted on each of the snowmobiles with E0 and E22 to determine the impact of the E22 fuel. All of the snowmobiles were left in stock form to assess the effect of E22 on snowmobiles currently on the trail.

Brake specific emissions of the snowmobiles running on E22 were compared to that of the E0 fuel. Engine parameters such as exhaust gas temperature, fuel flow, and relative air to fuel ratio (λ) were also compared on all three snowmobiles. Combustion data using an AVL combustion analysis system was taken on the Polaris Rush. This was done to compare in-cylinder pressures, combustion duration, and location of 50% mass fraction burn.

E22 decreased total hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide for all of the snowmobiles and increased carbon dioxide. Peak power increased for the closed-loop fuel injected Arctic Cat. A smaller increase of peak power was observed for the Polaris due to a partial ability of the fuel management system to adapt to ethanol. A decrease in peak power was observed for the open-loop fuel injected Yamaha.