Combustion Characteristics of PRF and TSF Ethanol Blends with RON 98 in an Instrumented CFR Engine 2018-01-1672
The CFR F1 engine is the standard testing apparatus used for rating the research octane number (RON) of gasoline fuels. Unlike the motor octane number (MON) method, where the intake port temperature after the carburetor is controlled by an electric heater, the mixture temperature can vary during the RON test due to the heat of vaporization (HoV) of the fuel. Ethanol is receiving increasing attention as a high octane and high HoV fuel component. This work presents an analysis of the combustion characteristics during the RON rating of ethanol fuel blends according to the standard ASTM D2699 method, highlighting the effects of ethanol concentration and base fuel composition. All fuels were blended to a constant RON of 98. Ethanol levels varied from 0 to 50 vol% and the base fuels were surrogate blends composed of primary reference fuels (PRF), toluene standardization fuels (TSF), and a four component gasoline surrogate. These were compared against two full boiling range gasolines, also having a RON of 98. Through the use of detailed cylinder pressure analyses, this paper provides insights into the combustion behavior of various RON 98 fuels which are commonly not captured by the standard RON knock rating method. Ethanol was found to significantly reduce the pressure transducer based knock intensity of PRF fuel blends up to a level of 30 vol%, despite all fuels having the same RON. Meanwhile, the knock intensity of the equivalent TSF fuel blends was found to be relatively insensitive to ethanol concentration. For ethanol concentrations beyond 30 vol%, the pressure transducer based knock intensity behavior did not appear to be affected by the base fuel composition.