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Technical Paper

Effects of Exhaust Gas Hydrogen Addition and Oxygenated Fuel Blends on the Light-Off Performance of a Three-Way Catalyst

A significant amount of harmful emissions pass unreacted through catalytic after-treatment devices for IC engines before the light-off temperature is reached, despite the high conversion efficiency of these systems in fully warm conditions. Further tightening of fleet targets and worldwide emission regulations will make a faster catalyst light-off to meet legislated standards hence reduce the impact of road transport on air quality even more critical. This work investigates the effect of adding hydrogen (H2) at levels up to 2500 ppm into the exhaust gases produced by combustion of various oxygenated C2-, C4- and renewable fuel molecules blended at 20 % wt/wt with gasoline on the light-off performance of a commercially available three-way catalyst (TWC) (0.61 L, Pd/Rh/Pt - 19/5/1, 15g). The study was conducted on a modified naturally aspirated, 1.4 L, four-cylinder, direct-injected, spark-ignition engine.
Technical Paper

Investigating the Combustion and Emissions Characteristics of Biomass-Derived Platform Fuels as Gasoline Extenders in a Single Cylinder Spark-Ignition Engine

The conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to liquid fuels presents an alternative to the current production of renewable fuels for IC engines from food crops. However, realising the potential for reductions in net CO2 emissions through the utilisation of, for example, waste biomass for sustainable fuel production requires that energy and resource inputs into such processes be minimised. This work therefore investigates the combustion and emission characteristics of five intermediate platform molecules potentially derived from lignocellulosic biomass: gamma-valerolactone (GVL), methyl valerate, furfuryl alcohol, furfural and 2-methyltetrahydrofuran (MTHF). The study was conducted on a naturally aspirated, water cooled, single cylinder spark-ignition engine. Each of the platform molecules were blended with reference fossil gasoline at 20 % wt/wt.
Journal Article

Development of a Fast-Acting, Time-Resolved Gas Sampling System for Combustion and Fuels Analysis

Development of new fuels and engine combustion strategies for future ultra-low emission engines requires a greater level of insight into the process of emissions formation than is afforded by the approach of engine exhaust measurement. The paper describes the development of an in-cylinder gas sampling system consisting of a fast-acting, percussion-based, poppet-type sampling valve, and a heated dilution tunnel; and the deployment of the system in a single cylinder engine. A control system was also developed for the sampling valve to allow gas samples to be extracted from the engine cylinder during combustion, at any desired crank angle in the engine cycle, while the valve motion was continuously monitored using a proximity sensor. The gas sampling system was utilised on a direct injection diesel engine co-combusting a range of hydrogen-diesel fuel and methane-diesel fuel mixtures.
Technical Paper

Aspects of Numerical Modelling of Flash-Boiling Fuel Sprays

Flash-boiling of sprays may occur when a superheated liquid is discharged into an ambient environment with lower pressure than its saturation pressure. Such conditions normally exist in direct-injection spark-ignition engines operating at low in-cylinder pressures and/or high fuel temperatures. The addition of novel high volatile additives/fuels may also promote flash-boiling. Fuel flashing plays a significant role in mixture formation by promoting faster breakup and higher fuel evaporation rates compared to non-flashing conditions. Therefore, fundamental understanding of the characteristics of flashing sprays is necessary for the development of more efficient mixture formation. The present computational work focuses on modelling flash-boiling of n-Pentane and iso-Octane sprays using a Lagrangian particle tracking technique.
Journal Article

Numerical Modelling of the In-Nozzle Flow of a Diesel Injector with Moving Needle during and after the End of a Full Injection Event

The design of a Diesel injector is a key factor in achieving higher engine efficiency. The injector's fuel atomisation characteristics are also critical for minimising toxic emissions such as unburnt Hydrocarbons (HC). However, when developing injection systems, the small dimensions of the nozzle render optical experimental investigations very challenging under realistic engine conditions. Therefore, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) can be used instead. For the present work, transient, Volume Of Fluid (VOF), multiphase simulations of the flow inside and immediately downstream of a real-size multi-hole nozzle were performed, during and after the injection event with a small air chamber coupled to the injector downstream of the nozzle exit. A Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) approach was used to account for turbulence. Grid dependency studies were performed with 200k-1.5M cells.
Journal Article

Large Eddy Simulation of an n-Heptane Spray Flame with Dynamic Adaptive Chemistry under Different Oxygen Concentrations

Detailed chemical kinetics is essential for accurate prediction of combustion performance as well as emissions in practical combustion engines. However, implementation of that is challenging. In this work, dynamic adaptive chemistry (DAC) is integrated into large eddy simulations (LES) of an n-heptane spray flame in a constant volume chamber (CVC) with realistic application conditions. DAC accelerates the time integration of the governing ordinary differential equations (ODEs) for chemical kinetics through the use of locally (spatially and temporally) valid skeletal mechanisms. Instantaneous flame structures and global combustion characteristics such as ignition delay time, flame lift-off length (LOL) and emissions are investigated to assess the effect of DAC on LES-DAC results. The study reveals that in LES-DAC simulations, the auto-ignition time and LOL obtain a well agreement with experiment data under different oxygen concentrations.
Technical Paper

Engine Testing of Dissolved Sodium Borohydride for Diesel Combustion CO2 Scrubbing

Improvements in the efficiency of internal combustion engines and the development of renewable liquid fuels have both been deployed to reduce exhaust emissions of CO2. An additional approach is to scrub CO2 from the combustion gases, and one potential means by which this might be achieved is the reaction of combustions gases with sodium borohydride to form sodium carbonate. This paper presents experimental studies carried out on a modern direct injection diesel engine supplied with a solution of dissolved sodium borohydride so as to investigate the effects of sodium borohydride on combustion and emissions. Sodium borohydride was dissolved in the ether diglyme at concentrations of 0.1 and 2 % (wt/wt), and tested alongside pure diglyme and a reference fossil diesel. The sodium borohydride solutions and pure diglyme were supplied to the fuel injector under an inert atmosphere and tested at a constant injection timing and constant engine indicated mean effective pressure (IMEP).
Technical Paper

Characterization of Flame Development with Hydrous and Anhydrous Ethanol Fuels in a Spark-Ignition Engine with Direct Injection and Port Injection Systems

This paper presents a study of the combustion mechanism of hydrous and anhydrous ethanol in comparison to iso-octane and gasoline fuels in a single-cylinder spark-ignition research engine operated at 1000 rpm with 0.5 bar intake plenum pressure. The engine was equipped with optical access and tests were conducted with both Port Fuel Injection (PFI) and Direct Injection (DI) mixture preparation methods; all tests were conducted at stoichiometric conditions. The results showed that all alcohol fuels, both hydrous and anhydrous, burned faster than iso-octane and gasoline for both PFI and DI operation. The rate of combustion and peak cylinder pressure decreased with water content in ethanol for both modes of mixture preparation. Flame growth data were obtained by high-speed chemiluminescence imaging. These showed similar trends to the mass fraction burned curves obtained by in-cylinder heat release analysis for PFI operation; however, the trend with DI was not as consistent as with PFI.
Technical Paper

Developing Low Gasoline Particulate Emission Engines Through Improved Fuel Delivery

Particulate emissions are of growing concern due to health impacts. Many urban areas around the world currently have particulate matter levels exceeding the World Health Organisation safe limits. Gasoline engines, especially when equipped with direct injection systems, contribute to this pollution. In recognition of this fact European limits on particulate mass and number are being introduced. A number of ways to meet these new stringent limits have been under investigation. The focus of this paper is on particulate emissions reduction through improvements in fuel delivery. This investigation is part of the author's ongoing particulate research and development that includes optical engine spray and combustion visualisation, CFD method development, engine and vehicle testing with the aim to move particulate emission development upstream in the development process.
Technical Paper

Numerical Modelling of Mixture Formation and Combustion in DISI Hydrogen Engines with Various Injection Strategies

International obligations to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and requirements to strengthen security of fuel supply, indicate a need to diversify towards the use of cleaner and more sustainable fuels. Hydrogen has been recommended as an encouraging gaseous fuel for future road transportation since with reasonable modifications it can be burned in conventional internal combustion engines without producing carbon-based tailpipe emissions. Direct injection of hydrogen into the combustion chamber can be more preferable than port fuel injection since it offers advantages of higher volumetric efficiency and can eliminate abnormal combustion phenomena such as backfiring. The current work applied a fully implicit computational methodology along with the Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) approach to study the mixture formation and combustion in a direct-injection spark-ignition engine with hydrogen fuelling.
Technical Paper

Numerical methods of improving computation efficiency on diesel spray and combustion using large eddy simulation in KIVA3V code

Unlike RANS method, LES method needs more time and much more grids to accurately simulate the spray process. In KIVA, spray process was modeled by Lagrangain-drop and Eulerian-fluid method. The coarse grid can cause errors in predicting the droplet-gas relative velocity, so for reducing grid dependency due to the relative velocity effects, an improved spray model based on a gas-jet theory is used in this work and in order to validate the model seven different size grids were used. In this work, the local dense grid was used to reduce the computation cost and obtain accurate results that also were compared with entire dense grid. Another method to improve computation efficiency is the MUSCL (Monotone Upstream-centered Schemes for Conservation Laws) differencing scheme that was implemented into KIVA3V-LES code to calculate the momentum convective term and reduce numerical errors.
Technical Paper

Computational Study of Hydrogen Direct Injection for Internal Combustion Engines

Hydrogen has been largely proposed as a possible fuel for internal combustion engines. The main advantage of burning hydrogen is the absence of carbon-based tailpipe emissions. Hydrogen's wide flammability also offers the advantage of very lean combustion and higher engine efficiency than conventional carbon-based fuels. In order to avoid abnormal combustion modes like pre-ignition and backfiring, as well as air displacement from hydrogen's large injected volume per cycle, direct injection of hydrogen after intake valve closure is the preferred mixture preparation method for hydrogen engines. The current work focused on computational studies of hydrogen injection and mixture formation for direct-injection spark-ignition engines. Hydrogen conditions at the injector's nozzle exit are typically sonic.
Journal Article

The Impact of Saturated and Unsaturated Fuel Molecules on Diesel Combustion and Exhaust Emissions

Diesel fuels usually comprise a wide range of compounds having different molecular structures which can affect both the fuel's physical properties and combustion characteristics. In future, as synthetic fuels from fossil and sustainable sources become increasingly available, it could be possible to control the fuel's molecular structure to achieve clean and efficient combustion. This paper presents experimental results of combustion and emissions studies undertaken on a single cylinder diesel engine supplied with 18 different fuels each comprising a single, acyclic, non-oxygenated hydrocarbon molecule. These molecules were chosen to highlight the effect of straight carbon chain length, degree of saturation and the addition of methyl groups as branches to a straight carbon chain.
Technical Paper

Combining Unthrottled Operation with Internal EGR under Port and Central Direct Fuel Injection Conditions in a Single Cylinder SI Engine

This experimental work was concerned with the combination of internal EGR with an early inlet valve closure strategy for improved part-load fuel economy. The experiments were performed in a new spark-ignited thermodynamic single cylinder research engine, equipped with a mechanical fully variable valvetrain on both the inlet and exhaust. During unthrottled operation at constant engine speed and load, increasing the mass of trapped residual allowed increased valve duration and lift to be used. In turn, this enabled further small improvements in gas exchange efficiency, thermal efficiency and hence indicated fuel consumption. Such effects were quantified under both port and homogeneous central direct fuel injection conditions. Shrouding of the inlet ports as a potential method to increase in-cylinder gas velocities has also been considered.
Journal Article

Hydrogen SI and HCCI Combustion in a Direct-Injection Optical Engine

Hydrogen has been largely proposed as a possible alternative fuel for internal combustion engines. Its wide flammability range allows higher engine efficiency with leaner operation than conventional fuels, for both reduced toxic emissions and no CO2 gases. Independently, Homogenous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) also allows higher thermal efficiency and lower fuel consumption with reduced NOX emissions when compared to Spark-Ignition (SI) engine operation. For HCCI combustion, a mixture of air and fuel is supplied to the cylinder and autoignition occurs from compression; engine is operated throttle-less and load is controlled by the quality of the mixture, avoiding the large fluid-dynamic losses in the intake manifold of SI engines. HCCI can be induced and controlled by varying the mixture temperature, either by Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) or intake air pre-heating.
Technical Paper

Comparison between Unthrottled, Single and Two-valve Induction Strategies Utilising Direct Gasoline Injection: Emissions, Heat-release and Fuel Consumption Analysis

For a spark-ignition engine, the parasitic loss suffered as a result of conventional throttling has long been recognised as a major reason for poor part-load fuel efficiency. While lean, stratified charge, operation addresses this issue, exhaust gas aftertreatment is more challenging compared with homogeneous operation and three-way catalyst after-treatment. This paper adopts a different approach: homogeneous charge direct injection (DI) operation with variable valve actuations which reduce throttling losses. In particular, low-lift and early inlet valve closing (EIVC) strategies are investigated. Results from a thermodynamic single cylinder engine are presented that quantify the effect of two low-lift camshafts and one standard high-lift camshaft operating EIVC strategies at four engine running conditions; both, two- and single-inlet valve operation were investigated. Tests were conducted for both port and DI fuelling, under stoichiometric conditions.
Journal Article

Characteristics of Ethanol, Butanol, Iso-Octane and Gasoline Sprays and Combustion from a Multi-Hole Injector in a DISI Engine

Recent pressures on vehicle manufacturers to reduce their average fleet levels of CO2 emissions have resulted in an increased drive to improve fuel economy and enable use of fuels developed from renewable sources that can achieve a net reduction in the CO2 output of each vehicle. The most popular choice for spark-ignition engines has been the blending of ethanol with gasoline, where the ethanol is derived either from agricultural or cellulosic sources such as sugar cane, corn or decomposed plant matter. However, other fuels, such as butanol, have also arisen as potential candidates due to their similarities to gasoline, e.g. higher energy density than ethanol. To extract the maximum benefits from these new fuels through optimized engine design and calibration, an understanding of the behaviour of these fuels in modern engines is necessary.
Technical Paper

Effect of Fuel Properties on Spray Development from a Multi-Hole DISI Engine Injector

Extensive literature exists on spray development, mixing and combustion regarding engine modeling and diagnostics using single-component and model fuels. However, often the variation in data between different fuels, particularly relating to spray development and its effect on combustion, is neglected or overlooked. By injecting into a quiescent chamber, this work quantifies the differences in spray development from a multi-hole direct-injection spark-ignition engine injector for two single-component fuels (iso-octane and n-pentane), a non-fluorescing multi-component model fuel which may be used for in-cylinder Laser Induced Fluorescence experiments, and several grades of pump gasoline (with and without additives). High-speed recordings of the sprays were made for a range of fuel temperatures and gas pressures. It is shown that a fuel temperature above that of the lowest boiling point fraction of the tested fuel at the given gas pressure causes a convergence of the spray plumes.
Technical Paper

Effects on diesel combustion of the molecular structure of potential synthetic bio-fuel molecules

Synthetic bio-fuels, which can be obtained through the gasification of biomass into synthesis gas and the subsequent catalytic reaction of the synthesis gas into liquid fuel molecules, could play a key-role in providing a sustainable source of automotive fuels during the coming decades. This paper presents an attempt to understand the effect of molecular structure of potential oxygenated synthetic bio-fuel molecules of different structure on the diesel combustion process in both stratified and homogeneous combustion modes. Specifically, the effects of molecular structure on the energy release rates, gaseous exhaust emissions and the sub-micron particulate matter distribution were examined. The experiments were carried out on a single-cylinder direct-injection diesel engine using a specially adapted common-rail fuel-system which allowed the injection of small single-molecule fuel samples at high pressure.
Technical Paper

Unthrottled Engine Operation using Variable Valve Actuation: The Impact on the Flow Field, Mixing and Combustion

The effect on the intake flow field, air fuel mixing processes, thermodynamic performance and emissions output has been investigated for a range of valve operating profiles. A standard speed load point of 2000 rpm and 2.7 bar IMEP720° has been reached by throttling the intake whilst running standard cam profiles, by early closing of both inlet valves (EIVC) and by early closing of each inlet individually to generate bulk swirl motions within the cylinder. Data has been recorded at stoichiometric air fuel ratios for both direct injection and port fuelled operation. The valve profiles have been applied to two single cylinder homogeneous gasoline direct injection (GDI) spark ignition engines, developed to investigate the potential of controlling engine load by limiting the inducted air mass using fully variable valve timing (FVVT) to reduce pumping losses at part load.