Octane Response of a Highly Boosted Direct Injection Spark Ignition Engine at Different Compression Ratios
Stringent regulations on fuel economy have driven major innovative changes in the internal combustion engine design. (E.g. CAFE fuel economy standards of 54.5 mpg by 2025 in the U.S) Vehicle manufacturers have implemented engine infrastructure changes such as downsizing, direct injection, higher compression ratios and turbo-charging/super-charging to achieve higher engine efficiencies. Fuel properties therefore, have to align with these engine changes in order to fully exploit the possible benefits. Fuel octane number is a key metric that enables high fuel efficiency in an engine. Greater resistance to auto-ignition (knock) of the fuel/air mixture allows engines to be operated at a higher compression ratio for a given quantity of intake charge without severely retarding the spark timing resulting in a greater torque per mass of fuel burnt. This attribute makes a high octane fuel a favorable hydrocarbon choice for modern high efficiency engines that aim for higher fuel economy.