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Technical Paper

Performance and Emission Studies in a Heavy-Duty Diesel Engine Fueled with an N-Butanol and N-Heptane Blend

N-butanol, as a biomass-based renewable fuel, has many superior fuel properties. It has a higher energy content and cetane number than its alcohol competitors, methanol and ethanol. Previous studies have proved that n-butanol has the capability to achieve lower emissions without sacrifice on thermal efficiency when blended with diesel. However, most studies on n-butanol are limited to low blending ratios, which restricts the improvement of emissions. In this paper, 80% by volume of n-butanol was blended with 20% by volume of n-heptane (namely BH80). The influences of various engine parameters (combustion phasing, EGR ratio, injection timing and intake pressure, respectively) on its combustion and emission characteristics are tested at different loads. The results showed that when BH80 uses more than 40% EGR, the emitted soot and nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions are below the EURO VI legislation.
Technical Paper

Effects of Different Injection Strategies and EGR on Partially Premixed Combustion

Premixed Charge Compression Ignition concepts are promising to reduce NOx and soot simultaneously and keeping a high thermal efficiency. Partially premixed combustion is a single fuel variant of this new combustion concepts applying a fuel with a low cetane number to achieve the necessary long ignition delay. In this study, multiple injection strategies are studied in the partially premixed combustion approach to reach stable combustion and ultra-low NOx and soot emission at 15.5 bar gross indicated mean effective pressure. Three different injection strategies (single injection, pilot-main injection, main-post injection) are experimentally investigated on a heavy duty compression ignition engine. A fuel blend (70 vol% n-butanol and 30 vol% n-heptane) was tested. The effects of different pilot and post-injection timing, as well as Exhaust-gas Recirculation rate on different injection strategies investigated.
Technical Paper

The Impact of Operating Conditions on Post-Injection Efficacy; a Study Using Design-of-Experiments

Post-injection strategies prove to be a valuable option for reducing soot emission, but experimental results often differ from publication to publication. These discrepancies are likely caused by the selected operating conditions and engine hardware in separate studies. Efforts to optimize not only engine-out soot, but simultaneously fuel economy and emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) complicate the understanding of post-injection effects even more. Still, the large amount of published work on the topic is gradually forming a consensus. In the current work, a Design-of-Experiments (DoE) procedure and regression analysis are used to investigate the influence of various operating conditions on post-injection scheduling and efficacy. The study targets emission reductions of soot and NOx, as well as fuel economy improvements. Experiments are conducted on a heavy-duty compression ignition engine at three load-speed combinations.
Technical Paper

Spray Combustion Analysis of Humins

Second generation biomass is an attractive renewable feedstock for transport fuels. Its sulfur content is generally negligible and the carbon cycle is reduced from millions to tens of years. One hitherto non-valorized feedstock are so-called humins, a residual product formed in the conversion of sugars to platform chemicals, such as hydroxymethylfurfural and methoxymethylfurfural, intermediates in the production of FDCA, a building block used to produce the polyethylene furanoate (PEF) bottle by Avantium. The focus of this study is to investigate the spray combustion behavior of humins as a renewable alternative for heavy fuel oil (HFO) under large two-stroke engine-like conditions in an optically accessible constant volume chamber.
Technical Paper

Auto-Ignition of Iso-Stoichiometric Blends of Gasoline-Ethanol-Methanol (GEM) in SI, HCCI and CI Combustion Modes

Gasoline-ethanol-methanol (GEM) blends, with constant stoichiometric air-to-fuel ratio (iso-stoichiometric blending rule) and equivalent to binary gasoline-ethanol blends (E2, E5, E10 and E15 in % vol.), were defined to investigate the effect of methanol and combined mixtures of ethanol and methanol when blended with three FACE (Fuels for Advanced Combustion Engines) Gasolines, I, J and A corresponding to RON 70.2, 73.8 and 83.9, respectively, and their corresponding Primary Reference Fuels (PRFs). A Cooperative Fuel Research (CFR) engine was used under Spark Ignition and Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignited modes. An ignition quality tester was utilized in the Compression Ignition mode. One of the promising properties of GEM blends, which are derived using the iso-stoichiometric blending rule, is that they maintain a constant octane number, which has led to the introduction of methanol as a drop-in fuel to supplement bio-derived ethanol.
Journal Article

Experimental and Numerical Analyses of Liquid and Spray Penetration under Heavy-Duty Diesel Engine Conditions

The modeling of fuel sprays under well-characterized conditions relevant for heavy-duty Diesel engine applications, allows for detailed analyses of individual phenomena aimed at improving emission formation and fuel consumption. However, the complexity of a reacting fuel spray under heavy-duty conditions currently prohibits direct simulation. Using a systematic approach, we extrapolate available spray models to the desired conditions without inclusion of chemical reactions. For validation, experimental techniques are utilized to characterize inert sprays of n-dodecane in a high-pressure, high-temperature (900 K) constant volume vessel with full optical access. The liquid fuel spray is studied using high-speed diffused back-illumination for conditions with different densities (22.8 and 40 kg/m3) and injection pressures (150, 80 and 160 MPa), using a 0.205-mm orifice diameter nozzle.
Technical Paper

Validation of a Reduced Chemical Mechanism Coupled to CFD Model in a 2-Stroke HCCI Engine

Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) combustion technology has demonstrated a profound potential to decrease both emissions and fuel consumption. In this way, the significance of the 2-stroke HCCI engine has been underestimated as it can provide more power stroke in comparison to a 4-stroke engine. Moreover, the mass of trapped residual gases is much larger in a 2-stroke engine, causing higher initial charge temperatures, which leads to easier auto-ignition. For controlling 2-stroke HCCI engines, it is vital to find optimized simulation approaches of HCCI combustion with a focus on ignition timing. In this study, a Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) model for a 2-stroke gasoline engine was developed coupled to a semi-detailed chemical mechanism of iso-octane to investigate the simulation capability of the considered chemical mechanism and the effects of different simulation parameters such as the turbulence model, grid density and time step size.
Technical Paper

Towards Control-Oriented Modeling of Natural Gas-Diesel RCCI Combustion

For natural gas (NG)-diesel RCCI, a multi-zonal, detailed chemistry modeling approach is presented. This dual fuel combustion process requires further understanding of the ignition and combustion processes to maximize thermal efficiency and minimize (partially) unburned fuel emissions. The introduction of two fuels with different physical and chemical properties makes the combustion process complicated and challenging to model. In this study, a multi-zone approach is applied to NG-diesel RCCI combustion in a heavy-duty engine. Auto-ignition chemistry is believed to be the key process in RCCI. Starting from a multi-zone model that can describe auto-ignition dominated processes, such as HCCI and PCCI, this model is adapted by including reaction mechanisms for natural gas and NOx and by improving the in-cylinder pressure prediction. The model is validated using NG-diesel RCCI measurements that are performed on a 6 cylinder heavy-duty engine.
Journal Article

Lignin Derivatives as Potential Octane Boosters

Owing to environmental and health concerns, tetraethyl lead was gradually phased out from the early 1970's to mid-1990's in most developed countries. Advances in refining, leading to more aromatics (via reformate) and iso-paraffins such as iso-octane, along with the introduction of (bio) oxygenates such as MTBE, ETBE and ethanol, facilitated the removal of lead without sacrificing RON and MON. In recent years, however, legislation has been moving in the direction of curbing aromatic and olefin content in gasoline, owing to similar concerns as was the case for lead. Meanwhile, concerns over global warming and energy security have motivated research into renewable fuels. Amongst which are those derived from biomass. The feedstock of interest in this study is lignin, which, together with hemicellulose and cellulose, is amongst the most abundant organic compounds on the planet.
Journal Article

Virtual Cylinder Pressure Sensor for Transient Operation in Heavy-Duty Engines

Cylinder pressure-based combustion control is widely introduced for passenger cars. Benefits include enhanced emission robustness to fuel quality variation, reduced fuel consumption due to more accurate (multi-pulse) fuel injection, and minimized after treatment size. In addition, it enables the introduction of advanced, high-efficient combustion concepts. The application in truck engines is foreseen, but challenges need to be overcome related to durability, increased system costs, and impact on the cylinder head. In this paper, a new single cylinder pressure sensor concept for heavy-duty Diesel engines is presented. Compared to previous studies, this work focuses on heavy-duty Diesel powertrains, which are characterized by a relatively flexible crank shaft in contrast to the existing passenger car applications.
Technical Paper

Characterization of Low Load PPC Operation using RON70 Fuels

The concept of Partially Premixed Combustion is known for reduced hazardous emissions and improved efficiency. Since a low-reactive fuel is required to extend the ignition delay at elevated loads, controllability and stability issues occur at the low-load end. In this investigation seven fuel blends are used, all having a Research Octane Number of around 70 and a distinct composition or boiling range. Four of them could be regarded as ‘viable refinery fuels’ since they are based on current refinery feedstocks. The latter three are based on primary reference fuels, being PRF70 and blends with ethanol and toluene respectively. Previous experiments revealed significant ignition differences, which asked for further understanding with an extended set of measurements. Experiments are conducted on a heavy duty diesel engine modified for single cylinder operation. In this investigation, emphasis is put on idling (600 rpm) and low load conditions.
Technical Paper

Spray Analysis of the PFAMEN Injector

In an earlier study, a novel type of diesel fuel injector was proposed. This prototype injects fuel via porous (sintered) micro pores instead of via the conventional 6-8 holes. The micro pores are typically 10-50 micrometer in diameter, versus 120-200 micrometer in the conventional case. The expected advantages of the so-called Porous Fuel Air Mixing Enhancing Nozzle (PFAMEN) injector are lower soot- and CO2 emissions. However, from previous in-house measurements, it has been concluded that the emissions of the porous injector are still not satisfactory. Roughly, this may have multiple reasons. The first one is that the spray distribution is not good enough, the second one is that the droplet sizing is too big due to the lack of droplet breakup. Furthermore air entrainment into the fuel jets might be insufficient. All reasons lead to fuel rich zones and associated soot formation.
Technical Paper

A First Implementation of an Efficient Combustion Strategy in a Multi Cylinder Two-Stage Turbo CI-Engine Producing Low Emissions While Consuming a Gasoline/EHN Blend

A Gasoline Compression Ignition combustion strategy was developed and showed its capabilities in the heavy duty single cylinder test-cell, resulting in indicated efficiencies up to 50% and low engine out emissions applying to EU VI and US 10 legislations while the soot remained at a controllable 1.5 FSN. For this concept a single-cylinder CI-engine was used running at a lambda of ∼1.6 and EGR levels of ∼50% and a modified injection strategy. Part of this strategy was also the use of a gasoline blended with an ignition improver, giving the blend a cetane number in the range of regular diesel; ∼50. In this paper a step is taken towards implementation of this combustion concept into a multi-cylinder light duty standalone CI-engine. A standard CI-engine was modified so that its gas-exchange system could deliver the requested amounts of EGR and lambda.
Technical Paper

Literature Study and Feasibility Test Regarding a Gasoline/EHN Blend Consumed by Standard CI-Engine Using a Non-PCCI Combustion Strategy

A literature and experimental study was done to create an overview of the behavior of gasoline combusted in a CI-engine. This paper creates a first overview of the work to be done before implementing this Gasoline Compression Ignition concept in a multi-cylinder engine. According to literature the gasoline blend will have advantages over diesel. First the shorter molecular chain of the gasoline makes it less prone to soot. Second the lower density gives the gasoline a higher nozzle exit speed resulting in better mixing capabilities. Third the lower density and higher volatility lets the spray length decrease. This lowers the chance of wall-impingement, but creates worse mixing conditions looking from a spray point of view. The CO and HC emissions tend to increase relative to operation with diesel fuel, NOx emissions largely depend on the choice of combustion strategy and could be influenced by the nitrogen bound to the EHN molecule that is used as an ignition improver.
Technical Paper

Styrofoam Precursors as Drop-in Diesel Fuel

Styrene, or ethylbenzene, is mainly used as a monomer for the production of polymers, most notably Styrofoam. In the synthetis of styrene, the feedstock of benzene and ethylene is converted into aromatic oxygenates such as benzaldehyde, 2-phenyl ethanol and acetophenone. Benzaldehyde and phenyl ethanol are low value side streams, while acetophenone is a high value intermediate product. The side streams are now principally rejected from the process and burnt for process heat. Previous in-house research has shown that such aromatic oxygenates are suitable as diesel fuel additives and can in some cases improve the soot-NOx trade-off. In this study acetophenone, benzaldehyde and 2-phenyl ethanol are each added to commercial EN590 diesel at a ratio of 1:9, with the goal to ascertain whether or not the lower value benzaldehyde and 2-phenyl ethanol can perform on par with the higher value acetophenone. These compounds are now used in pure form.
Journal Article

Commercial Naphtha Blends for Partially Premixed Combustion

Partially Premixed Combustion has shown the potential of low emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and soot with a simultaneous improvement in fuel efficiency. Several research groups have shown that a load range from idle to full load is possible, when using low-octane-number refinery streams, in the gasoline boiling range. As such refinery streams are not expected to be commercially available on the short term, the use of naphtha blends that are commercially available could provide a practical solution. The three blends used in this investigation have been tested in a single-cylinder engine for their emission and efficiency performance. Besides a presentation of the sensitivity to injection strategies, dilution levels and fuel pressure, emission performance is compared to legislated emission levels. Conventional diesel combustion benchmarks are used for reference to show possible improvements in indicated efficiency.
Technical Paper

Combustion Phasing Controllability with Dual Fuel Injection Timings

Reactivity controlled compression ignition through in-cylinder blending gasoline and diesel to a desired reactivity has previously been shown to give low emission levels and a clear simultaneous efficiency advantage. To determine the possible viability of the concept for on-road application, the control space of injection parameters with respect to combustion phasing is presented. Four injection strategies have been investigated, and for each the respective combustion phasing response is presented. Combustion efficiency is shown to be greatly affected by both the injection-timing and injection-strategy. All injection strategies are shown to break with the common soot-NOx trade-off, with both smoke and NOx emissions being near or even below upcoming legislated levels. Lastly, pressure rise rates are comparable with conventional combustion regimes with the same phasing. The pressure rise rates are effectively suppressed by the high dilution rates used.
Technical Paper

Review on the Effects of Dual-Fuel Operation, Using Diesel and Gaseous Fuels, on Emissions and Performance

In recent years the automotive industry has been forced to reduce the harmful and pollutant emissions emitted by direct-injected diesel engines. To accomplish this difficult task various solutions have been proposed. One of these proposed solutions is the usage of gaseous fuels in addition to the use of liquid diesel. These gaseous fuels have more gasoline-like properties, such as high octane numbers, and thereby are resistant against auto-ignition. Diesel on the other hand, has a high cetane number which makes it prone to auto-ignition. In this case the gaseous fuel is injected in the inlet manifold, and the diesel is direct injected in the cylinder at the end of the compression stroke. Thereby the diesel fuel spontaneously ignites and acts as an ignition source. The main goals for the use of a dual-fuel operation with diesel and gaseous fuels are the reduction of particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) emission.
Technical Paper

Emission Performance of Lignin-Derived Cyclic Oxygenates in a Heavy-Duty Diesel Engine

In earlier research, a new class of bio-fuels, so-called cyclic oxygenates, was reported to have a favorable impact on the soot-NOx trade-off experience in diesel engines. In this paper, the soot-NOx trade-off is compared for two types of cyclic oxygenates. 2-phenyl ethanol has an aromatic and cyclohexane ethanol a saturated or aliphatic ring structure. Accordingly, the research is focused on the effect of aromaticity on the aforementioned emissions trade-off. This research is relevant because, starting from lignin, a biomass component with a complex poly-aromatic structure, the production of 2-phenyl ethanol requires less hydrogen and can therefore be produced at lower cost than is the case for cyclohexane ethanol.
Journal Article

Direct Injection of Diesel-Butane Blends in a Heavy Duty Engine

Increasing fuel prices keep bringing attention to alternative, cheaper fuels. Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) has been well known for decades as an alternative fuel for spark ignition (SI) passenger cars. More recently, aftermarket LPG systems were also introduced to Heavy Duty transport vehicles. These (port fuel) systems either vaporize the liquid fuel and then mix it with intake air, or inject fuel into the engine's intake ports. While this concept offers significant fuel cost reductions, for aftermarket certification and large-scale OEM use some concerns are present. Unburned hydrocarbons (UHC) and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions are known to be high because of premixed charge getting trapped into crevices and possibly being blown through during valve-overlap. Apart from the higher emission levels, this also limits fuel efficiency and therefore cost savings.