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Journal Article

Ethanol Flex-fuel Engine Improvements with Exhaust Gas Recirculation and Hydrogen Enrichment

An investigation was performed to identify the benefits of cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) when applied to a potential ethanol flexible fuelled vehicle (eFFV) engine. The fuels investigated in this study represented the range a flex-fuel engine may be exposed to in the United States; from 85% ethanol/gasoline blend (E85) to regular gasoline. The test engine was a 2.0-L in-line 4 cylinder that was turbocharged and port fuel injected (PFI). Ethanol blended fuels, including E85, have a higher octane rating and produce lower exhaust temperatures compared to gasoline. EGR has also been shown to decrease engine knock tendency and decrease exhaust temperatures. A natural progression was to take advantage of the superior combustion characteristics of E85 (i.e. increase compression ratio), and then employ EGR to maintain performance with gasoline. When EGR alone could not provide the necessary knock margin, hydrogen (H2) was added to simulate an onboard fuel reformer.
Journal Article

Dedicated EGR: A New Concept in High Efficiency Engines

The use of high levels of EGR has been documented to increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions of spark ignition engines [1–5]. However, these engines typically face challenges in EGR control and tolerance, which can reduce the expected efficiency improvement. A concept developed by Southwest Research Institute explores the potential of an engine with individual cylinders dedicated to EGR production to overcome the challenges associated with EGR tolerance and control. In this study, a 4-cylinder engine was run with cylinder 1 exhausting directly to the intake manifold, leading to a constant 25% EGR level. The engine was run naturally aspirated over a large portion of the performance map at an ultra-high (14:1) compression ratio. As a part of the study, air-to-fuel ratio in cylinder 1 was varied from stoichiometric to rich to determine the effect of the products of partial combustion on EGR tolerance and fuel consumption.
Journal Article

Synergies between High EGR Operation and GDI Systems

A gasoline direct injection engine was operated at elevated EGR levels over a significant portion of the performance map. The engine was modified to use both cooled and un-cooled EGR in high pressure loop and low pressure loop configurations. The addition of EGR at low and part load was shown to decrease NO and CO emissions and to reduce fuel consumption by up to 4%, primarily through the reduction in pumping losses. At high loads, the addition of EGR resulted in higher fuel consumption benefits of 10-20% as well as the expected NO and CO reductions. The fuel economy benefit at high loads resulted from a decrease in knock tendency and a subsequent improvement in combustion phasing as well as reductions in exhaust temperatures that eliminated the requirement for over-fuelling.
Technical Paper

The Effect of Hydrogen Enrichment on EGR Tolerance in Spark Ignited Engines

Small (up to 1% by volume) amounts of hydrogen (H2) were added to the intake charge of a single-cylinder, stoichiometric spark ignited engine to determine the effect of H2 addition on EGR tolerance. Two types of tests were performed at 1500 rpm, two loads (3.1 bar and 5.5 bar IMEP), two compression ratios (11:1 and 14:1) and with two fuels (gasoline and natural gas). The first test involved holding EGR level constant and increasing the H2 concentration. The EGR level of the engine was increased until the CoV of IMEP was > 5% and then small amounts of hydrogen were added until the total was 1% by volume. The effect of increasing the amount of H2 on engine stability was measured along with combustion parameters and engine emissions. The results showed that only a very small amount of H2 was necessary to stabilize the engine. At amounts past that level, increasing the level of H2 had no or only a very small effect.
Technical Paper

The Heavy Duty Gasoline Engine - A Multi-Cylinder Study of a High Efficiency, Low Emission Technology

SwRI has developed a new technology concept involving the use of high EGR rates coupled with a high-energy ignition system in a gasoline engine to improve fuel economy and emissions. Based on a single-cylinder study [1], this study extends the concept of a high compression ratio gasoline engine with EGR rates > 30% and a high-energy ignition system to a multi-cylinder engine. A 2000 MY Isuzu Duramax 6.6 L 8-cylinder engine was converted to run on gasoline with a diesel pilot ignition system. The engine was run at two compression ratios, 17.5:1 and 12.5:1 and with two different EGR systems - a low-pressure loop and a high pressure loop. A high cetane number (CN) diesel fuel (CN=76) was used as the ignition source and two different octane number (ON) gasolines were investigated - a pump grade 91 ON ((R+M)/2) and a 103 ON ((R+M)/2) racing fuel.