Browse Publications Technical Papers 2008-01-0054

Influence of Fuel Autoignition Reactivity on the High-Load Limits of HCCI Engines 2008-01-0054

This work explores the high-load limits of HCCI for naturally aspirated operation. This is done for three fuels with various autoignition reactivity: iso-octane, PRF80, and PRF60. The experiments were conducted in a single-cylinder HCCI research engine (0.98 liter displacement), mostly with a CR = 14 piston installed, but with some tests at CR = 18. Five load-limiting factors were identified: 1) NOx-induced combustion-phasing run-away, 2) wall-heating-induced run-away, 3) EGR-induced oxygen deprivation, 4) wandering unsteady combustion, and 5) excessive exhaust NOx.
These experiments at 1200 rpm show that the actual load-limiting factor is dependent on the autoignition reactivity of the fuel, the selected CA50, and in some cases, the tolerable level of NOx emissions. For iso-octane, which has the highest resistance to autoignition of the fuels tested, the NOx emissions become unacceptable at IMEPg = 473 kPa. This happens before wandering and unsteady combustion becomes an issue for IMEPg > 486 kPa. The NOx is caused by high peak-combustion temperatures resulting from the high intake temperature required for this low-reactivity fuel. Iso-octane operation with a CR = 18 piston reduces the intake-temperature requirement. Consequently, the exhaust NOx issue vanishes while the IMEPg can be increased to 520 kPa before wall-heating-induced run-away become an issue. For a very reactive fuel like PRF60, large amounts of EGR are required to control the combustion phasing. Therefore, the maximum IMEPg becomes limited at 643 kPa by the available oxygen as the EGR gases displace air. A fuel of intermediate reactivity, PRF80, exhibits the highest IMEPg for the conditions of this study - 651 kPa. For this fuel, the maximum IMEPg becomes limited by NOx-induced run-away. This happens because even small amounts of NOx recycled via residuals enhance the autoignition sufficiently to advance the ignition point. This leads to higher peak-combustion temperatures and more NOx formation, thus making a very rapid run-away situation inevitable.


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