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Journal Article

Analytical Examination of the Relationship between Fuel Properties, Engine Efficiency, and R Factor Values

The variability in gasoline energy content, though most frequently not a consumer concern, is an issue of concern for vehicle manufacturers in demonstrating compliance with regulatory requirements. Advancements in both vehicle technology, test methodology, and fuel formulations have increased the level of visibility and concern with regard to the energy content of fuels used for regulatory testing. The R factor was introduced into fuel economy calculations for vehicle certification in the late 1980s as a means of addressing batch-to-batch variations in the heating value of certification fuels and the resulting variations in fuel economy results. Although previous studies have investigated values of the R factor for modern vehicles through experimentation, subsequent engine studies have made clear that it is difficult to distinguish between the confounding factors that influence engine efficiency when R is being studied experimentally.
Journal Article

Estimation of the Fuel Efficiency Potential of Six Gasoline Blendstocks Identified by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Co-Optimization of Fuels and Engines Program

Six blendstocks identified by the Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines Program were used to prepare fuel blends using a fixed blendstock for oxygenate blending and a target RON of 97. The blendstocks included ethanol, n-propanol, isopropanol, isobutanol, diisobutylene, and a bioreformate surrogate. The blends were analyzed and used to establish interaction factors for a non-linear molar blending model that was used to predict RON and MON of volumetric blends of the blendstocks up to 35 vol%. Projections of efficiency increase, volumetric fuel economy increase, and tailpipe CO2 emissions decrease were produced using two different estimation techniques to evaluate the potential benefits of the blendstocks. Ethanol was projected to provide the greatest benefits in efficiency and tailpipe CO2 emissions, but at intermediate levels of volumetric fuel economy increase over a smaller range of blends than other blendstocks.
Journal Article

Exploring the Relationship Between Octane Sensitivity and Heat-of-Vaporization

The latent heat-of-vaporization (HoV) of blends of biofuel and hydrocarbon components into gasolines has recently experienced expanded interest because of the potential for increased HoV to increase fuel knock resistance in direct-injection (DI) engines. Several studies have been conducted, with some studies identifying an additional anti-knock benefit from HoV and others failing to arrive at the same conclusion. Consideration of these studies holistically shows that they can be grouped according to the level of fuel octane sensitivity variation within their fuel matrices. When comparing fuels of different octane sensitivity significant additional anti-knock benefits associated with HoV are sometimes observed. Studies that fix the octane sensitivity find that HoV does not produce additional anti-knock benefit. New studies were performed at ORNL and NREL to further investigate the relationship between HoV and octane sensitivity.
Journal Article

Effects of Oil Formulation, Oil Separator, and Engine Speed and Load on the Particle Size, Chemistry, and Morphology of Diesel Crankcase Aerosols

The recirculation of gases from the crankcase and valvetrain can potentially lead to the entrainment of lubricant in the form of aerosols or mists. As boost pressures increase, the blow-by flow through both the crankcase and the valve cover increases. The resulting lubricant can then become part of the intake charge, potentially leading to fouling of intake components such as the intercooler and the turbocharger. The entrained aerosol which can contain the lubricant and soot may or may not have the same composition as the bulk lubricant. The complex aerodynamic processes that lead to entrainment can strip out heavy components or volatilize light components. Similarly, the physical size and numbers of aerosol particles can be dependent upon the lubricant formulation and engine speed and load. For instance, high rpm and load may increase not only the flow of gases but the amount of lubricant aerosol.
Journal Article

Determination of the R Factor for Fuel Economy Calculations Using Ethanol-Blended Fuels over Two Test Cycles

During the 1980s, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) incorporated the R factor into fuel economy calculations in order to address concerns about the impacts of test fuel property variations on corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) compliance, which is determined using the Federal Test Procedure (FTP) and Highway Fuel Economy Test (HFET) cycles. The R factor is defined as the ratio of the percent change in fuel economy to the percent change in volumetric heating value for tests conducted using two differing fuels. At the time the R-factor was devised, tests using representative vehicles initially indicated that an appropriate value for the R factor was 0.6. Reassessing the R factor has recently come under renewed interest after EPA's March 2013 proposal to adjust the properties of certification gasoline to contain significant amounts of ethanol.
Technical Paper

Lubricating Oil Consumption on the Standard Road Cycle

Automobile manufacturers strive to minimize oil consumption from their engines due to the need to maintain emissions compliance over the vehicle life. Engine oil can contribute directly to organic gas and particle emissions as well as accelerate emissions degradation due to catalyst poisoning. During the Department of Energy Intermediate Ethanol Blends Catalyst Durability program, vehicles were aged using the Standard Road Cycle (SRC). In this program, matched sets of three or four vehicles were acquired; each vehicle of a set was aged on ethanol-free retail gasoline, or the same base gasoline blended with 10, 15, or 20% ethanol (E0, E10, E15, E20). The primary purpose of the program was to assess any changes in tailpipe emissions due to the use of increased levels of ethanol. Oil consumption was tracked during the program so that any measured emissions degradation could be appropriately attributed to fuel use or to excessive oil consumption.
Technical Paper

Microstructural Analysis of Deposits on Heavy-Duty EGR Coolers

Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) cooler fouling has become a significant issue for compliance with NOX emissions standards and has negative impacts on cooler sizing and engine performance. In order to improve our knowledge of cooler fouling as a function of engine operating parameters and to predict and enhance performance, 19 tube-in-shell EGR coolers were fouled using a 5-factor, 3-level design of experiments with the following variables: (1) EGR flow rate, (2) EGR inlet gas temperature, (3) coolant temperature, (4) soot level, and (5) hydrocarbon concentration. A 9-liter engine and ULSD fuel were used to form the cooler deposits. Coolers were run until the effectiveness stabilized, and then were cooled down to room temperature and run for an additional few hours in order to measure the change in effectiveness due to shut down. The coolers were cut open and the mass per unit area of the deposit was measured as a function of distance down the tube.
Journal Article

Removal of EGR Cooler Deposit Material by Flow-Induced Shear

A number of studies have identified a tendency for exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) coolers to foul to a steady-state level and subsequently not degrade further. One possible explanation for this behavior is that the shear force imposed by the gas velocity increases as the deposit thickens. If the shear force reaches a critical level, it achieves a removal of the deposit material that can balance the rate of deposition of new material, creating a stabilized condition. This study reports efforts to observe removal of deposit material in-situ during fouling studies as well as an ex-situ removal through the use of controlled air flows. The critical gas velocity and shear stress necessary to cause removal of deposit material is identified and reported. In-situ observations failed to show convincing evidence of a removal of deposit material. The results show that removal of deposit material requires a relatively high velocity of 40 m/s or higher to cause removal.
Journal Article

Investigating Malfunction Indicator Light Illumination Due to Increased Oxygenate Use in Gasoline

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 requires the U.S. to use 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel per year by 2022. Domestic ethanol production has increased steadily in recent years, growing from less than 5 billion gallons per year (bgpy) in 2006 to over 13 bgpy in 2010. While there is interest in developing non-oxygenated renewable fuels for use in conventional vehicles as well as interest in expanding flex-fuel vehicle (FFV) production for increased E85 use, there remains concern that EISA compliance will require further use of oxygenated biofuels in conventional vehicles. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently granted partial approval to a waiver allowing the use of E15 in 2001 and newer light-duty vehicles.
Journal Article

Combustion Studies with FACE Diesel Fuels: A Literature Review

The CRC Fuels for Advanced Combustion Engines (FACE) Working Group has provided a matrix of experimental diesel fuels for use in studies on the effects of three parameters, Cetane number (CN), aromatics content, and 90 vol% distillation temperature (T90), on combustion and emissions characteristics of advanced combustion strategies. Various types of fuel analyses and engine experiments were performed in well-known research institutes. This paper reviews a collection of research findings obtained with these nine fuels. An extensive collection of analyses were performed by members of the FACE working group on the FACE diesel fuels as a means of aiding in understanding the linkage between fuel properties and combustion and emissions performance. These analyses included non-traditional chemical techniques as well as established ASTM tests. In a few cases, both ASTM tests and advanced analyses agreed that some design variables differed from their target values when the fuels were produced.
Journal Article

NMOG Emissions Characterizations and Estimation for Vehicles Using Ethanol-Blended Fuels

Ethanol is a biofuel commonly used in gasoline blends to displace petroleum consumption; its utilization is on the rise in the United States, spurred by the biofuel utilization mandates put in place by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the statutory responsibility to implement the EISA mandates through the promulgation of the Renewable Fuel Standard. EPA has historically mandated an emissions certification fuel specification that calls for ethanol-free fuel, except for the certification of flex-fuel vehicles. However, since the U.S. gasoline marketplace is now virtually saturated with E10, some organizations have suggested that inclusion of ethanol in emissions certification fuels would be appropriate.
Journal Article

Limitations and Recommended Practice In the Use of Compression and Leak-Down Tests to Monitor Gradual Engine Degradation

Compression and leak-down tests are frequently used to identify and diagnose failed engine power cylinders. It is also often desirable in research and testing programs to use these tests to monitor incremental changes in cylinder leakage. This paper investigates whether these tests are adequate in their present form to monitor incremental changes in cylinder leakage. Results are presented from two vehicle fleets at two test sites. Compression and leak-down tests were conducted on these fleets periodically during a mileage accumulation study. The results were used to establish the variability inherent in the compression and leak-down test processes. Comparisons between the results at the initial mileage test for the study vehicles with those at the final mileage test are shown to be largely within the uncertainty established for repeat assessments.
Journal Article

Carbonyl Formation during High Efficiency Clean Combustion of FACE Fuels

The low temperature conditions that occur during high efficiency clean combustion (HECC) often lead to the formation of partially oxidized HC species such as aldehydes, ketones and carboxylic acids. Using the diesel fuels specified by the Fuels for Advanced Combustion Engines (FACE) working group, carbonyl species were collected from the exhaust of a light duty diesel engine operating under HECC conditions. High pressure liquid chromatography - mass spectrometry (LC-MS) was used to speciate carbonyls as large as C 9 . A relationship between carbonyl species formed in the exhaust and fuel composition and properties was determined. Data were collected at the optimum fuel efficiency point for a typical road load condition. Results of the carbonyl analysis showed changes in formaldehyde and acetaldehyde formation, formation of higher molecular weight carbonyls and the formation of aromatic carbonyls.
Technical Paper

In-Cylinder Fuel Blending of Gasoline/Diesel for Improved Efficiency and Lowest Possible Emissions on a Multi-Cylinder Light-Duty Diesel Engine

In-cylinder fuel blending of gasoline with diesel fuel is investigated on a multi-cylinder light-duty diesel engine as a strategy to control in-cylinder fuel reactivity for improved efficiency and lowest possible emissions. This approach was developed and demonstrated at the University of Wisconsin through modeling and single-cylinder engine experiments. The objective of this study is to better understand the potential and challenges of this method on a multi-cylinder engine. More specifically, the effect of cylinder-to-cylinder imbalances and in-cylinder charge motion as well as the potential limitations imposed by real-world turbo-machinery were investigated on a 1.9-liter four-cylinder engine. This investigation focused on one engine condition, 2300 rpm, 5.5 bar net mean effective pressure (NMEP). Gasoline was introduced with a port-fuel-injection system.
Journal Article

Characterization of Field-Aged EGR Cooler Deposits

Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) cooler fouling has become a significant issue for compliance with nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions standards. In order to better understand fouling mechanisms, eleven field-aged EGR coolers provided by seven different engine manufacturers were characterized using a suite of techniques. Microstructures were characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and optical microscopy following mounting the samples in epoxy and polishing. Optical microscopy was able to discern the location of hydrocarbons in the polished cross-sections. Chemical compositions were measured using thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA), differential thermal analysis (DTA), gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) and x-ray diffraction (XRD). Mass per unit area along the length of the coolers was also measured.
Journal Article

Fuels for Advanced Combustion Engines Research Diesel Fuels: Analysis of Physical and Chemical Properties

The CRC Fuels for Advanced Combustion Engines working group has worked to identify a matrix of research diesel fuels for use in advanced combustion research applications. Nine fuels were specified and formulated to investigate the effects of cetane number aromatic content and 90% distillation fraction. Standard ASTM analyses were performed on the fuels as well as GC/MS and1H/13C NMR analyses and thermodynamic characterizations. Details of the actual results of the fuel formulations compared with the design values are presented, as well as results from standard analyses, such as heating value, viscosity and density. Cetane number characterizations were accomplished by using both the engine method and the Ignition Quality Tester (IQT™) apparatus.
Technical Paper

Experimental Investigation of the Effects of Fuel Characteristics on High Efficiency Clean Combustion in a Light-Duty Diesel Engine

An experimental study was performed to understand fuel property effects on low temperature combustion (LTC) processes in a light-duty diesel engine. These types of combustion modes are often collectively referred to as high efficiency clean combustion (HECC). A statistically designed set of research fuels, the Fuels for Advanced Combustion Engines (FACE), were used for this study. Engine conditions of 1500rpm, 2.6bar BMEP was chosen for investigating fuel property effects on HECC operation in a GM 1.9-L common rail diesel engine. The FACE fuel matrix includes nine combinations of fuel properties including cetane number (30 to 55), aromatic content (20 to 45%), and 90% distillation temperature (270 to 340°C). HECC operation was achieved with high levels of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and adjusting injection parameters, such as higher fuel rail pressure and single injection event, which is also known as premixed charge compression ignition (PCCI) combustion.
Technical Paper

ULSD and B20 Hydrocarbon Impacts on EGR Cooler Performance and Degradation

Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) cooler fouling has emerged as an important issue in diesel engine development. Uncertainty about the level of impact that fuel chemistry may have upon this issue has resulted in a need to investigate the cooler fouling process with emerging non-traditional fuel sources to gage their impact on the process. This study reports experiments using both ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) and 20% biodiesel (B20) at elevated exhaust hydrocarbon conditions to investigate the EGR cooler fouling process. The results show that there is little difference between the degradation in cooler effectiveness for ULSD and B20 at identical conditions. At lower coolant temperatures, B20 exhibits elevated organic fractions in the deposits compared with ULSD, but this does not appear to lead to incremental performance degradation under the conditions studied.
Journal Article

Modeling of Thermophoretic Soot Deposition and Hydrocarbon Condensation in EGR Coolers

EGR coolers are effective to reduce NOx emissions from diesel engines due to lower intake charge temperature. EGR cooler fouling reduces heat transfer capacity of the cooler significantly and increases pressure drop across the cooler. Engine coolant provided at 40–90 C is used to cool EGR coolers. The presence of a cold surface in the cooler causes particulate soot deposition and hydrocarbon condensation. The experimental data also indicates that the fouling is mainly caused by soot and hydrocarbons. In this study, a 1-D model is extended to simulate particulate soot and hydrocarbon deposition on a concentric tube EGR cooler with a constant wall temperature. The soot deposition caused by thermophoresis phenomena is taken into account the model. Condensation of a wide range of hydrocarbon molecules are also modeled but the results show condensation of only heavy molecules at coolant temperature.
Technical Paper

Direct Measurement of EGR Cooler Deposit Thermal Properties for Improved Understanding of Cooler Fouling

Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) cooler fouling has become a significant issue for compliance with NOx emissions standards. This paper reports results of a study of fundamental aspects of EGR cooler fouling. An apparatus and procedure were developed to allow surrogate EGR cooler tubes to be exposed to diesel engine exhaust under controlled conditions. The resulting fouled tubes were removed and analyzed. Volatile and non-volatile deposit mass was measured for each tube. Thermal diffusivity of the deposited soot cake was measured by milling a window into the tube and using the Xenon flash lamp method. The heat capacity of the deposit was measured at temperatures up to 430°C and was slightly higher than graphite, presumably due to the presence of hydrocarbons. These measurements were combined to allow calculation of the deposit thermal conductivity, which was determined to be 0.041 W/mK, only ∼1.5 times that of air and much lower than the 304 stainless steel tube (14.7 W/mK).