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Journal Article

Laminar Burning Velocities of High-Performance Fuels Relevant to the Co-Optima Initiative

Laminar burning velocity (LBV) measurements are reported for promising high-performance fuels selected as drop-in transportation fuels to automotive grade gasoline as part of the United States Department of Energy’s Co-Optimization of Fuels and Engines Initiative (Co-Optima). LBV measurements were conducted for ethanol, methyl acetate, and 2-methylfuran with synthetic air (79.0 % N2 and 21.0 % O2 by volume) within a constant-volume spherical combustion rig. Mixture initial temperature was fixed at 428±4 K, with the corresponding initial pressure of 1.00±0.02 atm. Current LBV of ethanol is in good agreement with literature data. LBV of ethanol and 2-methylfuran showed similar values over the range of equivalence ratios, while methyl acetate exhibited an LBV significantly lower over the range of tested equivalence ratios. The maximum laminar burning velocity occurred at slightly richer equivalence ratio from the stoichiometric value for all fuels tested.
Journal Article

Increasing the Load Range, Load-to-Boost Ratio, and Efficiency of Low-Temperature Gasoline Combustion (LTGC) Engines

Low-temperature gasoline combustion (LTGC) has the potential to provide gasoline-fueled engines with efficiencies at or above those of diesel engines and extremely low NOx and particulate emissions. Three key performance goals for LTGC are to obtain high loads, reduce the boost levels required for these loads, and achieve high thermal efficiencies (TEs). This paper reports the results of an experimental investigation into the use of partial fuel stratification, produced using early direct fuel injection (Early-DI PFS), and an increased compression ratio (CR) to achieve significant improvements in these performance characteristics. The experiments were conducted in a 0.98-liter single-cylinder research engine. Increasing the CR from 14:1 to 16:1 produced a nominal increase in the TE of about one TE percentage unit for both premixed and Early-DI PFS operation.
Journal Article

Energy Distribution Analysis in Boosted HCCI-like / LTGC Engines - Understanding the Trade-Offs to Maximize the Thermal Efficiency

A detailed understanding of the various factors affecting the trends in gross-indicated thermal efficiency with changes in key operating parameters has been carried out, applied to a one-liter displacement single-cylinder boosted Low-Temperature Gasoline Combustion (LTGC) engine. This work systematically investigates how the supplied fuel energy splits into the following four energy pathways: gross-indicated thermal efficiency, combustion inefficiency, heat transfer and exhaust losses, and how this split changes with operating conditions. Additional analysis is performed to determine the influence of variations in the ratio of specific heat capacities (γ) and the effective expansion ratio, related to the combustion-phasing retard (CA50), on the energy split. Heat transfer and exhaust losses are computed using multiple standard cycle analysis techniques. The various methods are evaluated in order to validate the trends.
Journal Article

Effects of Gasoline Reactivity and Ethanol Content on Boosted, Premixed and Partially Stratified Low-Temperature Gasoline Combustion (LTGC)

Low-temperature gasoline combustion (LTGC), based on the compression ignition of a premixed or partially premixed dilute charge, can provide thermal efficiencies (TE) and maximum loads comparable to those of turbo-charged diesel engines, and ultra-low NOx and particulate emissions. Intake boosting is key to achieving high loads with dilute combustion, and it also enhances the fuel's autoignition reactivity, reducing the required intake heating or hot residuals. These effects have the advantages of increasing TE and charge density, allowing greater timing retard with good stability, and making the fuel ϕ- sensitive so that partial fuel stratification (PFS) can be applied for higher loads and further TE improvements. However, at high boost the autoignition reactivity enhancement can become excessive, and substantial amounts of EGR are required to prevent overly advanced combustion.
Journal Article

Effect of Ignition Improvers on the Combustion Performance of Regular-Grade E10 Gasoline in an HCCI Engine

This study explores the use of two conventional ignition improvers, 2-ethylhexyl nitrate (EHN) and di-tert-butyl peroxide (DTBP), to enhance the autoignition of the regular gasoline in an homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) engine at naturally aspirated and moderately boosted conditions (up to 180 kPa absolute) with a constant engine speed of 1200 rpm. The results showed that both EHN and DTBP are very effective for reducing the intake temperature (Tin) required for autoignition and for enhancing stability to allow a higher charge-mass fuel/air equivalence ratio (ϕm). On the other hand, the addition of these additives can also make the gasoline too reactive at some conditions, so significant exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) is required at these conditions to maintain the desired combustion phasing. Thus, there is a trade-off between improving stability and reducing the oxygen available for combustion when using ignition improvers to extend the high-load limit.
Journal Article

Investigation of the Sources of Combustion Noise in HCCI Engines

This article presents an investigation of the sources combustion-generated noise and its measurement in HCCI engines. Two cylinder-pressure derived parameters, the Combustion Noise Level (CNL) and the Ringing Intensity (RI), that are commonly used to establish limits of acceptable operation are compared along with spectral analyses of the pressure traces. This study focuses on explaining the differences between these two parameters and on investigating the sensitivity of the CNL to the ringing/knock phenomenon, to which the human ear is quite sensitive. Then, the effects of independently varying engine operating conditions such as fueling rate, boost pressure, and speed on both the CNL and RI are studied. Results show that the CNL is not significantly affected by the high-frequency components related to the ringing/knock phenomenon.
Journal Article

Bio-Ketones: Autoignition Characteristics and Their Potential as Fuels for HCCI Engines

This paper studies autoignition characteristics and HCCI engine combustion of ketone fuels, which are important constituents of recently discovered fungi-derived biofuels. Two ketone compounds, 2,4-dimethyl-3-pentanone (DMPN) and cyclopentanone (CPN), are systematically investigated in the Sandia HCCI engine, and the results are compared with conventional gasoline and neat ethanol. It is found that CPN has the lowest autoignition reactivity of all the biofuels and gasoline blends tested in this HCCI engine. The combustion timing of CPN is also the most sensitive to intake-temperature (Tin) variations, and it is almost insensitive to intake-pressure (Pin) variations. These characteristics and the overall HCCI performance of CPN are similar to those of ethanol. In contrast, DMPN shows multi-faceted autoignition characteristics. On the one hand, DMPN has strong temperature-sensitivity, even at boosted Pin, which is similar to the low-reactivity ethanol and CPN.
Journal Article

Improving Efficiency and Using E10 for Higher Loads in Boosted HCCI Engines

This study systematically investigates the effects of various engine operating parameters on the thermal efficiency of a boosted HCCI engine, and the potential of E10 to extend the high-load limit beyond that obtained with conventional gasoline. Understanding how these parameters can be adjusted and the trade-offs involved is critical for optimizing engine operation and for determining the highest efficiencies for a given engine geometry. Data were acquired in a 0.98 liter, single-cylinder HCCI research engine with a compression-ratio of 14:1, and the engine facility was configured to allow precise control over the relevant operating parameters. The study focuses on boosted operation with intake pressures (Pin) ≥ 2 bar, but some data for Pin < 2 bar are also presented. Two fuels are considered: 1) an 87-octane gasoline, and 2) E10 (10% ethanol in this same gasoline) which has a lower autoignition reactivity for boosted operation.
Journal Article

Boosted HCCI Combustion Using Low-Octane Gasoline with Fully Premixed and Partially Stratified Charges

High-load HCCI combustion has recently been demonstrated with conventional gasoline using intake pressure boosting. The key is to control the high combustion heat release rates (HRR) by using combustion timing retard and mixture stratification. However, at naturally aspirated and moderately boosted conditions, these techniques did not work well due to the low autoignition reactivity of conventional gasoline at these conditions. This work studies a low-octane distillate fuel with similar volatility to gasoline, termed Hydrobate, for its potential in HCCI engine combustion at naturally aspirated and low-range boosted conditions. The HCCI combustion with fully premixed and partially stratified charges was examined at intake pressures (Pin) from 100 to 180 kPa and constant intake temperature (60°C) and engine speed (1200 rpm).
Technical Paper

Detailed Kinetic Modeling of Conventional Gasoline at Highly Boosted Conditions and the Associated Intermediate Temperature Heat Release

The combustion behavior of conventional gasoline has been numerically investigated by means of detailed chemical-kinetic modeling simulations, with particular emphasis on analyzing the chemistry of the intermediate temperature heat release (ITHR). Previous experimental work on highly boosted (up to 325 kPa absolute) HCCI combustion of gasoline (SAE 2020-01-1086) showed a steady increase in the charge temperature up to the point of hot ignition, even for conditions where the ignition point was retarded well after top dead center (TDC). Thus, sufficient energy was being released by early pre-ignition reactions resulting in temperature rise during the early part of the expansion stroke This behavior is associated with a slow pre-ignition heat release (ITHR), which is critical to keep the engine from misfiring at the very late combustion phasings required to prevent knock at high-load boosted conditions.
Journal Article

Detailed Kinetic Modeling of HCCI Combustion with Isopentanol

Isopentanol is an advanced biofuel that can be produced by micro-organisms through genetically engineered metabolic pathways. Compared to the more frequently studied ethanol, isopentanol's molecular structure has a longer carbon chain and includes a methyl branch. Its volumetric energy density is over 30% higher than ethanol, and it is less hygroscopic. Some fundamental combustion properties of isopentanol in an HCCI engine have been characterized in a recent study by Yang and Dec (SAE 2010-01-2164). They found that for typical HCCI operating conditions, isopentanol lacks two-stage ignition properties, yet it has a higher HCCI reactivity than gasoline. The amount of intermediate temperature heat release (ITHR) is an important fuel property, and having sufficient ITHR is critical for HCCI operation without knock at high loads using intake-pressure boosting. Isopentanol shows considerable ITHR, and the amount of ITHR increases with boost, similar to gasoline.
Journal Article

Smoothing HCCI Heat Release with Vaporization-Cooling-Induced Thermal Stratification using Ethanol

Ethanol and ethanol/gasoline blends are being widely considered as alternative fuels for light-duty automotive applications. At the same time, HCCI combustion has the potential to provide high efficiency and ultra-low exhaust emissions. However, the application of HCCI is typically limited to low and moderate loads because of unacceptably high heat-release rates (HRR) at higher fueling rates. This work investigates the potential of lowering the HCCI HRR at high loads by using partial fuel stratification to increase the in-cylinder thermal stratification. This strategy is based on ethanol's high heat of vaporization combined with its true single-stage ignition characteristics. Using partial fuel stratification, the strong fuel-vaporization cooling produces thermal stratification due to variations in the amount of fuel vaporization in different parts of the combustion chamber.
Journal Article

Partial Fuel Stratification to Control HCCI Heat Release Rates: Fuel Composition and Other Factors Affecting Pre-Ignition Reactions of Two-Stage Ignition Fuels

Homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) combustion with fully premixed charge is severely limited at high-load operation due to the rapid pressure-rise rates (PRR) which can lead to engine knock and potential engine damage. Recent studies have shown that two-stage ignition fuels possess a significant potential to reduce the combustion heat release rate, thus enabling higher load without knock. This study focuses on three factors, engine speed, intake temperature, and fuel composition, that can affect the pre-ignition processes of two-stage fuels and consequently affect their performance with partial fuel stratification. A model fuel consisting of 73 vol.% isooctane and 27 vol.% of n-heptane (PRF73), which was previously compared against neat isooctane to demonstrate the superior performance of two-stage fuels over single-stage fuels with partial fuel stratification, was first used to study the effects of engine speed and intake temperature.
Journal Article

Boosted HCCI - Controlling Pressure-Rise Rates for Performance Improvements using Partial Fuel Stratification with Conventional Gasoline

This study investigates the potential of partial fuel stratification for reducing the knocking propensity of intake-boosted HCCI engines operating on conventional gasoline. Although intake boosting can substantially increase the high-load capability of HCCI, these engines would be more production-viable if the knock/stability load limit could be extended to allow higher loads at a given boost and/or to provide even higher thermal efficiencies. A technique termed partial fuel stratification (PFS) has recently been shown to greatly reduce the combustion-induced pressure-rise rate (PRR), and therefore the knocking propensity of naturally aspirated HCCI, when the engine is fueled with a φ-sensitive, two-stage-ignition fuel. The current work explores the potential of applying PFS to boosted HCCI operation using conventional gasoline, which does not typically show two-stage ignition. Experiments were conducted in a single-cylinder HCCI research engine (0.98 liters) at 1200 rpm.
Journal Article

Characteristics of Isopentanol as a Fuel for HCCI Engines

Long chain alcohols possess major advantages over the currently used ethanol as bio-components for gasoline, including higher energy content, better engine compatibility, and less water solubility. The rapid developments in biofuel technology have made it possible to produce C 4 -C 5 alcohols cost effectively. These higher alcohols could significantly expand the biofuel content and potentially substitute ethanol in future gasoline mixtures. This study characterizes some fundamental properties of a C 5 alcohol, isopentanol, as a fuel for HCCI engines. Wide ranges of engine speed, intake temperature, intake pressure, and equivalence ratio are investigated. Results are presented in comparison with gasoline or ethanol data previously reported. For a given combustion phasing, isopentanol requires lower intake temperatures than gasoline or ethanol at all tested speeds, indicating a higher HCCI reactivity.
Journal Article

Ethanol Autoignition Characteristics and HCCI Performance for Wide Ranges of Engine Speed, Load and Boost

The characteristics of ethanol autoignition and the associated HCCI performance are examined in this work. The experiments were conducted over wide ranges of engine speed, load and intake boost pressure (Piⁿ) in a single-cylinder HCCI research engine (0.98 liters) with a CR = 14 piston. The data show that pure ethanol is a true single-stage ignition fuel. It does not exhibit low-temperature heat release (LTHR), not even for boosted operation. This makes ethanol uniquely different from conventional distillate fuels and offers several benefits: a) The intake temperature (Tiⁿ) does not have to be adjusted much with changes of engine speed, load and intake boost pressure. b) High Piⁿ can be tolerated without running out of control authority because of an excessively low Tiⁿ requirement. However, by maintaining true single-stage ignition characteristics, ethanol also shows a relatively low temperature-rise rate just prior to its hot ignition point.
Journal Article

Boosted HCCI for High Power without Engine Knock and with Ultra-Low NOx Emissions - using Conventional Gasoline

The potential of boosted HCCI for achieving high loads has been investigated for intake pressures (Piⁿ) from 100 kPa (naturally aspirated) to 325 kPa absolute. Experiments were conducted in a single-cylinder HCCI research engine (0.98 liters) equipped with a compression-ratio 14 piston at 1200 rpm. The intake charge was fully premixed well upstream of the intake, and the fuel was a research-grade (R+M)/2 = 87-octane gasoline with a composition typical of commercial gasolines. Beginning with Piⁿ = 100 kPa, the intake pressure was systematically increased in steps of 20 - 40 kPa, and for each Piⁿ, the fueling was incrementally increased up to the knock/stability limit, beyond which slight changes in combustion conditions can lead to strong knocking or misfire. A combination of reduced intake temperature and cooled EGR was used to compensate for the pressure-induced enhancement of autoignition and to provide sufficient combustion-phasing retard to control knock.
Journal Article

Isolating the Effects of EGR on HCCI Heat-Release Rates and NOX Emissions

High-load HCCI operation is typically limited by rapid pressure-rise rates (PRR) and engine knock caused by an overly rapid heat-release rate (HRR). Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) is commonly used in HCCI engines, and it is often stated in the literature that charge dilution with EGR (or high levels of retained residuals) is beneficial for reducing the PRR to allow higher loads without knock. However, EGR/retained-residuals affect other operating parameters such as combustion phasing, which can in turn influence the PRR independently from any effect of the EGR gases themselves. Because of the multiple effects of EGR, its direct benefit for reducing the PRR is not well understood. In this work, the effects of EGR on the PRR were isolated by controlling the combustion phasing independently from the EGR addition by adjusting the intake temperature. The experiments were conducted using gasoline as the fuel at a 1200 rpm operating condition.
Journal Article

Influence of EGR Quality and Unmixedness on the High-Load Limits of HCCI Engines

This work explores how the high-load limits of HCCI are affected by fuel autoignition reactivity, EGR quality/composition, and EGR unmixedness for naturally aspirated conditions. This is done for PRF80 and PRF60. The experiments were conducted in a single-cylinder HCCI research engine (0.98 liters) with a CR = 14 piston installed. By operating at successively higher engine loads, five load-limiting factors were identified for these fuels: 1) Residual-NOx-induced run-away advancement of the combustion phasing, 2) EGR-NOx-induced run-away, 3) EGR-NOx/wall-heating induced run-away 4) EGR-induced oxygen deprivation, and 5) excessive partial-burn occurrence due to EGR unmixedness. The actual load-limiting factor is dependent on the autoignition reactivity of the fuel, the EGR quality level (where high quality refers to the absence of trace species like NO, HC and CO, i.e. simulated EGR), the level of EGR unmixedness, and the selected pressure-rise rate (PRR).
Journal Article

Influence of Fuel Autoignition Reactivity on the High-Load Limits of HCCI Engines

This work explores the high-load limits of HCCI for naturally aspirated operation. This is done for three fuels with various autoignition reactivity: iso-octane, PRF80, and PRF60. The experiments were conducted in a single-cylinder HCCI research engine (0.98 liter displacement), mostly with a CR = 14 piston installed, but with some tests at CR = 18. Five load-limiting factors were identified: 1) NOx-induced combustion-phasing run-away, 2) wall-heating-induced run-away, 3) EGR-induced oxygen deprivation, 4) wandering unsteady combustion, and 5) excessive exhaust NOx. These experiments at 1200 rpm show that the actual load-limiting factor is dependent on the autoignition reactivity of the fuel, the selected CA50, and in some cases, the tolerable level of NOx emissions. For iso-octane, which has the highest resistance to autoignition of the fuels tested, the NOx emissions become unacceptable at IMEPg = 473 kPa.