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Journal Article

Analytical Examination of the Relationship between Fuel Properties, Engine Efficiency, and R Factor Values

The variability in gasoline energy content, though most frequently not a consumer concern, is an issue of concern for vehicle manufacturers in demonstrating compliance with regulatory requirements. Advancements in both vehicle technology, test methodology, and fuel formulations have increased the level of visibility and concern with regard to the energy content of fuels used for regulatory testing. The R factor was introduced into fuel economy calculations for vehicle certification in the late 1980s as a means of addressing batch-to-batch variations in the heating value of certification fuels and the resulting variations in fuel economy results. Although previous studies have investigated values of the R factor for modern vehicles through experimentation, subsequent engine studies have made clear that it is difficult to distinguish between the confounding factors that influence engine efficiency when R is being studied experimentally.
Journal Article

Estimation of the Fuel Efficiency Potential of Six Gasoline Blendstocks Identified by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Co-Optimization of Fuels and Engines Program

Six blendstocks identified by the Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines Program were used to prepare fuel blends using a fixed blendstock for oxygenate blending and a target RON of 97. The blendstocks included ethanol, n-propanol, isopropanol, isobutanol, diisobutylene, and a bioreformate surrogate. The blends were analyzed and used to establish interaction factors for a non-linear molar blending model that was used to predict RON and MON of volumetric blends of the blendstocks up to 35 vol%. Projections of efficiency increase, volumetric fuel economy increase, and tailpipe CO2 emissions decrease were produced using two different estimation techniques to evaluate the potential benefits of the blendstocks. Ethanol was projected to provide the greatest benefits in efficiency and tailpipe CO2 emissions, but at intermediate levels of volumetric fuel economy increase over a smaller range of blends than other blendstocks.
Technical Paper

Effects of Heat of Vaporization and Octane Sensitivity on Knock-Limited Spark Ignition Engine Performance

Knock-limited loads for a set of surrogate gasolines all having nominal 100 research octane number (RON), approximately 11 octane sensitivity (S), and a heat of vaporization (HOV) range of 390 to 595 kJ/kg at 25°C were investigated. A single-cylinder spark-ignition engine derived from a General Motors Ecotec direct injection (DI) engine was used to perform load sweeps at a fixed intake air temperature (IAT) of 50 °C, as well as knock-limited load measurements across a range of IATs up to 90 °C. Both DI and pre-vaporized fuel (supplied by a fuel injector mounted far upstream of the intake valves and heated intake runner walls) experiments were performed to separate the chemical and thermal effects of the fuels’ knock resistance. The DI load sweeps at 50°C intake air temperature showed no effect of HOV on the knock-limited performance. The data suggest that HOV acts as a thermal contributor to S under the conditions studied.
Journal Article

Selection Criteria and Screening of Potential Biomass-Derived Streams as Fuel Blendstocks for Advanced Spark-Ignition Engines

We describe a study to identify potential biofuels that enable advanced spark ignition (SI) engine efficiency strategies to be pursued more aggressively. A list of potential biomass-derived blendstocks was developed. An online database of properties and characteristics of these bioblendstocks was created and populated. Fuel properties were determined by measurement, model prediction, or literature review. Screening criteria were developed to determine if a bioblendstock met the requirements for advanced SI engines. Criteria included melting point (or cloud point) < -10°C and boiling point (or T90) <165°C. Compounds insoluble or poorly soluble in hydrocarbon were eliminated from consideration, as were those known to cause corrosion (carboxylic acids or high acid number mixtures) and those with hazard classification as known or suspected carcinogens or reproductive toxins.
Journal Article

Exploring the Relationship Between Octane Sensitivity and Heat-of-Vaporization

The latent heat-of-vaporization (HoV) of blends of biofuel and hydrocarbon components into gasolines has recently experienced expanded interest because of the potential for increased HoV to increase fuel knock resistance in direct-injection (DI) engines. Several studies have been conducted, with some studies identifying an additional anti-knock benefit from HoV and others failing to arrive at the same conclusion. Consideration of these studies holistically shows that they can be grouped according to the level of fuel octane sensitivity variation within their fuel matrices. When comparing fuels of different octane sensitivity significant additional anti-knock benefits associated with HoV are sometimes observed. Studies that fix the octane sensitivity find that HoV does not produce additional anti-knock benefit. New studies were performed at ORNL and NREL to further investigate the relationship between HoV and octane sensitivity.
Journal Article

Knock Resistance and Fine Particle Emissions for Several Biomass-Derived Oxygenates in a Direct-Injection Spark-Ignition Engine

Several high octane number oxygenates that could be derived from biomass were blended with gasoline and examined for performance properties and their impact on knock resistance and fine particle emissions in a single cylinder direct-injection spark-ignition engine. The oxygenates included ethanol, isobutanol, anisole, 4-methylanisole, 2-phenylethanol, 2,5-dimethyl furan, and 2,4-xylenol. These were blended into a summertime blendstock for oxygenate blending at levels ranging from 10 to 50 percent by volume. The base gasoline, its blends with p-xylene and p-cymene, and high-octane racing gasoline were tested as controls. Relevant gasoline properties including research octane number (RON), motor octane number, distillation curve, and vapor pressure were measured. Detailed hydrocarbon analysis was used to estimate heat of vaporization and particulate matter index (PMI). Experiments were conducted to measure knock-limited spark advance and particulate matter (PM) emissions.
Technical Paper

Filter-based control of particulate matter from a lean gasoline direct injection engine

New regulations requiring increases in vehicle fuel economy are challenging automotive manufacturers to identify fuel-efficient engines for future vehicles. Lean gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines offer significant increases in fuel efficiency over the more common stoichiometric GDI engines already in the marketplace. However, particulate matter (PM) emissions from lean GDI engines, particularly during stratified combustion modes, are problematic for lean GDI technology to meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Tier 3 and other future emission regulations. As such, the control of lean GDI PM with wall-flow filters, referred to as gasoline particulate filter (GPF) technology, is of interest. Since lean GDI PM chemistry and morphology differ from diesel PM (where more filtration experience exists), the functionality of GPFs needs to be studied to determine the operating conditions suitable for efficient PM removal.
Journal Article

Effects of Oil Formulation, Oil Separator, and Engine Speed and Load on the Particle Size, Chemistry, and Morphology of Diesel Crankcase Aerosols

The recirculation of gases from the crankcase and valvetrain can potentially lead to the entrainment of lubricant in the form of aerosols or mists. As boost pressures increase, the blow-by flow through both the crankcase and the valve cover increases. The resulting lubricant can then become part of the intake charge, potentially leading to fouling of intake components such as the intercooler and the turbocharger. The entrained aerosol which can contain the lubricant and soot may or may not have the same composition as the bulk lubricant. The complex aerodynamic processes that lead to entrainment can strip out heavy components or volatilize light components. Similarly, the physical size and numbers of aerosol particles can be dependent upon the lubricant formulation and engine speed and load. For instance, high rpm and load may increase not only the flow of gases but the amount of lubricant aerosol.
Journal Article

Review: Fuel Volatility Standards and Spark-Ignition Vehicle Driveability

Spark-ignition engine fuel standards have been put in place to ensure acceptable hot and cold weather driveability (HWD and CWD). Vehicle manufacturers and fuel suppliers have developed systems that meet our driveability requirements so effectively that drivers overwhelmingly find that their vehicles reliably start up and operate smoothly and consistently throughout the year. For HWD, fuels that are too volatile perform more poorly than those that are less volatile. Vapor lock is the apparent cause of poor HWD, but there is conflicting evidence in the literature as to where in the fuel system it occurs. Most studies have found a correlation between degraded driveability and higher dry vapor pressure equivalent or lower TV/L = 20, and less consistently with a minimum T50. For CWD, fuels with inadequate volatility can cause difficulty in starting and rough operation during engine warmup.
Journal Article

Determination of the R Factor for Fuel Economy Calculations Using Ethanol-Blended Fuels over Two Test Cycles

During the 1980s, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) incorporated the R factor into fuel economy calculations in order to address concerns about the impacts of test fuel property variations on corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) compliance, which is determined using the Federal Test Procedure (FTP) and Highway Fuel Economy Test (HFET) cycles. The R factor is defined as the ratio of the percent change in fuel economy to the percent change in volumetric heating value for tests conducted using two differing fuels. At the time the R-factor was devised, tests using representative vehicles initially indicated that an appropriate value for the R factor was 0.6. Reassessing the R factor has recently come under renewed interest after EPA's March 2013 proposal to adjust the properties of certification gasoline to contain significant amounts of ethanol.
Technical Paper

Neutron Tomography of Exhaust Gas Recirculation Cooler Deposits

Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) cooler fouling has become a significant issue for compliance with NOx emissions standards. Exhaust gas laden with particulate matter flows through the EGR cooler which causes deposits to form through thermophoresis and condensation. The low thermal conductivity of the resulting deposit reduces the effectiveness of the EGR system. In order to better understand this phenomenon, industry-provided coolers were characterized using neutron tomography. Neutrons are strongly attenuated by hydrogen but only weakly by metals which allows for non-destructive imaging of the deposit through the metal heat exchanger. Multiple 2-D projections of cooler sections were acquired by rotating the sample around the axis of symmetry with the spatial resolution of each image equal to ∼70 μm. A 3-D tomographic set was then reconstructed, from which slices through the cooler sections were extracted across different planes.
Technical Paper

Impact of Fuel Metal Impurities on the Durability of a Light-Duty Diesel Aftertreatment System

Alkali and alkaline earth metal impurities found in diesel fuels are potential poisons for diesel exhaust catalysts. Using an accelerated aging procedure, a set of production exhaust systems from a 2011 Ford F250 equipped with a 6.7L diesel engine have been aged to an equivalent of 150,000 miles of thermal aging and metal exposure. These exhaust systems included a diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC), selective catalytic reduction (SCR) catalyst, and diesel particulate filter (DPF). Four separate exhaust systems were aged, each with a different fuel: ULSD containing no measureable metals, B20 containing sodium, B20 containing potassium and B20 containing calcium. Metals levels were selected to simulate the maximum allowable levels in B100 according to the ASTM D6751 standard. Analysis of the aged catalysts included Federal Test Procedure emissions testing with the systems installed on a Ford F250 pickup, bench flow reactor testing of catalyst cores, and electron probe microanalysis (EPMA).
Journal Article

Effect of B20 and Low Aromatic Diesel on Transit Bus NOx Emissions Over Driving Cycles with a Range of Kinetic Intensity

The objective of this research project was to compare the emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) from transit buses on as many as five different fuels and three standard transit duty cycles to establish if there is a real-world biodiesel NOx increase for transit bus duty cycles and engine calibrations. Prior studies have shown that B20 can cause a small but significant increase in NOx emissions for some engines and duty cycles. Six buses spanning engine build years 1998 to 2011 were tested on the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's Renewable Fuels and Lubricants research laboratory's heavy-duty chassis dynamometer with certification diesel, certification B20 blend, low aromatic [California Air Resources Board (CARB)] diesel, low aromatic B20 blend, and B100 fuels over the Manhattan, Orange County and UDDS test cycles.
Journal Article

Combustion Studies with FACE Diesel Fuels: A Literature Review

The CRC Fuels for Advanced Combustion Engines (FACE) Working Group has provided a matrix of experimental diesel fuels for use in studies on the effects of three parameters, Cetane number (CN), aromatics content, and 90 vol% distillation temperature (T90), on combustion and emissions characteristics of advanced combustion strategies. Various types of fuel analyses and engine experiments were performed in well-known research institutes. This paper reviews a collection of research findings obtained with these nine fuels. An extensive collection of analyses were performed by members of the FACE working group on the FACE diesel fuels as a means of aiding in understanding the linkage between fuel properties and combustion and emissions performance. These analyses included non-traditional chemical techniques as well as established ASTM tests. In a few cases, both ASTM tests and advanced analyses agreed that some design variables differed from their target values when the fuels were produced.
Journal Article

NMOG Emissions Characterizations and Estimation for Vehicles Using Ethanol-Blended Fuels

Ethanol is a biofuel commonly used in gasoline blends to displace petroleum consumption; its utilization is on the rise in the United States, spurred by the biofuel utilization mandates put in place by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the statutory responsibility to implement the EISA mandates through the promulgation of the Renewable Fuel Standard. EPA has historically mandated an emissions certification fuel specification that calls for ethanol-free fuel, except for the certification of flex-fuel vehicles. However, since the U.S. gasoline marketplace is now virtually saturated with E10, some organizations have suggested that inclusion of ethanol in emissions certification fuels would be appropriate.
Technical Paper

Exhaust Particle Characterization for Lean and Stoichiometric DI Vehicles Operating on Ethanol-Gasoline Blends

Gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines can offer better fuel economy and higher performance over their port-fuel-injected (PFI) counterparts, and are now appearing in increasingly more U.S. and European vehicles. Small displacement, turbocharged GDI engines are replacing large displacement engines, particularly in light-duty trucks and sport utility vehicles, in order for manufacturers to meet the U.S. fuel economy standards for 2016. Furthermore, lean-burn GDI engines can offer even higher fuel economy than stoichiometric GDI engines and have overcome challenges associated with cost-effective aftertreatment for NOx control. Along with changes in gasoline engine technology, fuel composition may increase in ethanol content beyond the current 10% due to the recent EPA waiver allowing 15% ethanol. In addition, the Renewable Fuels Standard passed as part of the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) mandates the use of biofuels in upcoming years.
Journal Article

Limitations and Recommended Practice In the Use of Compression and Leak-Down Tests to Monitor Gradual Engine Degradation

Compression and leak-down tests are frequently used to identify and diagnose failed engine power cylinders. It is also often desirable in research and testing programs to use these tests to monitor incremental changes in cylinder leakage. This paper investigates whether these tests are adequate in their present form to monitor incremental changes in cylinder leakage. Results are presented from two vehicle fleets at two test sites. Compression and leak-down tests were conducted on these fleets periodically during a mileage accumulation study. The results were used to establish the variability inherent in the compression and leak-down test processes. Comparisons between the results at the initial mileage test for the study vehicles with those at the final mileage test are shown to be largely within the uncertainty established for repeat assessments.
Journal Article

Carbonyl Formation during High Efficiency Clean Combustion of FACE Fuels

The low temperature conditions that occur during high efficiency clean combustion (HECC) often lead to the formation of partially oxidized HC species such as aldehydes, ketones and carboxylic acids. Using the diesel fuels specified by the Fuels for Advanced Combustion Engines (FACE) working group, carbonyl species were collected from the exhaust of a light duty diesel engine operating under HECC conditions. High pressure liquid chromatography - mass spectrometry (LC-MS) was used to speciate carbonyls as large as C 9 . A relationship between carbonyl species formed in the exhaust and fuel composition and properties was determined. Data were collected at the optimum fuel efficiency point for a typical road load condition. Results of the carbonyl analysis showed changes in formaldehyde and acetaldehyde formation, formation of higher molecular weight carbonyls and the formation of aromatic carbonyls.
Technical Paper

In-Cylinder Fuel Blending of Gasoline/Diesel for Improved Efficiency and Lowest Possible Emissions on a Multi-Cylinder Light-Duty Diesel Engine

In-cylinder fuel blending of gasoline with diesel fuel is investigated on a multi-cylinder light-duty diesel engine as a strategy to control in-cylinder fuel reactivity for improved efficiency and lowest possible emissions. This approach was developed and demonstrated at the University of Wisconsin through modeling and single-cylinder engine experiments. The objective of this study is to better understand the potential and challenges of this method on a multi-cylinder engine. More specifically, the effect of cylinder-to-cylinder imbalances and in-cylinder charge motion as well as the potential limitations imposed by real-world turbo-machinery were investigated on a 1.9-liter four-cylinder engine. This investigation focused on one engine condition, 2300 rpm, 5.5 bar net mean effective pressure (NMEP). Gasoline was introduced with a port-fuel-injection system.
Journal Article

Fuels for Advanced Combustion Engines Research Diesel Fuels: Analysis of Physical and Chemical Properties

The CRC Fuels for Advanced Combustion Engines working group has worked to identify a matrix of research diesel fuels for use in advanced combustion research applications. Nine fuels were specified and formulated to investigate the effects of cetane number aromatic content and 90% distillation fraction. Standard ASTM analyses were performed on the fuels as well as GC/MS and1H/13C NMR analyses and thermodynamic characterizations. Details of the actual results of the fuel formulations compared with the design values are presented, as well as results from standard analyses, such as heating value, viscosity and density. Cetane number characterizations were accomplished by using both the engine method and the Ignition Quality Tester (IQT™) apparatus.