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Technical Paper

On-Board Fuel Property Classifier for Fuel Property Adaptive Engine Control System

This paper explores the possibility of on-board fuel classification for fuel property adaptive compression-ignition engine control system. The fuel classifier is designed to on-board classify the fuel that a diesel engine is running, including alternative and renewable fuels such as bio-diesel. Based on this classification, the key fuel properties are provided to the engine control system for optimal control of in-cylinder combustion and exhaust treatment system management with respect to the fuel. The fuel classifier employs engine input-output response characteristics measured from standard engine sensors to classify the fuel. For proof-of-concept purposes, engine input-output responses were measured for three different fuels at three different engine operating conditions. Two neural-network-based fuel classifiers were developed for different classification scenarios. Of the three engine operating conditions tested, two conditions were selected for the fuel classifier to be active.
Technical Paper

Heavy-Duty Diesel Engine Emissions Tests Using Special Biodiesel Fuels

A 2003 heavy-duty diesel engine (2002 emissions level) was used to test a representative biodiesel fuel as well as the methyl esters of several different fatty acids. The fuel variables included degree of saturation, the oxygen content, and carbon chain length. In addition, two pure normal paraffins with the corresponding chain lengths of two of the methyl esters were also tested to determine the impact of chain length. The dependent variables were the NOx and the particulate emissions (PM). The results indicated that the primary fuel variable affecting the emissions is the oxygen content. The emissions results showed that the highest oxygen content test fuel had the lowest emissions of both NOx and PM. As compared to the baseline diesel fuel the NOx emissions were reduced by 5 percent and the PM emissions were reduced by 83 percent.
Technical Paper

HCCI Operation of a Dual-Fuel Natural Gas Engine for Improved Fuel Efficiency and Ultra-Low NOx Emissions at Low to Moderate Engine Loads

A new combustion concept has been developed and tested for improving the low to moderate load efficiency and NOx emissions of natural gas engines. This concept involves operation of a dual-fuel natural gas engine on Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) in the load regime of idle up to 35 % of the peak torque. A dual-fuel approach is used to control the combustion phasing of the engine during HCCI operation, and conventional spark-ignited natural gas combustion is used for the high-load regime. This concept has resulted in an engine with power output and high-load fuel efficiency that are unchanged from the base engine, but with a 10 - 15 % improvement to the low to moderate load fuel efficiency. In addition, the engine-out NOx emissions during HCCI operation are over 90% lower than on spark-ignited natural gas operation over the equivalent load range.
Technical Paper

Analysis of the Ignition Behaviour of the ASTM D-613 Primary Reference Fuels and Full Boiling Range Diesel Fuels in the Ignition Quality Tester (IQT™) - Part III

This paper reports on the third part of a continued study (SAE Papers 961182, 971636) to develop the Ignition Quality Tester (IQT™). Past research has shown that this automated laboratory/refinery apparatus can be used to accurately predict the cetane number of middle distillates and alternative fuels using small sample volumes (< 50 mL). The paper reports on the main objective of a study performed by Advanced Engine Technology Ltd. (AET), in co-operation with its research partners. The primary research objective of this work is to further the understanding of fuel preparation (fuel air mixing) and start of combustion processes in the IQT™. Key to this understanding is the manner in which single molecule compounds and full boiling-range diesel fuels behave during these processes. Insights are provided into the manner in which the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) D-613 primary reference fuels (PRFs) undergo fuel preparation and start of combustion in the IQT™.
Technical Paper

Diesel Fuel Ignition Quality as Determined in the Ignition Quality Tester (IQT) - Part II

A combustion-based analytical method, initially developed by the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) and referred to as the Constant Volume Combustion Apparatus (CVCA), has been further researched/developed by an SwRI licensee (Advanced Engine Technology Ltd.). This R&D has resulted in a diesel fuel Ignition Quality Tester (IQT) that permits rapid and precise determination of the ignition quality of middle distillate and alternative fuels. Its features, such as low fuel volume requirement, complete test automation, and self-diagnosis, make it highly suitable for commercial oil industry and research applications. A preliminary investigation, reported in SAE paper 961182, has shown that the IQT results are highly correlated to the ASTM D-613 cetane number (CN). The objective of this paper is to report on efforts to further refine the original CN model and report on improvements to the IQT fuel injection system.
Technical Paper

Cetane Numbers of Fatty Compounds:Influence of Compound Structure and of Various Potential Cetane Improvers

Biodiesel is a mixture of esters (usually methyl esters) of fatty acids found in the triglycerides of vegetable oils. The different fatty compounds comprising biodiesel possess different ignition properties. To investigate and potentially improve these properties, the cetane numbers of various fatty acids and esters were determined in a Constant Volume Combustion Apparatus. The cetane numbers range from 20.4 for linolenic acid to 80.1 for butyl stearate. The cetane numbers depend on the number of CH2 groups as well as the number of double bonds and other factors. Various oxygenated compounds were studied for their potential of improving the cetane numbers of fatty compounds. Several potential cetane improvers with ignition delay properties giving calculated cetane numbers over 100 were identified. The effect of these cetane improvers depended on their concentration and also on the fatty material investigated.
Technical Paper

Combustion and Emissions Characteristics of Minimally Processed Methanol in a Diesel Engine Without Ignition Assist

Mixtures of methanol, water and heavier alcohols, simulating “raw’ methanol at various levels of processing, were tested in a constant volume combustion apparatus (CVCA) and in a single-cylinder, direct-injection diesel engine. The ignition characteristics determined in the CVCA indicated that the heavier alcohols have beneficial effects on the auto-ignition quality of the fuels, as compared to pure methanol. Water, at up up to 10 percent by volume, has little effect on the ignition quality. In all cases, however, the cetane numbers of the alcohol mixtures were very low. The same fuels were tested in a single cylinder engine, set-up in a configuration similar to current two-valve DI engines, except that the compression ratio was increased to 19:1. Pure methanol and five different blends of alcohols and water were tested in the engine at five different speed-load conditions.
Technical Paper

Identification of Chemical Changes Occurring During the Transient Injection of Selected Vegetable Oils

Four different vegetable oils, degummed soybean, once refined cottonseed, peanut and sunflower oils, were injected into a high-pressure, high-temperature environment of nitrogen. The environment was controlled to resemble, thermodynamically, conditions present in a diesel engine at the time of fuel injection. Samples were removed from the sprays of these oils while they were being injected. A sonic, water-cooled probe and a cold trap were used to collect the samples. Chemical analyses of the samples indicated that significant chemical changes occur in the oils during the injection process. The major change is the formation of low-molecular weight compounds from the C18:2 and C18:3 fatty acids.
Technical Paper

Vegetable Oils as Alternative Diesel Fuels: Degradation of Pure Triglycerides During the Precombustion Phase in a Reactor Simulating a Diesel Engine

Vegetable oils are candidates for alternative fuels in diesel engines. These oils, such as soybean, sunflower, rapeseed, cottonseed, and peanut, consist of various triglycerides. The chemistry of the degradation of vegetable oils when used as alternate diesel fuels thus corresponds to that of triglycerides. To study the chemistry occurring during the precombustion phase of a vegetable oil injected into a diesel engine, a reactor simulating a diesel engine was constructed. Pure triglycerides were injected into the reactor in order to determine differences in the precombustion behavior of the various triglycerides. The reactor allowed motion pictures to be prepared of the injection event as the important reaction parameters, such as pressure, temperature, and atmosphere were varied. Furthermore, samples of the degradation products of precombusted triglycerides were collected and analyzed (gas chromatography / mass spectrometry).
Technical Paper

Dual Fuel Injection Nozzle for Methanol Fueled Compression Ignition Engine Operation

The objective of the work reported in this paper was to develop and demonstrate an injection nozzle which can be used to inject both diesel fuel and methanol in to a direct injection diesel engine. The constraints on the nozzle were that it must provide acceptable fuel metering and atomization for the diesel fuel so that the engine can be operated at rated load on diesel fuel alone, or operate at full load with the diesel fuel as a pilot for the methanol. An additional constraint was that the nozzle design was to be easily adaptable to the existing injection nozzle so that engine head modifications are not required. The initial design was evaluated in a constant volume test chamber in which the pressure was varied from atmospheric to engine compression pressures.
Technical Paper

Cetane Numbers of Fatty Esters, Fatty Alcohols and Triglycerides Determined in a Constant Volume Combustion Bomb

During the 1980's, vegetable oils, microemulsions containing fatty alcohols as surfactants, and fatty esters have been extensively investigaed as alternative fuels to #2 diesel fuel (DF-2) used in farm tractors. Despite the importance of vegetable oils (mainly triglycerides) and fatty derivatives to the alternative fuel program, cetane numbers for pure triglycerides and many fatty derivatives were not reported. In the current study, estimated cetane numbers of these materials have been determined by use of a constant volume combustion bomb. Prior research has shown that this equipment can produce cetane numbers that correlate satisfactorily with engine cetane numbers as determied by ASTM D 613. The influence of chemical structure on ignition delay and cetane number was investigated. Evidence is presented that shows the current cetane number scale is not always suitable for these fatty materials. Suggestions are made as to what might be done to remedy this problem.
Technical Paper

Coal Fuels for Diesel and Gas Turbine Engines

Four major coal fuel projects which were performed at Southwest Research Institute over the past ten years are reviewed. Beginning with the “Alternative Fuels for Highway Utilization” project in 1979, and the success of carbon-black/diesel fuel slurries, the development of the coal slurries is traced to the current technology. Most recently, full-scale locomotive engines have been operated on 50% coal in water slurries at thermal efficiencies approaching that of diesel fuel performance. The paper is concluded with a recommended engine design for coal slurries.
Technical Paper

Diesel Fuel Ignition Quality as Determined in a Constant Volume Combustion Bomb

The ignition delay times of forty-two different fuels were measured in a constant volume combustion bomb. The measurements were performed at three different initial air temperatures using fuels ranging from the primary reference fuels for cetane rating to complex mixtures of coal-derived liquids. The ignition delay times were examined in terms of the classical definitions of the physical and chemical delay times. The previously used definitions were found to be inadequate, and new definitions have been proposed. The total ignition delay times were studied in the context of providing a means for rating the ignition quality of the fuels. Fuel ignition quality rating schemes are discussed, including one based on the current cetane number scale as well as one based on a new scale which includes a measure of the sensitivity of the various fuels to the air temperature.
Technical Paper

Understanding the mechanism of Cylinder Bore and Ring Wear in Methanol Fueled SI Engines

One of the major problems created by the use of methanol fuels in SI engines is the high cylinder bore and ring wear rates observed during operation at low engine temperatures. The objective of the work reported in this paper was to identify the processes controlling the corrosion/wear mechanism in methanol-fueled, spark-ignition engines. Basically, three different types of experiments were performed during this project. The experiments consisted of: 1. Combustion experiments designed to identify the combustion products of methanol at various locations within a confined methanol flame; 2. Exposure studies designed to define the specific role of each of the combustion products on the corrosion mechanism; 3. Lubricant screening experiments designed to identify the mode of penetration of the oil film, and the location, in the microscale, of the surface attack. Performic acid was identified as the corrosive agent.
Technical Paper

Fuel Effects on Combustion in a Two-Stroke Diesel Engine

Combustion studies on various potential alternative fuels were performed for the U.S. Array Belvoir Research and Development Center in a two-stroke heavy duty diesel engine. One cylinder of the engine was instrumented with a pressure transducer. A high-speed data acquisition system was used to acquire cylinder pressure histories synchronously with crankangle. The heat release diagrams, along with the calculated combustion efficiencies of the fuels were compared to a referee grade diesel fuel. The calculated and measured combustion parameters include heat release centroids, cumulative heat release, peak pressure, indicated horsepower, peak rate of pressure rise, indicated thermal efficiency, energy input, and ignition delay. Regression analyses were performed between various fuel properties and the calculated and measured combustion performance parameters. The fuel properties included specific gravity, cetane number, viscosity, boiling point distribution.
Technical Paper

The Mechanisms Leading to Increased Cylinder Bore and Ring Wear in Methanol-Fueled S. I. Engines

It is now a fairly well established fact that excessive ring and cylinder bore wear can result from the operation of an S. I. engine on neat methanol. The mechanism leading to the excessive wear were investigated using both engine and bench tests. Engine tests using prevaporized superheated methanol indicated that the wear results from reactions between the combustion products and the cast iron cylinder liner, where the presence of liquid methanol in the combustion chamber appears to be an important part of the mechanism. These reactions were investigated using a spinning disc combustor. The spinning disc combustor was used to provide a source of burning methanol droplets which were subsequently quenched on a water-cooled cast iron surface. The condensate formed on the cast iron surface was collected and analyzed for chemical composition. Infrared analysis indicated the presence of large quantities of iron formate, a reaction product of iron and formic acid.
Technical Paper

The Effects of Fuel Properties and Composition on Diesel Engine Exhaust Emissions - A Review

Due to the cost and mobility advantages of diesel-powered mine vehicles over electric vehicles, it is anticipated that the diesel engine will become more widely used in underground mines in this country. Concern has arisen, however, over the impact of diesel exhaust emissions on the air quality in the underground mine environment. A literature search has been conducted to identify known effects of fuel properties on the reduction of diesel exhaust emissions. Reductions can be obtained by optimizing fuel properties and by considering alternative fuels to standard diesel fuel. However, the data base is relatively small and the results highly dependent on engine type and operating conditions. Engine studies on a typical mine diesel are necessary to draw quantitative conclusions regarding the reduction of emissions, especially particulates and NO2 which have not been generally addressed in previous studies.
Technical Paper

The Use of Hybrid Fuel in a Single-Cylinder Diesel Engine

Hybrids are fuels derived from combinations of different energy sources and which are generally formulated as solutions, emulsions, or slurries. The underlying objective of this program is to reduce the use of petroleum-derived fuels and/or to minimize the processing requirements of the finished hybrid fuels. Several hybrid fuel formulations have been developed and tested in a direct injection single-cylinder diesel engine. The formulations included solutions of ethanol and vegetable oils in diesel fuel, emulsions of methanol and of ethanol in diesel fuel; and slurries of starch, cellulose, and “carbon” in diesel fuel. Based on the progress to date, the solutions and emulsions appear to be viable diesel engine fuels if the economic factors are favorable and the storage and handling problems are not too severe. The slurries, on the other hand, are not to the same point of development as the solutions and emulsions.
Technical Paper

The Laminar Burning Velocity of Isooctane, N-Heptane, Methanol, Methane, and Propane at Elevated Temperature and Pressures in the Presence of a Diluent

A constant volume bomb was used to determine basic combustion characteristics of isooctane, n-heptane, methanol, propane and methane. Results show that the laminar flame velocity of a quiescent homogeneous air/fuel mixture can be derived from pressure-time data in the bomb. The effects of pressure, temperature, and charge dilution on flame velocity and ignition are presented. A thermo-chemical kinetic model accurately predicted concentrations of nitric oxide during combustion and in the burned gas.