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Technical Paper

Real World Performance of an Onboard Gasoline/Ethanol Separation System to Enable Knock Suppression Using an Octane-On-Demand Fuel System

Higher compression ratio and turbocharging, with engine downsizing can enable significant gains in fuel economy but require engine operating conditions that cause engine knock under high load. Engine knock can be avoided by supplying higher-octane fuel under such high load conditions. This study builds on previous MIT papers investigating Octane-On-Demand (OOD) to enable a higher efficiency, higher-boost higher compression-ratio engine. The high-octane fuel for OOD can be obtained through On-Board-Separation (OBS) of alcohol blended gasoline. Fuel from the primary fuel tank filled with commercially available gasoline that contains 10% by volume ethanol (E10) is separated by an organic membrane pervaporation process that produces a 30 to 90% ethanol fuel blend for use when high octane is needed. In addition to previous work, this paper combines modeling of the OBS system with passenger car and medium-duty truck fuel consumption and octane requirements for various driving cycles.
Technical Paper

Performance Maps of Turbocharged SI Engines with Gasoline-Ethanol Blends: Torque, Efficiency, Compression Ratio, Knock Limits, and Octane

1 Downsizing and turbocharging a spark-ignited engine is becoming an important strategy in the engine industry for improving the efficiency of gasoline engines. Through boosting the air flow, the torque is increased, the engine can thus be downsized, engine friction is reduced in both absolute and relative terms, and engine efficiency is increased. However knock onset with a given octane rating fuel limits both compression ratio and boost levels. This paper explores the operating limits of a turbocharged engine, with various gasoline-ethanol blends, and the interaction between compression ratio, boost levels, and spark retard, to achieve significant increases in maximum engine mean effective pressure and efficiency.
Journal Article

Characterizations of Deployment Rates in Automotive Technology

Passenger cars in the United States continue to incorporate increasing levels of technology and features. However, deployment of technology requires substantial development and time in the automotive sector. Prior analyses indicate that deployment of technology in the automotive sector can be described by a logistic function. These analyses refer to maximum annual growth rates as high as 17% and with developmental times of 10-15 years. However, these technologies vary widely in complexity and function, and span decades in their implementation. This work applies regression with a logistic form to a wide variety of automotive features and technologies and, using secondary regression, identifies broader trends across categories and over time.
Journal Article

Effects of Secondary Air Injection During Cold Start of SI Engines

An experimental study was performed to develop a more fundamental understanding of the effects of secondary air injection (SAI) on exhaust gas emissions and catalyst light-off characteristics during cold start of a modern SI engine. The effects of engine operating parameters and various secondary air injection strategies such as spark retardation, fuel enrichment, secondary air injection location and air flow rate were investigated to understand the mixing, heat loss, and thermal and catalytic oxidation processes associated with SAI. Time-resolved HC, CO and CO₂ concentrations were tracked from the cylinder exit to the catalytic converter outlet and converted to time-resolved mass emissions by applying an instantaneous exhaust mass flow rate model. A phenomenological model of exhaust heat transfer combined with the gas composition analysis was also developed to define the thermal and chemical energy state of the exhaust gas with SAI.
Journal Article

The Shift in Relevance of Fuel RON and MON to Knock Onset in Modern SI Engines Over the Last 70 Years

Since the advent of the spark ignition engine, the maximum engine efficiency has been knock limited. Knock is a phenomena caused by the rapid autoignition of fuel/air mixture (endgas) ahead of the flame front. The propensity of a fuel to autoignite corresponds to its autoignition chemistry at the local endgas temperature and pressure. Since a fuel blend consists of many components, its autoignition chemistry is very complex. The octane index (OI) simplifies this complex autoignition chemistry by comparing a fuel to a Primary Reference Fuel (PRF), a binary blend of iso-octane and n-heptane. As more iso-octane is added into the blend, the PRF is less likely to autoignite. The OI of a fuel is defined as the volumetric percentage of iso-octane in the PRF blend that exhibits similar knocking characteristics at the same engine conditions.
Journal Article

Trends in Performance Characteristics of Modern Automobile SI and Diesel Engines

A prior study (Chon and Heywood, [1]) examined how the design and performance of spark-ignition engines evolved in the United States during the 1980s and 1990s. This paper carries out a similar analysis of trends in basic engine design and performance characteristics over the past decade. Available databases on engine specifications in the U.S., Europe, and Japan were used as the sources of information. Parameters analyzed were maximum torque, power, and speed; number of cylinders and engine configuration, cylinder displacement, bore, stroke, compression ratio; valvetrain configuration, number of valves and their control; port or direct fuel injection; naturally-aspirated or turbocharged engine concepts; spark-ignition and diesel engines. Design features are correlated with these engine’s performance parameters, normalized by engine and cylinder displacement.
Journal Article

Fuel Economy Benefits and Aftertreatment Requirements of a Naturally Aspirated HCCI-SI Engine System

This vehicle simulation study estimates the fuel economy benefits of an HCCI engine system and assesses the NOx, HC and CO aftertreatment performance required for compliance with emissions regulations on U.S. and European regulatory driving cycles. The four driving cycles considered are the New European Driving Cycle, EPA City Driving Cycle, EPA Highway Driving Cycle, and US06 Driving Cycle. For each driving cycle, the following influences on vehicle fuel economy were examined: power-to-weight ratio, HCCI combustion mode operating range, driving cycle characteristics, requirements for transitions out of HCCI mode when engine speeds and loads are within the HCCI operating range, fuel consumption and emissions penalties for transitions into and out of HCCI mode, aftertreatment system performance and tailpipe emissions regulations.
Journal Article

The Trade-off between Automobile Acceleration Performance, Weight, and Fuel Consumption

This paper evaluates how the fuel consumption of the average new U.S. passenger car will be penalized if engine and vehicle improvements continue to be focused on developing bigger, heavier and more powerful automobiles. We quantify a parameter called the Emphasis on Reducing Fuel Consumption (ERFC) and find that there has been little focus on improving fuel consumption in the U.S. over the past twenty years. In contrast, Europe has seen significantly higher ERFC. By raising the ERFC over the next few decades, we can reduce the average U.S. new car's fuel consumption by up to some 40 percent and cut the light-duty vehicle fleet's fuel use by about a quarter. Achieving substantial fuel use reduction will remain a major challenge if automobile size, weight and power continue to dominate.
Technical Paper

Lean SI Engines: The role of combustion variability in defining lean limits

Previous research has shown the potential benefits of running an engine with excess air. The challenges of running lean have also been identified, but not all of them have been fundamentally explained. Under high dilution levels, a lean limit is reached where combustion becomes unstable, significantly deteriorating drivability and engine efficiency, thus limiting the full potential of lean combustion. This paper expands the understanding of lean combustion by explaining the fundamentals behind this rapid rise in combustion variability and how this instability can be reduced. A flame entrainment combustion model was used to explain the fundamentals behind the observed combustion behavior in a comprehensive set of lean gasoline and hydrogen-enhanced cylinder pressure data in an SI engine. The data covered a wide range of operating conditions including different compression ratios, loads, types of dilution, fuels including levels of hydrogen enhancement, and levels of turbulence.
Technical Paper

Effects of Charge Motion Control During Cold Start of SI Engines

An experimental study was performed to investigate the effects of various intake charge motion control valves (CMCVs) on mixture preparation, combustion, and hydrocarbon (HC) emissions during the cold start-up process of a port fuel injected spark ignition (SI) engine. Different charge motions were produced by three differently shaped plates in the CMCV device, each of which blocked off 75% of the engine's intake ports. Time-resolved HC, CO and CO2 concentrations were measured at the exhaust port exit in order to achieve cycle-by-cycle engine-out HC mass and in-cylinder air/fuel ratio. Combustion characteristics were examined through a thermodynamic burn rate analysis. Cold-fluid steady state experiments were carried out with the CMCV open and closed. Enhanced charge motion with the CMCV closed was found to shorten the combustion duration, which caused the location of 50% mass fraction burned (MFB) to occur up to 5° CA earlier for the same spark timing.
Technical Paper

An Investigation of Gasoline Engine Knock Limited Performance and the Effects of Hydrogen Enhancement

A set of experiments was performed to investigate the effects of relative air-fuel ratio, inlet boost pressure, and compression ratio on engine knock behavior. Selected operating conditions were also examined with simulated hydrogen rich fuel reformate added to the gasoline-air intake mixture. For each operating condition knock limited spark advance was found for a range of octane numbers (ON) for two fuel types: primary reference fuels (PRFs), and toluene reference fuels (TRFs). A smaller set of experiments was also performed with unleaded test gasolines. A combustion phasing parameter based on the timing of 50% mass fraction burned, termed “combustion retard”, was used as it correlates well to engine performance. The combustion retard required to just avoid knock increases with relative air-fuel ratio for PRFs and decreases with air-fuel ratio for TRFs.
Technical Paper

Effects of Combustion Phasing, Relative Air-fuel Ratio, Compression Ratio, and Load on SI Engine Efficiency

In an effort to both increase engine efficiency and generate new, consistent, and reliable data useful for the development of engine concepts, a modern single-cylinder 4-valve spark-ignition research engine was used to determine the response of indicated engine efficiency to combustion phasing, relative air-fuel ratio, compression ratio, and load. Combustion modeling was then used to help explain the observed trends, and the limitations on achieving higher efficiency. This paper analyzes the logic behind such gains in efficiency and presents correlations of the experimental data. The results are helpful for examining the potential for more efficient engine designs, where high compression ratios can be used under lean or dilute regimes, at a variety of loads.
Technical Paper

Predicting the Behavior of a Hydrogen-Enhanced Lean-Burn SI Engine Concept

This paper explores the modeling of a lean boosted engine concept. Modeling provides a useful tool for investigating different parameters and comparing resultant emissions and fuel economy performance. An existing architectural concept has been tailored to a boosted hydrogen-enhanced lean-burn SI engine. The simulation consists of a set of Matlab models, part physical and part empirical, which has been developed to simulate a working engine. The model was calibrated with production engine data and experimental data taken at MIT. Combustion and emissions data come from a single cylinder research engine and include changes in air/fuel ratio, load and speed, and different fractions of the gasoline fuel reformed to H2 and CO. The outputs of the model are brake specific NOx emissions and brake specific fuel consumption maps along with cumulative NOx emissions and fuel economy for urban and highway drive cycles.
Technical Paper

Combustion Optimization in a Hydrogen-Enhanced Lean-Burn SI Engine

As part of ongoing research on hydrogen-enhanced lean burn SI engines, this paper details an experimental combustion system optimization program. Experiments focused on three key areas: the ignition system, in-cylinder charge motion produced by changes in the inlet ports, and uniformity of fuel-air mixture preparation. Hydrogen enhancement is obtained with a H2, CO, N2 mixture produced by a fuel reformer such as the plasmatron. The ignition system tests compared a standard inductive coil scheme against high-energy discharge systems. Charge motion experiments focused on the impact of different flow and turbulence patterns generated within the cylinder by restrictor plates at the intake port entrance, as well as novel inlet flow modification cones. The in-cylinder fluid motion generated by each configuration was characterized using swirl and tumble flow benches. Mixture preparation tests compared a standard single-hole pintle port fuel injector against a fine atomizing 12-hole injector.
Technical Paper

Effects of Hydrogen Enhancement on Efficiency and NOx Emissions of Lean and EGR-Diluted Mixtures in a SI Engine

Dilute operation of a SI engine offers attractive performance incentives. Lowered combustion temperatures and changes in the mixture composition inhibit NOx formation and increase the effective value of the ratio of burned gas specific heats, increasing gross indicated efficiency. Additionally, reduced intake manifold throttling minimizes pumping losses, leading to higher net indicated efficiency. These benefits are offset by the reduced combustion speed of dilute fuel-air mixtures, which can lead to high cycle-to-cycle variation and unacceptable engine behavior characteristics. Hydrogen enhancement can suppress the undesirable consequences of dilute operation by accelerating the combustion process, thereby extending the dilution limit. Hydrogen would be produced on-board the vehicle with a gasoline reforming device such as the plasmatron. High dilution at higher loads would necessitate boosting to meet the appropriate engine specific power requirements.
Technical Paper

Effects of Substantial Spark Retard on SI Engine Combustion and Hydrocarbon Emissions

Experiments were conducted to determine the effects of substantial spark retard on combustion, hydrocarbon (HC) emissions, and exhaust temperature, under cold engine conditions. A single-cylinder research engine was operated at 20° C fluid temperatures for various spark timings and relative air/fuel ratios. Combustion stability was observed to decrease as the phasing of the 50% mass fraction burned (MFB) occurred later in the expansion stroke. A thermodynamic burn rate analysis indicated combustion was complete at exhaust valve opening with -20° before top dead center (BTDC) spark timings. Chemical and thermal energy of the exhaust gas was tracked from cylinder-exit to the exhaust runner. Time-resolved HC concentrations measured in the port and runner were mass weighted to obtain an exhaust HC mass flow rate. Results were compared to time averaged well downstream HC levels.
Technical Paper

Lean-Burn Characteristics of a Gasoline Engine Enriched with Hydrogen Plasmatron Fuel Reformer

When hydrogen is added to a gasoline fueled spark ignition engine the lean limit of the engine can be extended. Lean running engines are inherently more efficient and have the potential for significantly lower NOx emissions. In the engine concept examined here, supplemental hydrogen is generated on-board the vehicle by diverting a fraction of the gasoline to a plasmatron where a partial oxidation reaction is initiated with an electrical discharge, producing a plasmatron gas containing primarily hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen. Two different gas mixtures were used to simulate the plasmatron output. An ideal plasmatron gas (H2, CO, and N2) was used to represent the output of the theoretically best plasmatron. A typical plasmatron gas (H2, CO, N2, and CO2) was used to represent the current output of the plasmatron. A series of hydrogen addition experiments were also performed to quantify the impact of the non-hydrogen components in the plasmatron gas.
Technical Paper

Modeling NO Formation in Spark Ignition Engines with a Layered Adiabatic Core and Combustion Inefficiency Routine

A thermodynamic based cycle simulation which uses a thermal boundary layer, either, a fully mixed or layered adiabatic core, and a crevice combustion inefficiency routine has been used to explore the sensitivity of NO concentration predictions to critical physical modeling assumptions. An experimental database, which included measurements of residual gas fraction, was obtained from a 2.0 liter Nissan engine while firing on propane. A model calibration methodology was developed to ensure accurate predictions of in-cylinder pressure and burned gas temperature. Comparisons with experimental NO data then showed that accounting for temperature stratification during combustion with a layered adiabatic core and including a crevice/combustion inefficiency routine, improved the match of modeling predictions to data, in comparison to a fully mixed adiabatic core.
Technical Paper

Effects of Oxygenated Fuels on DI Diesel Combustion and Emissions

Experiments to study the effects of oxygenated fuels on emissions and combustion were performed in a single-cylinder direct-injection (DI) diesel engine. A matrix of oxygen containing fuels assessed the impact of weight percent oxygen content, oxygenate chemical structure, and oxygenate volatility on emissions. Several oxygenated chemicals were blended with an ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel and evaluated at an equivalent energy release and combustion phasing. Additional experiments investigated the effectiveness of oxygenated fuels at a different engine load, a matched fuel/air equivalence ratio, and blended with a diesel fuel from the Fischer-Tropsch process. Interactions between emissions and critical engine operating parameters were also quantified. A scanning mobility particle sizer (SMPS) was used to evaluate particle size distributions, in addition to particulate matter (PM) filter and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) measurements.
Technical Paper

Alternative Fuels: Gas to Liquids as Potential 21st Century Truck Fuels

Modern natural gas-to-liquids (GTL) conversion processes (Fischer-Tropsch liquid fuels (FTL)) offers an attractive means for making synthetic liquid fuels. Military diesel and jet fuels are procured under Commercial Item Description (CID) A-A-52557 (based on ASTM D 975) and MIL-DTL-83133/MIL-DTL-5624 (JP-8/JP-5), respectively. The Single Fuel Forward (single fuel in the battlefield) policy requires the use of JP-8 or JP-5 (JP-8/5). Fuel properties crucial to fuel system/engine performance/operation are identified for both old and new tactical/non-tactical vehicles. The 21st Century Truck program is developing technology for improved safety, reduced harmful exhaust emissions, improved fuel efficiency, and reduced cost of ownership of future military and civilian ground vehicles (in the heavy duty category having gross vehicle weights exceeding 8500 pounds).[1]