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Journal Article

Soy Biodiesel Oxidation at Vehicle Fuel System Temperature: Influence of Aged Fuel on Fresh Fuel Degradation to Simulate Refueling

An experimental study of the effects of partially-oxidized biodiesel fuel on the degradation of fresh fuel was performed. A blend of soybean oil fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) in petroleum diesel fuel (30% v:v biodiesel, B30) was aged under accelerated conditions (90°C with aeration). Aging conditions focused on three different degrees of initial oxidation: 1) reduced oxidation stability (Rancimat induction period, IP); 2) high peroxide values (PV); and 3) high total acid number (TAN). Aged B30 fuel was mixed with fresh B30 fuel at two concentrations (10% and 30% m:m) and degradation of the mixtures at the above aging conditions was monitored for IP, PV, TAN, and FAME composition. Greater content of aged fuel carryover (30% m:m) corresponded to stronger effects. Oxidation stability was most adversely affected by high peroxide concentration (Scenario 2), while peroxide content was most reduced for the high TAN scenario (Scenario 3).
Technical Paper

Modeling of Trace Knock in a Modern SI Engine Fuelled by Ethanol/Gasoline Blends

This paper presents a numerical study of trace knocking combustion of ethanol/gasoline blends in a modern, single cylinder SI engine. Results are compared to experimental data from a prior, published work [1]. The engine is modeled using GT-Power and a two-zone combustion model containing detailed kinetic models. The two zone model uses a gasoline surrogate model [2] combined with a sub-model for nitric oxide (NO) [3] to simulate end-gas autoignition. Upstream, pre-vaporized fuel injection (UFI) and direct injection (DI) are modeled and compared to characterize ethanol's low autoignition reactivity and high charge cooling effects. Three ethanol/gasoline blends are studied: E0, E20, and E50. The modeled and experimental results demonstrate some systematic differences in the spark timing for trace knock across all three fuels, but the relative trends with engine load and ethanol content are consistent. Possible reasons causing the differences are discussed.
Technical Paper

Impact of Ester Structures on the Soot Characteristics and Soot Oxidative Reactivity of Biodiesel

A study and analysis of the relation of biodiesel chemical structures to the resulting soot characteristics and soot oxidative reactivity is presented. Soot samples generated from combustion of various methyl esters, alkanes, biodiesel and diesel fuels in laminar co-flow diffusion flames are analyzed to evaluate the impact of fuel-bound oxygen in fatty acid esters on soot oxidation behavior. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) of soot samples collected from diffusion flames show that chemical variations in biodiesel ester compounds have an impact on soot oxidative reactivity and soot characteristics in contrast to findings reported previously in the literature. Soot derived from methyl esters with shorter alkyl chains, such as methyl butyrate and methyl hexanoate, exhibit higher reactivity than those with longer carbon chain lengths, such as methyl oleate, which are more representative of biodiesel fuels.
Journal Article

Issues with T50 and T90 as Match Criteria for Ethanol-Gasoline Blends

Modification of gasoline blendstock composition in preparing ethanol-gasoline blends has a significant impact on vehicle exhaust emissions. In “splash” blending the blendstock is fixed, ethanol-gasoline blend compositions are clearly defined, and effects on emissions are relatively straightforward to interpret. In “match” blending the blendstock composition is modified for each ethanol-gasoline blend to match one or more fuel properties. The effects on emissions depend on which fuel properties are matched and what modifications are made, making trends difficult to interpret. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate that exclusive use of a match blending approach has fundamental flaws. For typical gasolines without ethanol, the distillation profile is a smooth, roughly linear relationship of temperature vs. percent fuel distilled.
Journal Article

Effects of Fuel Octane Rating and Ethanol Content on Knock, Fuel Economy, and CO2 for a Turbocharged DI Engine

Engine dynamometer testing was performed comparing fuels having different octane ratings and ethanol content in a Ford 3.5L direct injection turbocharged (EcoBoost) engine at three compression ratios (CRs). The fuels included midlevel ethanol “splash blend” and “octane-matched blend” fuels, E10-98RON (U.S. premium), and E85-108RON. For the splash blends, denatured ethanol was added to E10-91RON, which resulted in E20-96RON and E30-101 RON. For the octane-matched blends, gasoline blendstocks were formulated to maintain constant RON and MON for E10, E20, and E30. The match blend E20-91RON and E30-91RON showed no knock benefit compared to the baseline E10-91RON fuel. However, the splash blend E20-96RON and E10-98RON enabled 11.9:1 CR with similar knock performance to E10-91RON at 10:1 CR. The splash blend E30-101RON enabled 13:1 CR with better knock performance than E10-91RON at 10:1 CR. As expected, E85-108RON exhibited dramatically better knock performance than E30-101RON.
Journal Article

Fuel Economy and CO2 Emissions of Ethanol-Gasoline Blends in a Turbocharged DI Engine

Engine dynamometer testing was performed comparing E10, E20, and E30 splash-blended fuels in a Ford 3.5L EcoBoost direct injection (DI) turbocharged engine. The engine was tested with compression ratios (CRs) of 10.0:1 (current production) and 11.9:1. In this engine, E20 (96 RON) fuel at 11.9:1 CR gave very similar knock performance to E10 (91 RON) fuel at 10:1 CR. Similarly, E30 (101 RON) fuel at 11.9:1 CR resulted in knock-limited performance equivalent to E20 at 10:1 CR, indicating that E30 could have been run at even higher CR with acceptable knock behavior. The data was used in a vehicle simulation of a 3.5L EcoBoost pickup truck, which showed that the E20 (96 RON) fuel at 11.9:1 CR offers 5% improvement in U.S. EPA Metro-Highway (M/H) and US06 Highway cycle tank-to-wheels CO₂ emissions over the E10 fuel, with comparable volumetric fuel economy (miles per gallon) and range before refueling.
Journal Article

An Overview of the Effects of Ethanol-Gasoline Blends on SI Engine Performance, Fuel Efficiency, and Emissions

This paper provides an overview of the effects of blending ethanol with gasoline for use in spark ignition engines. The overview is written from the perspective of considering a future ethanol-gasoline blend for use in vehicles that have been designed to accommodate such a fuel. Therefore discussion of the effects of ethanol-gasoline blends on older legacy vehicles is not included. As background, highlights of future emissions regulations are discussed. The effects on fuel properties of blending ethanol and gasoline are described. The substantial increase in knock resistance and full load performance associated with the addition of ethanol to gasoline is illustrated with example data. Aspects of fuel efficiency enabled by increased ethanol content are reviewed, including downsizing and downspeeding opportunities, increased compression ratio, fundamental effects associated with ethanol combustion, and reduced enrichment requirement at high speed/high load conditions.
Journal Article

A Comparison of Combustion and Emissions of Diesel Fuels and Oxygenated Fuels in a Modern DI Diesel Engine

Two oxygenated fuels were evaluated on a single-cylinder diesel engine and compared to three hydrocarbon diesel fuels. The oxygenated fuels included canola biodiesel (canola methyl esters, CME) and CME blended with dibutyl succinate (DBS), both of which are or have the potential to be bio-derived. DBS was added to improve the cold flow properties, but also reduced the cetane number and net heating value of the resulting blend. A 60-40 blend of the two (60% vol CME and 40% vol DBS) provided desirable cold flow benefits while staying above the U.S. minimum cetane number requirement. Contrary to prior vehicle test results and numerous literature reports, single-cylinder engine testing of both CME and the 60-40 blend showed no statistically discernable change in NOx emissions relative to diesel fuel, but only when constant intake oxygen was maintained.
Journal Article

Effect of Heat of Vaporization, Chemical Octane, and Sensitivity on Knock Limit for Ethanol - Gasoline Blends

Ethanol and other high heat of vaporization (HoV) fuels result in substantial cooling of the fresh charge, especially in direct injection (DI) engines. The effect of charge cooling combined with the inherent high chemical octane of ethanol make it a very knock resistant fuel. Currently, the knock resistance of a fuel is characterized by the Research Octane Number (RON) and the Motor Octane Number (MON). However, the RON and MON tests use carburetion for fuel metering and thus likely do not replicate the effect of charge cooling for DI engines. The operating conditions of the RON and MON tests also do not replicate the very retarded combustion phasing encountered with modern boosted DI engines operating at low-speed high-load. In this study, the knock resistance of a matrix of ethanol-gasoline blends was determined in a state-of-the-art single cylinder engine equipped with three separate fuel systems: upstream, pre-vaporized fuel injection (UFI); port fuel injection (PFI); and DI.
Technical Paper

Octane Numbers of Ethanol-Gasoline Blends: Measurements and Novel Estimation Method from Molar Composition

Ethanol has a high octane rating and can be added to gasoline to produce high octane fuel blends. Understanding the octane increase with ethanol blending is of great fundamental and practical importance. Potential issues with fuel flow rate and fuel vaporization have led to questions of the accuracy of octane measurements for ethanol-gasoline blends with moderate to high ethanol content (e.g., E20-E85) using the Cooperative Fuel Research (CFR™) engine. The nonlinearity of octane ratings with volumetric ethanol content makes it difficult to assess the accuracy of such measurements. In the present study, Research Octane Number (RON) and Motor Octane Number (MON) were measured for a matrix of ethanol-gasoline blends spanning a wide range of ethanol content (E0, E10, E20, E30, E50, E75) in a set of gasoline blendstocks spanning a range of RON values (82, 88, 92, and 95). Octane ratings for neat ethanol, denatured ethanol, and hydrous ethanol were also measured.
Journal Article

Effect of Biodiesel (B20) on Vehicle-Aged Engine Oil Properties

High concentrations of diesel fuel can accumulate in the engine oil, especially in vehicles equipped with diesel particle filters. Fuel dilution can decrease the viscosity of engine oil, reducing its film thickness. Higher concentrations of fuel are believed to accumulate in oil with biodiesel than with diesel fuel because biodiesel has a higher boiling temperature range, allowing it to persist in the sump. Numerous countries are taking actions to promote the use of biodiesel. The growing interest for biodiesel has been driven by a desire for energy independence (domestically produced), the increasing cost of petroleum-derived fuels, and an interest in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Biodiesel can affect engine lubrication (through fuel dilution), as its physical and chemical properties are significantly different from those of petrodiesel. Many risks associated with excessive biodiesel dilution have been identified, yet its actual impact has not been well quantified.
Technical Paper

Implications of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 for the US Light-Duty Vehicle Fleet

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 established a new Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) requiring increased biofuel use (through 2022) and greater fuel economy (through 2030) for the US light-duty vehicle (LDV) fleet. Ethanol from corn and cellulose is expected to supply most of the biofuel and be used in blends with gasoline. A model was developed to assess the potential impact of these mandates on the US LDV fleet. Sensitivity to assumptions regarding future diesel prevalence, fuel economy, ethanol supply, ethanol blending options, availability of flexible-fuel vehicles (FFVs), and extent of E85 use was assessed. With no E85 use, we estimate that the national-average ethanol blend level would need to rise from E5 in 2007 to approximately E10 in 2012 and E24 in 2022. Nearly all (97%) US gasoline LDVs were not designed to operate with blends greater than E10. FFVs are designed to use ethanol blends up to E85 but comprise only 3% of the fleet.