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Technical Paper

Performance and Emission Studies in a Heavy-Duty Diesel Engine Fueled with an N-Butanol and N-Heptane Blend

N-butanol, as a biomass-based renewable fuel, has many superior fuel properties. It has a higher energy content and cetane number than its alcohol competitors, methanol and ethanol. Previous studies have proved that n-butanol has the capability to achieve lower emissions without sacrifice on thermal efficiency when blended with diesel. However, most studies on n-butanol are limited to low blending ratios, which restricts the improvement of emissions. In this paper, 80% by volume of n-butanol was blended with 20% by volume of n-heptane (namely BH80). The influences of various engine parameters (combustion phasing, EGR ratio, injection timing and intake pressure, respectively) on its combustion and emission characteristics are tested at different loads. The results showed that when BH80 uses more than 40% EGR, the emitted soot and nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions are below the EURO VI legislation.
Technical Paper

Spray Combustion Analysis of Humins

Second generation biomass is an attractive renewable feedstock for transport fuels. Its sulfur content is generally negligible and the carbon cycle is reduced from millions to tens of years. One hitherto non-valorized feedstock are so-called humins, a residual product formed in the conversion of sugars to platform chemicals, such as hydroxymethylfurfural and methoxymethylfurfural, intermediates in the production of FDCA, a building block used to produce the polyethylene furanoate (PEF) bottle by Avantium. The focus of this study is to investigate the spray combustion behavior of humins as a renewable alternative for heavy fuel oil (HFO) under large two-stroke engine-like conditions in an optically accessible constant volume chamber.
Technical Paper

Auto-Ignition of Iso-Stoichiometric Blends of Gasoline-Ethanol-Methanol (GEM) in SI, HCCI and CI Combustion Modes

Gasoline-ethanol-methanol (GEM) blends, with constant stoichiometric air-to-fuel ratio (iso-stoichiometric blending rule) and equivalent to binary gasoline-ethanol blends (E2, E5, E10 and E15 in % vol.), were defined to investigate the effect of methanol and combined mixtures of ethanol and methanol when blended with three FACE (Fuels for Advanced Combustion Engines) Gasolines, I, J and A corresponding to RON 70.2, 73.8 and 83.9, respectively, and their corresponding Primary Reference Fuels (PRFs). A Cooperative Fuel Research (CFR) engine was used under Spark Ignition and Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignited modes. An ignition quality tester was utilized in the Compression Ignition mode. One of the promising properties of GEM blends, which are derived using the iso-stoichiometric blending rule, is that they maintain a constant octane number, which has led to the introduction of methanol as a drop-in fuel to supplement bio-derived ethanol.
Technical Paper

Towards Control-Oriented Modeling of Natural Gas-Diesel RCCI Combustion

For natural gas (NG)-diesel RCCI, a multi-zonal, detailed chemistry modeling approach is presented. This dual fuel combustion process requires further understanding of the ignition and combustion processes to maximize thermal efficiency and minimize (partially) unburned fuel emissions. The introduction of two fuels with different physical and chemical properties makes the combustion process complicated and challenging to model. In this study, a multi-zone approach is applied to NG-diesel RCCI combustion in a heavy-duty engine. Auto-ignition chemistry is believed to be the key process in RCCI. Starting from a multi-zone model that can describe auto-ignition dominated processes, such as HCCI and PCCI, this model is adapted by including reaction mechanisms for natural gas and NOx and by improving the in-cylinder pressure prediction. The model is validated using NG-diesel RCCI measurements that are performed on a 6 cylinder heavy-duty engine.
Journal Article

Lignin Derivatives as Potential Octane Boosters

Owing to environmental and health concerns, tetraethyl lead was gradually phased out from the early 1970's to mid-1990's in most developed countries. Advances in refining, leading to more aromatics (via reformate) and iso-paraffins such as iso-octane, along with the introduction of (bio) oxygenates such as MTBE, ETBE and ethanol, facilitated the removal of lead without sacrificing RON and MON. In recent years, however, legislation has been moving in the direction of curbing aromatic and olefin content in gasoline, owing to similar concerns as was the case for lead. Meanwhile, concerns over global warming and energy security have motivated research into renewable fuels. Amongst which are those derived from biomass. The feedstock of interest in this study is lignin, which, together with hemicellulose and cellulose, is amongst the most abundant organic compounds on the planet.
Technical Paper

Characterization of Low Load PPC Operation using RON70 Fuels

The concept of Partially Premixed Combustion is known for reduced hazardous emissions and improved efficiency. Since a low-reactive fuel is required to extend the ignition delay at elevated loads, controllability and stability issues occur at the low-load end. In this investigation seven fuel blends are used, all having a Research Octane Number of around 70 and a distinct composition or boiling range. Four of them could be regarded as ‘viable refinery fuels’ since they are based on current refinery feedstocks. The latter three are based on primary reference fuels, being PRF70 and blends with ethanol and toluene respectively. Previous experiments revealed significant ignition differences, which asked for further understanding with an extended set of measurements. Experiments are conducted on a heavy duty diesel engine modified for single cylinder operation. In this investigation, emphasis is put on idling (600 rpm) and low load conditions.
Technical Paper

Styrofoam Precursors as Drop-in Diesel Fuel

Styrene, or ethylbenzene, is mainly used as a monomer for the production of polymers, most notably Styrofoam. In the synthetis of styrene, the feedstock of benzene and ethylene is converted into aromatic oxygenates such as benzaldehyde, 2-phenyl ethanol and acetophenone. Benzaldehyde and phenyl ethanol are low value side streams, while acetophenone is a high value intermediate product. The side streams are now principally rejected from the process and burnt for process heat. Previous in-house research has shown that such aromatic oxygenates are suitable as diesel fuel additives and can in some cases improve the soot-NOx trade-off. In this study acetophenone, benzaldehyde and 2-phenyl ethanol are each added to commercial EN590 diesel at a ratio of 1:9, with the goal to ascertain whether or not the lower value benzaldehyde and 2-phenyl ethanol can perform on par with the higher value acetophenone. These compounds are now used in pure form.
Technical Paper

Review on the Effects of Dual-Fuel Operation, Using Diesel and Gaseous Fuels, on Emissions and Performance

In recent years the automotive industry has been forced to reduce the harmful and pollutant emissions emitted by direct-injected diesel engines. To accomplish this difficult task various solutions have been proposed. One of these proposed solutions is the usage of gaseous fuels in addition to the use of liquid diesel. These gaseous fuels have more gasoline-like properties, such as high octane numbers, and thereby are resistant against auto-ignition. Diesel on the other hand, has a high cetane number which makes it prone to auto-ignition. In this case the gaseous fuel is injected in the inlet manifold, and the diesel is direct injected in the cylinder at the end of the compression stroke. Thereby the diesel fuel spontaneously ignites and acts as an ignition source. The main goals for the use of a dual-fuel operation with diesel and gaseous fuels are the reduction of particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) emission.
Technical Paper

Emission Performance of Lignin-Derived Cyclic Oxygenates in a Heavy-Duty Diesel Engine

In earlier research, a new class of bio-fuels, so-called cyclic oxygenates, was reported to have a favorable impact on the soot-NOx trade-off experience in diesel engines. In this paper, the soot-NOx trade-off is compared for two types of cyclic oxygenates. 2-phenyl ethanol has an aromatic and cyclohexane ethanol a saturated or aliphatic ring structure. Accordingly, the research is focused on the effect of aromaticity on the aforementioned emissions trade-off. This research is relevant because, starting from lignin, a biomass component with a complex poly-aromatic structure, the production of 2-phenyl ethanol requires less hydrogen and can therefore be produced at lower cost than is the case for cyclohexane ethanol.
Journal Article

Direct Injection of Diesel-Butane Blends in a Heavy Duty Engine

Increasing fuel prices keep bringing attention to alternative, cheaper fuels. Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) has been well known for decades as an alternative fuel for spark ignition (SI) passenger cars. More recently, aftermarket LPG systems were also introduced to Heavy Duty transport vehicles. These (port fuel) systems either vaporize the liquid fuel and then mix it with intake air, or inject fuel into the engine's intake ports. While this concept offers significant fuel cost reductions, for aftermarket certification and large-scale OEM use some concerns are present. Unburned hydrocarbons (UHC) and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions are known to be high because of premixed charge getting trapped into crevices and possibly being blown through during valve-overlap. Apart from the higher emission levels, this also limits fuel efficiency and therefore cost savings.
Journal Article

Direct Injection of High Pressure Gas: Scaling Properties of Pulsed Turbulent Jets

Existing gasoline DI injection equipment has been modified to generate single hole pulsed gas jets. Injection experiments have been performed at combinations of 3 different pressure ratios (2 of which supercritical) respectively 3 different hole geometries (i.e. length to diameter ratios). Injection was into a pressure chamber with optical access. Injection pressures and injector hole geometry were selected to be representative of current and near-future DI natural gas engines. Each injector hole design has been characterized by measuring its discharge coefficient for different Re-levels. Transient jets produced by these injectors have been visualized using planar laser sheet Mie scattering (PLMS). For this the injected gas was seeded with small oil droplets. The corresponding flow field was measured using particle image velocimetry (PIV) laser diagnostics.