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What is the effect of altitude?

The effect of increasing altitude may be nonlinear, with one study reporting a decrease of the octane requirement of 1.4 RON/300m from sea level to 1800m and 2.5 RON/300m from 1800m to 3600m. Other studies report the octane number requirement decreased by 1.0 - 1.9 RON/300m without specifying altitude. Modern engine management systems can accommodate this adjustment, and in some recent studies, the octane number requirement was reduced by 0.2 - 0.5 (R+M)/2 per 300m increase in altitude.

The larger reduction on older engines was due to:- - reduced air density provides lower combustion temperature and pressure, Fuel is metered according to air volume, consequently as density decreases the stoichiometry moves to rich, with a lower octane number requirement. - manifold vacuum controlled spark advance, and reduced manifold vacuum results in less spark advance.

This article is from theGasoline FAQ, by Bruce Hamilton with numerous contributions by others.

Read more:http://stason.org/TULARC/vehicles/gasoline-faq/7-11-What-is-the-effect-of-altitude.html#ixzz1hkkhYkZP



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