A Study of Propane Combustion in a Spark-Ignited Cooperative Fuel Research (CFR) Engine 2022-01-0404
Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), whose primary composition is propane, is a promising candidate for heavy-duty vehicle applications as a diesel fuel alternative due to its CO2 reduction potential and high knock resistance. To realize diesel-like efficiencies, spark-ignited LPG engines are proposed to operate near knock-limit over a wide range of operating conditions, which necessitates an investigation of fuel-engine interactions that leads to end-gas autoignition with propane combustion.
This work presents both experimental and numerical studies of stoichiometric propane combustion in a spark-ignited (SI) cooperative fuel research (CFR) engine. Engine experiments are initially conducted at different compression ratio (CR) values, and the effects of CR on engine combustion are characterized. A three-pressure analysis (TPA) model based on the two-zone combustion concept is developed in GT-Power and validated using test results to estimate in-cylinder wall temperatures, residual gas fraction, etc. This model is further utilized to examine end-gas chemistry by enabling the SI turbulent flame combustion and unburned gas chemical kinetics modules. Finally, a three-dimensional (3D) computational fluid dynamic (CFD) model of the CFR engine is developed in CONVERGE, where the G-equation and SAGE detailed chemical kinetics models are implemented for combustion modeling. A 153 species reduced chemical kinetics mechanism derived from the detailed NUIGMech1.1 mechanism based on the ignition delay and laminar flame speed (LFS) studies is used to generate an LFS lookup table and to describe end-gas autoignition chemistry. Multi-cycle Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) simulations are then performed for the tested CRs, and the numerical model is shown to be capable of predicting the propane combustion characteristics, particularly the end-gas autoignition behavior.