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Technical Paper

A Study of Lean Burn Pre-Chamber Concept in a Heavy Duty Engine

Due to stringent emission standards, the demand for higher efficiency engines has been unprecedentedly high in recent years. Among several existing combustion modes, pre-chamber spark ignition (PCSI) emerges to be a potential candidate for high-efficiency engines. Research on the pre-chamber concept exhibit higher indicated efficiency through lean limit extension while maintaining the combustion stability. In this study, a unique pre-chamber geometry was tested in a single-cylinder heavy-duty engine at low load lean conditions. The geometry features a narrow throat, which was designed to be packaged inside a commercial diesel injector pocket. The pre-chamber was fueled with methane while the main chamber was supplied with an ethanol/air mixture.
Technical Paper

Knock and Pre-Ignition Limits on Utilization of Ethanol in Octane-on-Demand Concept

Octane-on-Demand (OoD) is a promising technology for reducing greenhouse emissions from automobiles. The concept utilizes a low-octane fuel for low and mid load operating conditions, and a high-octane additive is added at high load operating conditions. Researchers have focused on the minimum ethanol content required for operating at high load conditions when the low-octane fuel becomes knock limited. However, it is also widely known that ethanol has a high tendency to pre-ignite, which has been linked with its high laminar flame speed and surface ignition tendency. Moreover, ethanol has a lower stoichiometric air-fuel ratio, requiring a larger injected fuel mass per cycle. A larger fuel mass increases the potential for oil dilution by the liquid fuel, creating precursors for pre-ignition. Hence, the limits on ethanol addition owing to pre-ignition also need consideration before the technology can be implemented.
Technical Paper

Compression Ignition of Low Octane Gasoline under Partially Premixed Combustion Mode

Partially premixed combustion (PPC) is an operating mode that lies between the conventional compression ignition (CI) mode and homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) mode. The combustion in this mixed mode is complex as it is neither diffusion-controlled (CI mode) nor governed solely by chemical kinetics (HCCI mode). In this study, CFD simulations were performed to evaluate flame index, which distinguishes between zones having a premixed flame and non-premixed flame. Experiments performed in the optical engine supplied data to validate the model. In order to realize PPC, the start of injection (SOI) was fixed at −40 CAD (aTDC) so that a required ignition delay is created to premix air/fuel mixture. The reference operating point was selected to be with 3 bar IMEP and 1200 rpm. Naphtha with a RON of 77 and its corresponding PRF surrogate were tested. The simulations captured the general trends observed in the experiments well.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Premixed and Diffusion Flames in PPC and CI Combustion Modes

The experimental in-cylinder combustion process was compared with the numerical simualtion for naphtha fuel under conventional compression ignition (CI) and partially premixed combustion (PPC) conditions. The start of injection timing (SOI) with the single injection strategy was changed from late of −10 CAD aTDC to early of −40 CAD aTDC. The three-dimensional full cycle engine combustion simulation was performed coupling with gas phase chemical kinetics by the CFD code CONVERGE™. The flame index was used for evaluating the combustion evolution of premixed flame and diffusion flame. The results show that the flame index could be used as an indicator for in-cylinder homogeneity evaluation. Hydroperoxyl shows a similar distribution with the premixed combustion. Formaldehyde could be used as an indicator for low temperature combustion.
Technical Paper

Reduced Gasoline Surrogate (Toluene/n-Heptane/iso-Octane) Chemical Kinetic Model for Compression Ignition Simulations

Toluene primary reference fuel (TPRF) (mixture of toluene, iso-octane and heptane) is a suitable surrogate to represent a wide spectrum of real fuels with varying octane sensitivity. Investigating different surrogates in engine simulations is a prerequisite to identify the best matching mixture. However, running 3D engine simulations using detailed models is currently impossible and reduction of detailed models is essential. This work presents an AramcoMech reduced kinetic model developed at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) for simulating complex TPRF surrogate blends. A semi-decoupling approach was used together with species and reaction lumping to obtain a reduced kinetic model. The model was widely validated against experimental data including shock tube ignition delay times and premixed laminar flame speeds. Finally, the model was utilized to simulate the combustion of a low reactivity gasoline fuel under partially premixed combustion conditions.
Technical Paper

Blending Octane Number of Ethanol on a Volume and Molar Basis in SI and HCCI Combustion Modes

The blending behavior of ethanol in five different hydrocarbon base fuels with octane numbers of approximately 70 and 84 was examined under Spark-Ignited (SI) and Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignited (HCCI) operating conditions. The Blending octane number (BON) was used to characterize the blending behavior on both a volume and molar basis. Previous studies have shown that the blending behavior of ethanol generally follows several well-established rules. In particular, non-linear blending effects are generally observed on a volume basis (i.e. BON > RON or MON of pure ethanol; 108 and 89, respectively), while linear blending effects are generally observed on a molar basis (i.e. BON = RON or MON of pure ethanol). This work firstly demonstrates that the non-linear volumetric blending effects traditionally observed under SI operating conditions are also observed under HCCI operating conditions.
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.
Journal Article

Blending Octane Number of Ethanol in HCCI, SI and CI Combustion Modes

The effect of ethanol blended with three FACE (Fuels for Advanced Combustion Engines) gasolines, I, J and A corresponding to RON 70.3, 71.8 and 83.5, respectively, were compared to PRF70 and PRF84 with the same ethanol concentrations, these being 2%, 5%, 10%, 15% and 20% by volume. A Cooperative Fuel Research (CFR) engine was used to understand the blending effect of ethanol with FACE gasolines and PRFs in spark-ignited and homogeneous charge compression ignited mode. Blending octane numbers (BON) were obtained for both the modes. All the fuels were also tested in an ignition quality tester to obtain Blending Derived Cetane numbers (BDCN). It is shown that fuel composition and octane number are important characteristics of all the base fuels that have a significant impact on octane increase with ethanol. The dependency of octane number for the base fuel on the blending octane number depended on the combustion mode operated.
Technical Paper

Modeling of Heating and Evaporation of FACE I Gasoline Fuel and its Surrogates

The US Department of Energy has formulated different gasoline fuels called ''Fuels for Advanced Combustion Engines (FACE)'' to standardize their compositions. FACE I is a low octane number gasoline fuel with research octane number (RON) of approximately 70. The detailed hydrocarbon analysis (DHA) of FACE I shows that it contains 33 components. This large number of components cannot be handled in fuel spray simulation where thousands of droplets are directly injected in combustion chamber. These droplets are to be heated, broken-up, collided and evaporated simultaneously. Heating and evaporation of single droplet FACE I fuel was investigated. The heating and evaporation model accounts for the effects of finite thermal conductivity, finite liquid diffusivity and recirculation inside the droplet, referred to as the effective thermal conductivity/effective diffusivity (ETC/ED) model.
Technical Paper

Improving the Efficiency of Conventional Spark-Ignition Engines Using Octane-on-Demand Combustion. Part I: Engine Studies

This paper is the first of a two part study which investigates the use of advanced combustion modes as a means of improving the efficiency and environmental impact of conventional light-duty vehicles. This first study focuses on the application of so-called Octane-on-Demand combustion, whereby the fuel anti-knock quality is customized to match the real-time requirements of an otherwise conventional spark-ignition engine. Methanol is utilized as the high octane fuel, while three alternative petroleum-derived fuels with Research octane numbers (RONs) ranging from 61 to 90 are examined as candidates for the lower octane fuel. Experimental engine calibration maps are first developed to quantify the minimum amount of methanol that must be added to each lower octane fuel in order to reproduce the baseline engine performance attained on a market gasoline (RON 95). The properties of the lower octane fuel are shown to affect the engine performance significantly.
Technical Paper

Improving the Efficiency of Conventional Spark-Ignition Engines Using Octane-on-Demand Combustion - Part II: Vehicle Studies and Life Cycle Assessment

This paper is the second of a two part study which investigates the use of advanced combustion modes as a means of improving the efficiency and environmental impact of conventional light-duty vehicles. This second study focuses on drive cycle simulations and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for vehicles equipped with Octane-on-Demand combustion. Methanol is utilized as the high octane fuel, while three alternative petroleum-derived fuels with Research octane numbers (RONs) ranging from 61 to 90 are examined as candidates for the lower octane fuel. The experimental engine calibration maps developed in the previous study are first provided as inputs to a drive cycle simulation tool. This is used to quantify the total fuel consumption, octane requirement and tank-to-wheel CO2 emissions for a light-duty vehicle equipped with two alternative powertrain configurations. The properties of the lower octane fuel are shown to affect the vehicle fuel consumption and CO2 emissions significantly.
Technical Paper

Characterization of High Efficiency Octane-On-Demand Fuels Requirement in a Modern Spark Ignition Engine with Dual Injection System

In a regulatory environment for spark ignition (SI) engines where the focus is continuously looking into improvements in fuel economy and reduction in noxious emissions, the challenges to achieve future requirements are utmost. To effectively reduce CO2 emissions on a well-to-wheel basis, future fuels enabling high efficiency SI engines will have to not only satisfy advanced engine requirements, i.e. high knock resistance, but also produce less CO2 emissions in the refinery. This paper describes how to characterize SI combustion's on-demand octane requirement with three different dual fuel configurations. Refinery naphtha was used for low octane component, and three oxygenates were used for high octane knock inhibiting component, such as, Methanol and Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) and Ethyl tert-butyl ether (ETBE). Each low and high octane fuel was introduced via production gasoline direct injector (DI) and port fuel injector (PFI) in both configurations.
Technical Paper

Octane-on-Demand as an Enabler for Highly Efficient Spark Ignition Engines and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Improvement

This paper explores the potential for reducing transport-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by introducing high-efficiency spark-ignition engines with a dual-fuel injection system to customize the octane of the fuels based on real-time engine requirements. It is assumed that a vehicle was equipped with two fuel tanks and two injection systems; one port fuel injection and one direct injection line separately. Each tank carried low octane and high octane fuel so that real-time octane blending was occurred in the combustion chamber when needed (Octane On-Demand: OOD). A refinery naphtha was selected for low octane fuel (RON=61), because of its similarity to gasoline properties but a less processed, easier to produce without changing a refinery configuration. Three oxygenates were used for high octane knock-resistant fuels in a direct injection line: methanol, MTBE, and ETBE.
Journal Article

An Alternative Method Based on Toluene/n-Heptane Surrogate Fuels for Rating the Anti-Knock Quality of Practical Gasolines

As SI engines strive for higher efficiency they are more likely to encounter knock and fuel anti-knock quality, which is currently measured by RON and MON, becomes more important. However, the RON and MON scales are based on primary reference fuels (PRF) - mixtures of iso-octane and n-heptane - whose autoignition chemistry is significantly different from that of practical fuels. Hence RON or MON alone can truly characterize a gasoline for its knock behavior only at their respective test conditions. The same gasoline will match different PRF fuels at different operating conditions. The true anti-knock quality of a fuel is given by the octane index, OI = RON −KS where S = RON − MON, is the sensitivity. K depends on the pressure and temperature evolution in the unburned gas during the engine cycle and hence is different at different operating conditions and is negative in modern engines.

Fuel/Engine Interactions

Conventional fossil fuels will constitute the majority of automotive fuels for the foreseeable future but will have to adapt to changes in engine technology. Unconventional transport fuels such as biofuels, gas-to-liquid fuels, compressed natural gas, and liquid petroleum gas will also play a role. Hydrogen might be a viable transport fuel if it overcomes barriers in production, transport, storage, and safety and/or if fuel cells become viable. This book opens by considering these issues and then introduces practical transport fuels. A chapter on engine deposits follows, which is an important practical topic about how fuels affect engines that is not usually considered in other books. The next three chapters discuss auto-ignition phenomena in engines. The auto-ignition resistance of fuels is the most important fuel property since it limits the efficiency of spark ignition engines and determines the performance of compression ignition engines.
Journal Article

Butanol Blending - a Promising Approach to Enhance the Thermodynamic Potential of Gasoline - Part 1

Blending gasoline with oxygenates like ethanol, MTBE or ETBE has a proven potential to increase the thermodynamic efficiency by enhancing knock resistance. The present research focuses on assessing the capability of a 2- and tert-butanol mixture as a possible alternative to state-of-the-art oxygenates. The butanol mixture was blended into a non-oxygenated reference gasoline with a research octane number (RON) of 97. The butanol blending ratios were 15% and 30% by mass. Both the thermodynamic potential and the impact on emissions were investigated. Tests are performed on a highly boosted single-cylinder gasoline engine with high load capability and a direct injecting fuel system using a solenoid-actuated multi-hole injector. The engine is equipped with both intake and exhaust cam phasers. The engine has been chosen for the fuel investigation, as it represents the SI technology with a strongly increasing market share.