Soot Formation in Diesel Combustion under High-EGR Conditions 2005-01-3834
Experiments were conducted in an optically accessible constant-volume combustion vessel to investigate soot formation at diesel combustion conditions in a high exhaust-gas recirculation (EGR) environment. The ambient oxygen concentration was decreased systematically from 21% to 8% to simulate a wide range of EGR conditions. Quantitative measurements of in-situ soot in quasi-steady n-heptane and #2 diesel fuel jets were made by using laser extinction and planar laser-induced incandescence (PLII) measurements. Flame lift-off length measurements were also made in support of the soot measurements. At constant ambient temperature, results show that the equivalence ratio estimated at the lift-off length does not vary with the use of EGR, implying an equal amount of fuel-air mixing prior to combustion. Soot measurements show that the soot volume fraction decreases with increasing EGR. The regions of soot formation are effectively “stretched out” to longer axial and radial distances from the injector with increasing EGR, according to the dilution in ambient oxygen. However, the axial soot distribution and location of maximum soot collapses if plotted in terms of a “flame coordinate”, where the relative fuel-oxygen mixture is equivalent. The total soot in the jet cross-section at the maximum axial soot location initially increases and then decreases to zero as the oxygen concentration decreases from 21% to 8%. The trend is caused by competition between soot formation rates and increasing residence time. Soot formation rates decrease with decreasing oxygen concentration because of the lower combustion temperatures. At the same time, the residence time for soot formation increases, allowing more time for accumulation of soot. Increasing the ambient temperature above nominal diesel engine conditions leads to a rapid increase in soot for high-EGR conditions when compared to conditions with no EGR. This result emphasizes the importance of EGR cooling and its beneficial effect on mitigating soot formation. The effect of EGR is consistent for different fuels but soot levels depend on the sooting propensity of the fuel. Specifically, #2 diesel fuel produces soot levels more than ten times higher than those of n-heptane.