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Technical Paper

Preliminary Testing of n-Butanol HCCI on High Compression Ratio Diesel Engines

2019-04-02
2019-01-0577
The control of combustion phasing in homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) combustion is investigated with neat n-butanol in this work. HCCI is a commonly researched combustion mode, owing to its improved thermal efficiency over conventional gasoline combustion, as well as its lower nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter emissions compared to those of diesel combustion. Despite these advantages, HCCI lacks successful widespread implementation with conventional fuels, primarily due to the lack of effective combustion phasing control. In this preliminary study, chemical kinetic simulations are conducted to study the auto-ignition characteristics of n-butanol under varied background pressures, temperatures, and dilution levels using established mechanisms in CHEMKIN software. Increasing the pressure or temperature lead to a shorter ignition delay, whereas increasing the dilution by the application of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) leads to a longer ignition delay.
Technical Paper

Ion Current Measurement of Diluted Combustion Using a Multi-Electrode Spark Plug

2018-04-03
2018-01-1134
Close-loop feedback combustion control is essential for improving the internal combustion engines to meet the rigorous fuel efficiency demands and emission legislations. A vital part is the combustion sensing technology that diagnoses in-cylinder combustion information promptly, such as using cylinder pressure sensor and ion current measurement. The promptness and fidelity of the diagnostic are particularly important to the potential success of using intra-cycle control for abnormal cycles such as super knocking and misfiring. Many research studies have demonstrated the use of ion-current sensing as feedback signal to control the spark ignition gasoline engines, with the spark gap shared for both ignition and ion-current detection. During the spark glow phase, the sparking current may affect the combustion ion current signal. Moreover, the electrode gap size is optimized for sparking rather than measurement of ion current.
Technical Paper

A Fuel Sensitive Ignition Delay Model for Direct Injection Diesel Engine Operating under EGR Diluted Conditions

2018-04-03
2018-01-0231
This empirical work investigates the impacts of thermodynamic parameters, such as pressure and temperature, and fuel properties, such as fuel Cetane number and aromatic contents on ignition delay in diesel engines. Systematic tests are conducted on a single-cylinder research engine to evaluate the ignition delay changes due to the fuel property differences at low, medium and high engine loads under different EGR dilution ratios. The test fuels offer a range of Cetane numbers from 28 to 54.2 and aromatic contents volume ratios from 19.4% to 46.6%. The experimental results of ignition delays are used to derive an ignition delay model modified from Arrhenius’ expression. Following the same format of Arrhenius’ equation, the model incorporates the pressure and temperature effects, and further includes the impacts of intake oxygen concentration, fuel Cetane number and aromatic contents volume ratio on the ignition delay.
Technical Paper

Early Pilot Injection Strategies for Reactivity Control in Diesel-ethanol Dual Fuel Combustion

2018-04-03
2018-01-0265
This paper examines the diesel-ethanol dual fuel combustion at medium engine loads on a single-cylinder research diesel engine with a compression ratio of 16.5:1. The effect of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and ethanol energy ratio was investigated for the dual fuel combustion to achieve simultaneously ultra-low NOx and soot emissions. A medium ethanol ratio of about 0.6 was found suitable to meet the requirements for mixing enhancement and ignition control, which resulted in the lowest NOx and soot emissions among the tested ethanol ratios. A double-pilot injection strategy was found competent to lower the pressure rise rate owing to the reduced fuel quantity in the close-to-TDC injection. The advancement of pilot injection timing tended to reduce the CO and THC emissions, which is deemed beneficial for high EGR operations. The reactivity mutual-modulation between the diesel pilot and the background ethanol mixture was identified.
Technical Paper

A Feasibility Study of Using DI Butanol as an Ignition Source for Dual-Fuel Combustion

2017-03-28
2017-01-0770
The combustion of dual-fuel engines usually uses a pilot flame to burn out a background fuel inside a cylinder under high compression. The background fuel can be either a gaseous fuel or a volatile liquid fuel, commonly with low reactivity to prevent premature combustion and engine knocking; whereas the pilot flame is normally set off with the direct injection of a liquid fuel with adequate reactivity that is suitable for deterministic auto-ignition with a high compression ratio. In this work, directly injected butanol is used to generate the pilot flame, while intake port injected ethanol or butanol is employed as the background fuel. Compared with the conventional diesel-only combustion, dual-fuel operations not only broaden the fuel applicability, but also enhance the potential for clean combustion, in high efficiency engines. The amount of background fuel and the scheduling of pilot flame are investigated through extensive laboratory experiments.
Technical Paper

Improvement on Energy Efficiency of the Spark Ignition System

2017-03-28
2017-01-0678
Future clean combustion engines tend to increase the cylinder charge to achieve better fuel economy and lower exhaust emissions. The increase of the cylinder charge is often associated with either excessive air admission or exhaust gas recirculation, which leads to unfavorable ignition conditions at the ignition point. Advanced ignition methods and systems have progressed rapidly in recent years in order to suffice the current and future engine development, and a simple increase of energy of the inductive ignition system does not often provide the desired results from a cost-benefit point of view. Proper design of the ignition system circuit is required to achieve certain spark performances.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Multi-Pole Spark Ignition Under Lean Conditions and with EGR

2017-03-28
2017-01-0679
In order to meet the future carbon dioxide legislation, advanced clean combustion engines are tending to employ low temperature diluted combustion strategies along with intensified cylinder charge motion. The diluted mixtures are made by means of excess air admission or exhaust gas recirculation. A slower combustion speed during the early flame kernel development because of the suppressed mixture reactivity will reduce the reliability of the ignition process and the overall combustion stability. In an effort to address this issue, an ignition strategy using a multi-pole spark igniter is tested in this work. The igniter uses three electrically independent spark gaps to allow three spatially distributed spark discharges. The multi-pole spark strategy displayed more advanced combustion phasing and lower phasing variability compared to single spark discharges.
Technical Paper

Fuel Burn Rate Control to Improve Load Capability of Neat n-Butanol Combustion in a Modern Diesel Engine

2016-10-17
2016-01-2301
This research work investigates the control strategies of fuel burn rate of neat n-butanol combustion to improve the engine load capability. Engine tests of homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) and partially premixed combustion (PPC) with neat n-butanol show promising NOx and smoke emissions; however, the rapid burn rate of n-butanol results in excessive pressure rise rates and limits the engine load capability. A multi-event combustion strategy is developed to modulate the fuel burn rate of the combustion cycle and thus to reduce the otherwise high pressure rise rates at higher engine load levels. In the multi-event combustion strategy, the first combustion event is produced near TDC by the compression ignition of the port injected butanol that resembles the HCCI combustion; the second combustion event occurs near 7~12 degrees after TDC, which is produced by butanol direct injection (DI) after the first HCCI-like combustion event.
Technical Paper

Emission Analysis of HCCI Combustion in a Diesel Engine Fueled by Butanol

2016-04-05
2016-01-0749
Advances in engine technology in recent years have led to significant reductions in the emission of pollutants and gains in efficiency. As a facet of investigations into clean, efficient combustion, the homogenous charge compression ignition (HCCI) mode of combustion can improve upon the thermal efficiency and nitrogen oxides emission of conventional spark ignition engines. With respect to conventional diesel engines, the low nitrogen oxides and particulate matter emissions reduce the requirements on the aftertreatment system to meet emission regulations. In this paper, n-butanol, an alcohol fuel with the potential to be derived from renewable sources, was used in a light-duty diesel research engine in the HCCI mode of combustion. Control of the combustion was implemented using the intake pressure and external exhaust gas recirculation. The moderate reactivity of butanol required the assistance of increased intake pressure for ignition at the lower engine load range.
Technical Paper

Hydrocarbon Speciation of Diesel Ignited Ethanol and Butanol Engines

2016-04-05
2016-01-0773
Dual fuel applications of alcohol fuels such as ethanol or butanol through port injection with direct injection of diesel can be effective in reduction of NOx. However, these dual fuel applications are usually associated with an increase in the incomplete combustion products such as hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide (CO), and hydrogen (H2) emissions. An analysis of these products of incomplete combustion and the resulting combustion efficiency penalty was made in the diesel ignited alcohol combustion modes. The effect of EGR application was evaluated using ethanol and butanol as the port injected fuel, with varying alcohol fractions at the mid-load condition (10 -12 bar IMEP). The impact of varying the engine load (5 bar to 19 bar IMEP) in the diesel ignited ethanol mode on the incomplete combustion products was also studied. Emission measurements were taken and the net fuel energy loss as a result of the incomplete combustion was estimated.
Technical Paper

Heat Release Analysis of Clean Combustion with Ethanol Ignited by Diesel in a High Compression Ratio Engine

2016-04-05
2016-01-0766
The control of nitrogen oxide and smoke emissions in diesel engines has been one of the key researches in both the academia and industry. Nitrogen oxides can be effectively suppressed by the use of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR). However, the introduction of inert exhaust gas into the engine intake is often associated with high smoke emissions. To overcome these issues there have been a number of proposed strategies, one of the more promising being the use of low temperature combustion enabled with heavy EGR. This has the potential to achieve simultaneously low emissions of nitrogen oxide and smoke. However, a quantitative way to identify the transition zone between high temperature combustion and low temperature combustion has still not been fully explored. The combustion becomes even more complicated when ethanol fuel is used as a partial substitution for diesel fuel.
Journal Article

Investigation of Fuel Injection Strategies for Direct Injection of Neat n-Butanol in a Compression Ignition Engine

2016-04-05
2016-01-0724
In this study, impacts of neat n-butanol fuel injection parameters on direct injection (DI) compression ignition (CI) engine performance were investigated to gain knowledge for understanding the fuel injection strategies for n-butanol. The engine tests were conducted on a four-stroke single-cylinder DI CI engine with a compression ratio of 18.2:1. The effects of fuel injection pressure (40, 60 and 90 MPa) and injection timing in a single injection strategy were investigated. The results showed that an increase in injection pressure significantly reduced nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions which is the opposite trend seen in conventional diesel combustion. The parallel use of a higher injection pressure and retarded injection timing was a proposed method to reduce NOx and cylinder pressure rise rate simultaneously. NOx was further reduced by using exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) while keeping near zero soot emissions.
Journal Article

Experimental Investigation of Diesel-Ethanol Premixed Pilot-Assisted Combustion (PPAC) in a High Compression Ratio Engine

2016-04-05
2016-01-0781
In this work, empirical investigations of the diesel-ethanol Premixed Pilot-Assisted Combustion (PPAC) are carried out on a high compression ratio (18.2:1) single-cylinder diesel engine. The tests focus on determining the minimum ethanol fraction for ultra-low NOx & soot emissions, effect of single-pilot vs. twin-pilot strategies on emissions and ignition controllability, reducing the EGR requirements, enabling clean combustion across the load range and achieving high efficiency full-load operation. The results show that both low NOx and almost zero soot emissions can be achieved but at the expense of higher unburned hydrocarbons. Compared to a single-pilot injection, a twin-pilot strategy reduces the soot emissions significantly and also lowers the NOx emissions, thereby reducing the requirements for EGR. The near-TDC pilot provides excellent control over the combustion phasing, further reducing the need of a higher EGR quantity for phasing control.
Technical Paper

Ignition Improvement of Premixed Methane-Air Mixtures by Distributed Spark Discharge

2015-09-01
2015-01-1889
In order to improve the fuel economy for future high-efficiency spark ignition engines, the use of advanced combustion strategies with an overall lean and/or exhaust gas recirculation diluted cylinder charge is deemed to be beneficial, provided a reliable ignition process available. In this paper, experimental results of igniting methane-air mixture by means of capacitive coupled ignition and multi-coil distributed spark ignition are presented. It is found that with a conventional spark plug electrode configuration, increase of spark energy does not proportionally enhance the ignition flame kernel development. The use of capacitive coupled ignition to enhance the initial transient power resulted in faster kernel growth compared to the conventional system. The distribution of the spark energy across a number of spark gaps shows considerable benefit.
Technical Paper

Combustion and Exhaust Gas Speciation Analysis of Diesel and Butanol Post Injection

2015-04-14
2015-01-0803
Experimental testing was done with a modern compression ignition engine to study the effect of the engine load and the effect of different fuels on the post injection characteristics. Two different fuels were utilized; ultra-low sulphur diesel and n-butanol. The results showed that a post injection can be an effective method for increasing the operating range of the engine load. Engine operation at high load can be limited by the peak cylinder pressure but the test results showed that an early post injection can increase the engine load without increasing the peak in-cylinder pressure. Neat butanol combustion may have a very high peak in-cylinder pressure and a very high peak pressure rise rate even at low load conditions. The test results showed that a butanol post injection can contribute to engine power without significantly affecting the peak pressure rise rate and the peak in-cylinder pressure.
Journal Article

A Zero-Dimensional Intake Dilution Tracking Algorithm for Real-Time Feedback on Exhaust Gas Recirculation

2015-04-14
2015-01-1714
This study describes a zero-dimensional algorithm for tracking the intake dilution in real-time. The inputs to the model are the oxygen concentration from the exhaust oxygen sensor, the manifold air pressure and temperature (MAP/MAT), the mass air flow (MAF) and the estimated fuel injected per cycle from the engine control module. The intake manifold, the exhaust manifold and EGR system are discretized into 3 volumes and the detailed concentrations of the gas species comprising the exhaust, EGR and intake streams are tracked at each time step (on a cycle-by-cycle basis). The model does not need the EGR ratio to be known in advance and is also applicable to oxygenated fuels such as ethanol. The model response is tuned to a multi-cylinder engine and the model output is empirically validated against a wide range of engine operations including load and EGR transients.
Journal Article

Impact of Fuelling Techniques on Neat n-Butanol Combustion and Emissions in a Compression Ignition Engine

2015-04-14
2015-01-0808
This study investigated neat n-butanol combustion, emissions and thermal efficiency characteristics in a compression ignition (CI) engine by using two fuelling techniques - port fuel injection (PFI) and direct injection (DI). Diesel fuel was used in this research for reference. The engine tests were conducted on a single-cylinder four-stroke DI diesel engine with a compression ratio of 18.2 : 1. An n-Butanol PFI system was installed to study the combustion characteristics of Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI). A common-rail fuel injection system was used to conduct the DI tests with n-butanol and diesel. 90 MPa injection pressure was used for the DI tests. The engine was run at 1500 rpm. The intake boost pressure, engine load, exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) ratio, and DI timing were independently controlled to investigate the engine performance.
Technical Paper

An Enabling Study of Neat n-Butanol HCCI Combustion on a High Compression-ratio Diesel Engine

2015-03-10
2015-01-0001
This work investigates the benefits and challenges of enabling neat n-butanol HCCI combustion on a high compression ratio (18.2:1) diesel engine. Minor engine modifications are made to implement n-butanol port injection while other engine components are kept intact. The impacts of the fuel change, from diesel to n-butanol, are examined through steady-state engine tests with independent control of the intake boost and exhaust gas recirculation. As demonstrated by the test results, the HCCI combustion of a thoroughly premixed n-butanol/air lean mixture offers near-zero smoke and ultralow NOx emissions even without the use of exhaust gas recirculation and produces comparable engine efficiencies to those of conventional diesel high temperature combustion. The test results also manifest the control challenges of running a neat alcohol fuel in the HCCI combustion mode.
Technical Paper

Study of Low Temperature Combustion with Neat n-Butanol on a Common-rail Diesel Engine

2015-03-10
2015-01-0003
This study investigates neat n-butanol, as a cleaner power source, to directly replace conventional diesel fuels for enabling low temperature combustion on a modern common-rail diesel engine. Engine tests are performed at medium engine loads (6∼8 bar IMEP) with the single-shot injection strategy for both n-butanol and diesel fuels. As indicated by the experimental results, the combustion of neat n-butanol offers comparable engine efficiency to that of diesel while producing substantially lower NOx emissions even without the use of exhaust gas recirculation. The greater resistance to auto-ignition allows n-butanol to undergo a prolonged ignition delay for air-fuel mixing; the high volatility helps to enhance the cylinder charge homogeneity; the fuel-borne oxygen contributes to smoke reduction and, as a result, the smoke emissions of n-butanol combustion are generally at a near-zero level under the tested engine operating conditions.
Technical Paper

The Impact of Intake Dilution and Combustion Phasing on the Combustion Stability of a Diesel Engine

2014-04-01
2014-01-1294
Conventionally, the diesel fuel ignites spontaneously following the injection event. The combustion and injection often overlap with a very short ignition delay. Diesel engines therefore offer superior combustion stability characterized by the low cycle-to-cycle variations. However, the enforcement of the stringent emission regulations necessitates the implementation of innovative diesel combustion concepts such as the low temperature combustion (LTC) to achieve ultra-low engine-out pollutants. In stark contrast to the conventional diesel combustion, the enabling of LTC requires enhanced air fuel mixing and hence a longer ignition delay is desired. Such a decoupling of the combustion events from the fuel injection can potentially cause ignition discrepancy and ultimately lead to combustion cyclic variations.
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