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Technical Paper

Optical Spray Investigations on OME3-5 in a Constant Volume High Pressure Chamber

Synthetic fuels generated with surplus renewable electricity, water and captured CO2, so called E-fuels, offer the possibility to easily store excess energy over long periods of time. Therefore, the ALIGN-CCUS-project seeks to use them for power-generation and as a fuel for the transport-sector. Polyoxymethylene-dimethyl-ethers (POMDMEs, short: OME) are promising E-fuels for passenger-car applications. Their molecular structure is CH3-O-(CH2O)n-CH3. For passenger-car applications, OME-mixtures with n between 3 and 5 seem most suitable, as the mixture is liquid under normal ambient conditions, offers a high cetane-number and sufficient lubricity. Their high flash-point, low toxicity and good miscibility with conventional diesel-fuel also may ease their market-introduction.
Technical Paper

Comparing Large Eddy Simulation of a Reacting Fuel Spray with Measured Quantitative Flame Parameters

In order to reduce engine out CO2 emissions, it is a main subject to find new alternative fuels from renewable sources. For identifying the specification of an optimized fuel for engine combustion, it is essential to understand the details of combustion and pollutant formation. For obtaining a better understanding of the flame behavior, dynamic structure large eddy simulations are a method of choice. In the investigation presented in this paper, an n-heptane spray flame is simulated under engine relevant conditions starting at a pressure of 50 bar and a temperature of 800 K. Measurements are conducted at a high-pressure vessel with the same conditions. Liquid penetration length is measured with Mie-Scatterlight, gaseous penetration length with Shadowgraphy and lift-off length as well as ignition delay with OH*-Radiation. In addition to these global high-speed measurement techniques, detailed spectroscopic laser measurements are conducted at the n-heptane flame.
Technical Paper

Effects of Biofuels on the Mixture Formation and Ignition Process in Diesel-Like Jets

In order to reduce engine out CO2 emissions it is a main subject to find new alternative fuels out of renewable sources. For this paper, several fuels were selected which can be produced out of biomass or with hydrogen which is generated directly via electrolysis with electricity from renewable sources. All fuels are compared to conventional diesel fuel and two diesel surrogates. It is well known that there can be a large effect of fuel properties on mixture formation and combustion, which may result in a completely different engine performance compared to the operation with conventional diesel fuels. Mixture formation and ignition behavior can also largely affect the pollutant formation. The knowledge of the combustion behavior is also important to design new engine geometries or implement new calibrations for an existing engine. The fuel properties of the investigated fuels comprise a large range, for example in case of the derived cetane number, from below 30 up to 100.
Journal Article

Assessment of the Full Thermodynamic Potential of C8-Oxygenates for Clean Diesel Combustion

Within the Cluster of Excellence “Tailor-Made Fuels from Biomass” (TMFB) at the RWTH Aachen University, two novel biogenic fuels, namely 1-octanol and its isomer dibutyl ether (DBE), were identified and extensively analyzed in respect of their suitability for combustion in a Diesel engine. Both biofuels feature very different properties, especially regarding their ignitability. In previous works of the research cluster, promising synthesis routes with excellent yields for both fuels were found, using lignocellulosic biomass as source material. Both fuels were investigated as pure components in optical and thermodynamic single cylinder engines (SCE). For 1-octanol at lower part load, almost no soot emission could be measured, while with DBE the soot emissions were only about a quarter of that with conventional Diesel fuel. At high part load (2400 min-1, 14.8 bar IMEP), the soot reduction of 1-octanol was more than 50% and for DBE more than 80 % respectively.
Journal Article

Future Specification of Automotive LPG Fuels for Modern Turbocharged DI SI Engines with Today’s High Pressure Fuel Pumps

Liquefied Petroleum Gas direct injection (LPG DI) is believed to be the key enabler for the adaption of modern downsized gasoline engines to the usage of LPG, since LPG DI avoids the significant low end torque drop, which goes along with the application of conventional LPG port fuel injection systems to downsized gasoline DI engines, and provides higher combustion efficiencies. However, especially the high vapor pressure of C3 hydrocarbons can result in hot fuel handling issues as evaporation or even in reaching the supercritical state of LPG upstream or inside the high pressure pump (HPP). This is particularly critical under hot soak conditions. As a result of a rapid fuel density drop close to the supercritical point, the HPP is not able to keep the rail pressure constant and the engine stalls.
Technical Paper

Optical Investigation of Biofuel Effects on NO and PAH Formation in Diesel-Like Jets

In order to reduce engine out CO2 emissions it is a main subject to find new alternative fuels out of renewable sources. For this reason in this paper a blend out of 1-octanol and di-n-butylether and pure di-n-butylether are investigated in comparison to n-heptane as diesel-like fuel. The alternative fuels have a different combustion behavior particularly concerning important combustion parameters like ignition delay and mixture formation. Especially the formation of pollutants like nitrogen oxides in the combustion of alternative fuels is of global interest. The knowledge of the combustion behavior is important to design new engine geometries or implement a new calibration of the engine. In previous measurements in a single cylinder engine it was found out that both alternative fuels form nearly no soot emissions. For this reason now NOx is investigated optically to avoid the traditional soot NOx trade-off in diesel combustion.
Journal Article

An Experimental Investigation of Dual-Fuel Combustion in a Light Duty Diesel Engine by In-Cylinder Blending of Ethanol and Diesel

This study investigated dual-fuel operation with a light duty Diesel engine over a wide engine load range. Ethanol was hereby injected into the intake duct, while Diesel was injected directly into the cylinder. At low loads, high ethanol shares are critical in terms of combustion stability and emissions of unburnt hydrocarbons. As the load increases, the rates of heat release become problematic with regard to noise and mechanical stress. At higher loads, an advanced injection of Diesel was found to be beneficial in terms of combustion noise and emissions. For all tests, engine-out NOx emissions were kept within the EU-6.1 limit.
Journal Article

Effects of LPG Fuel Formulations on Knock and Pre-Ignition Behavior of a DI SI Engine

Due to their CO2 reduction potential and their high knock resistance gaseous fuels present a promising alternative for modern highly boosted spark ignition engines. Especially the direct injection of LPG reveals significant advantages. Previous studies have already shown the highest thermodynamic potential for the LPG direct injection concept and its advantages in comparison to external mixture formation systems. In the performed research study a comparison of different LPG fuels in direct injection mode shows that LPG fuels have better auto-ignition behavior than gasoline. A correlation between auto-ignition behavior and the calculated motor octane number could not be found. However, a significantly higher correlation of R2 = 0.88 - 0.99 for CR13 could be seen when using the methane number. One major challenge in order to implement the LPG direct injection concept is to ensure the liquid state of the fuel under all engine operating conditions.
Journal Article

Nitric Oxide Measurements in the Core of Diesel Jets Using a Biofuel Blend

Maintaining low NOx emissions over the operating range of diesel engines continues to be a major issue. However, optical measurements of nitric oxide (NO) are lacking particularly in the core of diesel jets, i.e. in the region of premixed combustion close to the spray axis. This is basically caused by severe attenuation of both the laser light and fluorescent emission in laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) applications. Light extinction is reduced by keeping absorption path lengths relatively short in this work, by investigating diesel jets in a combustion vessel instead of an engine. Furthermore, the NO-detection threshold is improved by conducting 1-d line measurements instead of 2-d imaging. The NO-LIF data are corrected for light attenuation by combined LIF and spontaneous Raman scattering. The quantified maximum light attenuation is significantly lower than in comparable previous works, and its wavelength dependence is surprisingly weak.
Journal Article

On the Potential of Oxygenated Fuels as an Additional Degree of Freedom in the Mixture Formation in Direct Injection Diesel Engines

The current and future restrictions on pollutant emissions from internal combustion engines require a holistic investigation of the abilities of alternative fuels to optimize the combustion process and ensure cleaner combustion. In this regard, the Tailor-made Fuels from Biomass (TMFB) Cluster at Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH) Aachen University aims at designing production processes for biofuels as well as fuels optimal for use in internal combustion engines. The TMFB Cluster's scientific approach considers the molecular structure of the fuels as an additional degree of freedom for the optimization of both the production pathways and the combustion process of such novel biofuels. Thus, the model-based specification of target parameters is of the utmost importance to improve engine combustion performance and to send feedback information to the biofuel production process.
Journal Article

Mixture-Formation Analysis by PLIF in an HSDI Diesel Engine Using C8-Oxygenates as the Fuel

With increasing interest in new biofuel candidates, 1-octanol and di-n-butylether (DNBE) were presented in recent studies. Although these molecular species are isomers, their properties are substantially different. In contrast to DNBE, 1-octanol is almost a gasoline-type fuel in terms of its auto-ignition quality. Thus, there are problems associated with engine start-up for neat 1-octanol. In order to find a suitable glow-plug position, mixture formation is studied in the cylinder under almost idle operating conditions in the present work. This is conducted by planar laser-induced fluorescence in a high-speed direct-injection optical diesel engine. The investigated C8-oxygenates are also significantly different in terms of their evaporation characteristics. Thus, in-cylinder mixture formation of these two species is compared in this work, allowing conclusions on combustion behavior and exhaust emissions.
Technical Paper

Performance and Emissions of Lignin and Cellulose Based Oxygenated Fuels in a Compression-Ignition Engine

Lignocellulosic biomass consists of (hemi-) cellulose and lignin. Accordingly, an integrated biorefinery will seek to valorize both streams into higher value fuels and chemicals. To this end, this study evaluated the overall combustion performance of both cellulose- and lignin derivatives, namely the high cetane number (CN) di-n-butyl ether (DnBE) and low CN anisole, respectively. Said compounds were blended both separately and together with EN590 diesel. Experiments were conducted in a single cylinder compression ignition engine, which has been optimized for improved combustion characteristics with respect to low emission levels and at the same time high fuel efficiency. The selected operating conditions have been adopted from previous “Tailor-Made Fuels from Biomass (TMFB)” work.
Journal Article

Utilization of HVO Fuel Properties in a High Efficiency Combustion System: Part 2: Relationship of Soot Characteristics with its Oxidation Behavior in DPF

The present work is a continuation of the earlier published results by authors on the investigation of Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (HVO) on a High Efficiency Diesel Combustion System (SAE Int. J. Fuels Lubr. Paper No. 2013-01-1677 and JSAE Paper No. 283-20145128). In order to further validate and interpret the previously published results of soot microstructure and its consequences on oxidation behavior, the test program was extended to analyze the impact of soot composition, optical properties, and physical properties such as size, concentration etc. on the oxidation behavior. The experiments were performed with pure HVO as well as with petroleum based diesel and today's biofuel (i.e. FAME) as baseline fuels. The soot samples for the different analyses were collected under constant engine operating conditions at indicated raw NOx emissions of Euro 6 level using closed loop combustion control methodology.
Technical Paper

C8-Oxygenates for Clean Diesel Combustion

Within this paper, the two possible alternative and biomass-based fuel candidates Di-n-butyl ether (DNBE) and 1-octanol are investigated with regard to their utilization in a diesel-type engine. In order to asses the fuels emission-reduction potential, both have been tested in a single cylinder engine (SCE) and a high pressure chamber (HPC) in comparison to conventional EN590 diesel at various load points. Due to its reduced reactivity 1-octanol features a longer ignition delay and thus higher degrees of homogenization at start of combustion, whereas DNBE ignites rather rapidly in both the HPC and the engine leading to a predominantly mixing controlled combustion. Thus, both fuels feature completely different combustion characteristics. However, compared to diesel, both fuels contribute to a significant reduction in Filter Smoke Number (FSN) up to a factor of 15.
Technical Paper

Optimization of Diesel Combustion and Emissions with Newly Derived Biogenic Alcohols

Modern biofuels offer the potential to decrease engine out emissions while at the same time contributing to a reduction of greenhouse gases produced from individual mobility. In order to deeply investigate and improve the complete path from biofuel production to combustion, in 2007 the cluster of excellence “Tailor-Made Fuels from Biomass” was installed at RWTH Aachen University. Since then, a whole variety of possible fuel candidates have been identified and investigated. In particular oxygenated fuels (e.g. alcohols, furans) have proven to be beneficial regarding the particulate matter (PM)/ NOx trade-off [1, 2, 3] in diesel-type combustion. Alcohols that provide a longer ignition delay than diesel might behave even better with regard to this trade-off due to higher homogenization of the mixture. Recent studies carried out within the Cluster of Excellence have discovered new pathways to derive 1-octanol from biomass [4], which features a derived cetane number (DCN) of 39.
Technical Paper

Tailor-Made Fuels from Biomass: Influence of Molecular Structures on the Exhaust Gas Emissions of Compression Ignition Engines

In order to deeply investigate and improve the complete path from biofuel production to combustion, the cluster of excellence “Tailor-Made Fuels from Biomass” was installed at RWTH Aachen University in 2007. Recently, new pathways have been discovered to synthesize octanol [1] and di-n-butylether (DNBE). These molecules are identical in the number of included hydrogen, oxygen and carbon atoms, but differ in the molecular structure: for octanol, the oxygen atom is at the end of the molecule, whereas for DNBE it is located in the middle. In this paper the utilization of octanol and DNBE in a state-of-the-art single cylinder diesel research engine will be discussed. The major interest has been on engine emissions (NOx, PM, HC, CO, noise) compared to conventional diesel fuel.
Journal Article

Optimization of Diesel Combustion and Emissions with Tailor-Made Fuels from Biomass

In order to thoroughly investigate and improve the path from biofuel production to combustion, the Cluster of Excellence “Tailor-Made Fuels from Biomass” was installed at RWTH Aachen University in 2007. Since then, a variety of fuel candidates have been investigated. In particular, 2-methyl tetrahydrofurane (2-MTHF) has shown excellent performance w.r.t. the particulate (PM) / NOx trade-off [1]. Unfortunately, the long ignition delay results in increased HC-, CO- and noise emissions. To overcome this problem, the addition of di-n-butylether (DNBE, CN ∼ 100) to 2-MTHF was analyzed. By blending these two in different volumetric shares, the effects of the different mixture formation and combustion characteristics, especially on the HC-, CO- and noise emissions, have been carefully analyzed. In addition, the overall emission performance has been compared to EN590 diesel.
Journal Article

Impact of Biomass-Derived Fuels on Soot Oxidation and DPF Regeneration Behavior

To comply with the new regulations on particulate matter emissions, the manufacturers of light-duty as well as heavy-duty vehicles more commonly use diesel particulate filters (DPF). The regeneration of DPF depends to a significant extent on the properties of the soot stored. Within the Cluster of Excellence "Tailor-Made Fuels from Biomass (TMFB)" at RWTH Aachen University, the Institute for Combustion Engines carried out a detailed investigation program to explore the potential of future biofuel candidates for optimized combustion systems. The experiments for particulate measurements and analysis were conducted on a EURO 6-compliant High Efficiency Diesel Combustion System (HECS) with petroleum-based diesel fuel as reference and a today's commercial biofuel (i.e., FAME) as well as a potential future biomass-derived fuel candidate (i.e., 2-MTHF/DBE). Thermo gravimetric analyzer (TGA) was used in this study to evaluate the oxidative reactivity of the soot.
Technical Paper

Optical Investigation on the Origin of Pre-Ignition in a Highly Boosted SI Engine Using Bio-Fuels

Downsizing of highly-boosted spark-ignition (SI) engines is limited by pre-ignition, which may lead to extremely strong knocking and severe engine damage. Unfortunately, the concerning mechanisms are generally not yet fully understood, although several possible reasons have been suggested in previous research. The primary objective of the present paper is to investigate the influence of molecular bio-fuel structure on the locations of pre-ignition in a realistic, highly-charged SI engine at low speed by state-of-the-art optical measurements. The latter are conducted by using a high-sensitivity UV endoscope and an intensified high-speed camera. Two recently tested bio-fuels, namely tetrahydro-2-methylfuran (2-MTHF) and 2-methylfuran (2-MF), are investigated. Compared to conventional fuels, they have potential advantages in the well-to-tank balance. In addition, both neat ethanol and conventional gasoline are used as fuels.
Technical Paper

Analysis of the Effects of Certain Alcohol and Furan-Based Biofuels on Controlled Auto Ignition

For gasoline engines controlled autoignition provides the vision of enabling the fuel consumption benefit of stratified lean combustion systems without the drawback of additional NOx aftertreatment. In this study the potential of certain biofuels on this combustion system was assessed by single-cylinder engine investigations using the exhaust strategy "combustion chamber recirculation" (CCR). For the engine testing sweeps in the internal EGR rate with different injection strategies as well as load sweeps were performed. Of particular interest was to reveal fuel differences in the achievable maximal load as well as in the NOx emission behavior. Additionally, experiments with a shock tube and a rapid compression machine were conducted in order to determine the ignition delay times of the tested biofuels concerning controlled autoignition-relevant conditions.