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Technical Paper

Knock and Combustion Characteristics of CH4, CO, H2 and Their Binary Mixtures

Hydrogen is normally produced through the steam reforming of fossil fuels, notably natural gas or their partial oxidation in oxygenated air. The products of these processes would normally produce the H2 in the presence of a variety of concentrations of CO, CO2, H2O and N2. There is increasing interest in employing such mixtures whether on their own or in mixtures with traditional liquid or gaseous fuels in S.I. engine applications so as to improve the combustion process and engine performance. The combustion characteristics in S.I. engines of gas mixtures that contain H2 and CO need to be established to provide key operational information, such as the variations in the combustion duration and the knock limits. This paper presents experimental data obtained in a single cylinder, variable compression ratio, S.I., CFR engine when operated in turn on CH4, H2, CO and their binary mixtures.
Technical Paper

Considering the Effects of Cyclic Variations when Modeling the Performance of a Spark Ignition Engine

An approach for simulating cyclic variations in spark ignition engines is described. It is based on a stochastic modeling coupled to a comprehensive model developed for predicting engine performance, mainly for gas-fueled engine applications. Such an approach is shown capable of generating cycle to cycle variations of pressure-time development records that are in good agreement with experiment. An account of the corresponding extent of cyclic variation in major performance parameters can be also established. It is demonstrated that the probability of the incidence of knock can be determined for any set of operating and design conditions while using this approach with sufficiently comprehensive detailed chemical kinetics. Examples involving mainly methane operation are shown.
Technical Paper

Examination of Operational Limits in Gas Fueled Spark Ignition Engines

There are distinct operational mixture limits beyond which satisfactory spark ignition engine performance can not be maintained. The values of these limit mixtures which depend on the mode of their determination, are affected by numerous operational and design factors that include the type of engine and fuel used. Simple approximate methods are presented for predicting these limits. Good agreement is shown to exist between the calculated and the corresponding experimental values over a range of operating conditions while operating on the gaseous fuels: methane, propane and hydrogen. The experimentally observed operational limits deviate very substantially from the corresponding accepted flammability limit values for quiescent conditions evaluated at the average temperature and pressure prevailing at the instant of the spark passage.
Technical Paper


A predictive procedure for establishing the performance parameters of spark ignition engines fueled with a range of gaseous fuels and their mixtures is described. The incidence of knock and its relative intensity are also accounted for. The two-zone model incorporates a procedure for deriving an estimate of the effective duration of combustion and the associated mass burning rate for various operating conditions and gaseous fuels. The preignition chemical reaction activity of the unburned end gas zone and its consequences on cylinder pressure development is evaluated while using detailed chemical kinetics. The onset of autoignition and knock is established via a parameter that monitors the incremental pressure increase solely due to the preignition reaction activity per unit of mean effective combustion pressure.
Technical Paper

An Investigation of the Effects of the Addition of Dissociated Water Products to a Gas Fueled Spark Ignition Engine

One of the main features of methane fueled spark ignition engines is their relatively slow flame propagation rates in comparison to liquid fuel applications which may lead to relatively lower power output and efficiency with increased emissions and cyclic variations. This is especially pronounced at operational equivalence ratios that are much leaner than the stoichiometric value. The addition of some hydrogen and oxygen to the methane may contribute towards speeding the combustion process and bring about significant improvements in performance and emissions. It has been suggested that the addition to the methane of products of water electrolysis generated in situ on board of a vehicle may produce such improvements.
Technical Paper

The Effects of Charge Non-Uniformity on Autoignition in a Gas Fuelled Motored Engine

The effects of charge non-uniformity on autoignition of methane/air mixtures in a motored engine are investigated analytically using a varying global kinetic data model derived from the results of a detailed chemical kinetic scheme under similar conditions in a simple adiabatic constant volume reactor. These derived varying global kinetic data model was implemented in the CFD KIVA-3 code. The relative contribution of fluid motion generated by piston motion, heat transfer, chemical reactivity of the cylinder charge and swirl movement to the inhomogeneities in the properties of the cylinder charge and their consequent effects on the evolution of the autoignition process are presented and discussed.
Technical Paper

The Effects of Pilot Fuel Quality on Dual Fuel Engine Ignition Delay

The effects of changes in the cetane number of diesel liquid pilot fuels on the ignition delay period in dual fuel engines were investigated experimentally. Different pilot fuel quantities were employed with commercially pure methane, propane and low heating value gaseous fuel mixtures of methane with nitrogen or carbon dioxide over a range of engine load. The ignition delay variation with increased gaseous fuel admission showed a strong dependance on both the quantity and the quality of the pilot fuel used. It was found that the use of high cetane number pilot liquid fuels permitted smaller pilot quantities to be used satisfactorily. Engine operation on propane and low heating value gaseous fuels improved in comparison with dual fuel engine operation employing common diesel fuels.
Technical Paper

An Analytical Approach for the Optimization of a SI Engine Performance Including the Consideration of Knock

The present contribution describes an analytical approach for predicting the highest limit for acceptable power or efficiency for any spark ignition engine while ensuring knock free operation. A deterministic gradient based model combined with a simple genetic algorithm were used in association with a two-zone engine combustion model to predict analytically the necessary changes in specified operating parameters to produce optimum performance. Various examples involving mainly spark ignition engine operation with methane-hydrogen fuel mixtures are presented and discussed.
Technical Paper

An Analytical Examination of the Effects of Exhaust Gas Recirculation on the Compression Ignition Process of Engines Fuelled with Gaseous Fuels

The action of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) is examined numerically to find out whether EGR can be used to enhance the preignition reactions of a cylinder charge in a motoring, compression ignition engine fuelled with a homogeneous gaseous fuel - air mixture. The changes to the concentrations and properties of the contents of the cylinder and the associated changes in the preignition reaction rates are followed over a number of consecutive, calculated working cycles at a constant engine speed to establish whether autoignition will take place and the number of cycles required for its occurrence. It is shown that controlled EGR can enhance the autoignition processes in gas-fuelled compression ignition engines by suitably ‘seeding’ the intake charge of the current cycle with the chemical species found in the exhaust gases of the previous cycle.
Technical Paper

An Examination of the Role of Residual Gases in the Combustion Processes of Motored Engines Fuelled with Gaseous Fuels

The effects of residual gases on the combustion process of engines are examined through analysing the cyclic variations of autoignition in a motored engine fuelled with homogeneous gaseous fuel-air mixtures. The changes in composition and temperature of residual gases as well as the associated rates of the preignition reactions are followed over a number of consecutive working cycles at a constant engine speed to establish whether autoignition will take place and how many cycles are need for its occurrence. It is in that the residual gases associated with partial oxidation reactions tend to have strong kinetic but hardly any thermal or diluting effects, while residual gases produced from the more complete combustion following autoignition tend to possess significant thermal, kinetic and diluting effects.
Technical Paper

A Predictive Model for the Combustion Process in Dual Fuel Engines

A multi-zone model has been developed for the prediction of the combustion processes in dual fuel engines and some of their performance features. The consequences of the interaction between the gaseous and the diesel fuels and the resulting modification to the combustion processes are considered. A reacting zone has been incorporated in the model to describe the partial oxidation of the gaseous fuel-air mixture while detailed kinetic schemes are employed to describe the oxidation of the gaseous fuel, right from the start of compression to the end of the expansion process. The associated formation and concentrations of exhaust emissions are correspondingly established. The model can predict the onset of knock as well as the operating features and emissions for the more demanding case of light load performance. Predicted values for methane operation show good agreement with corresponding experimental values.
Technical Paper

The Ignition Delay Period in Dual Fuel Engines

The ignition delay period in dual fuel engines is examined, while employing the gaseous fuels methane, propane, ethylene and hydrogen. It is shown that the changes due to gaseous fuel admission in the temperature and pressure levels during the delay period, the extent of energy release due to preignition reaction processes, variations in the parameters of external heat transfer to the surroundings and the contribution of residual gases are the most important factors that determine the ignition delay characteristics of dual fuel engines. The consequences of these factors on the observed values of the ignition delay were evaluated while using detailed reaction kinetics for the oxidation of the gaseous fuel and employing an experimentally based formula for the ignition of the liquid pilot.
Technical Paper

An Analysis of Fuel Droplets Ignition and Combustion within Homogeneous Mixtures of Fuel and Air

The paper describes an analytical approach that models the vaporization, ignition and combustion of liquid fuel droplets in a heated environment of homogeneously mixed gaseous fuel and air at constant pressure such as taking place in dual fuel engines of the compression ignition type. Results are presented typically for the ignition and combustion of n-heptane droplets initially introduced cold into a heated homogeneous surrounding of methane-air mixtures. Variations in various parameters in space and time, such as temperature, the concentrations of the two fuels, oxygen, and products of combustion, rates of energy release, etc. are presented and discussed.
Technical Paper

Prediction of the Performance of Spark Ignition Gas Engines Including Knock

A two-zone predictive model for the performance of a spark ignited gas engine is described. In this model, an effective mass burning rate and energy release pattern based on an estimate of the combustion duration are developed. For any given engine and set of operating conditions the pressure-time and temperatures-time histories, and hence performance parameters such as indicated power output, peak pressure, optimum spark timing, etc. are predicted. Through monitoring the chemical reaction activity, while employing detailed chemical kinetics of the end gas within the unburnt zone, the incidence of autoignition and knock can also be predicted. A dimensionless knock criterion that compares the specific energy release due to end gas preignition reaction activity to the specific energy release due to combustion of the fuel is developed and used to test for the incidence of knock and its severity.
Technical Paper

Exhaust Emissions from Dual Fuel Engines at Light Load

Light load operation of dual fuel engines, associated with the use of very lean gaseous fuel-air mixtures produces relatively significant exhaust concentrations of unconverted methane and carbon monoxide, especially when small pilot liquid fuel injection is involved. The nature of the processes that bring about such exhaust emissions and measures for their control are discussed.
Technical Paper

A Predictive Model for Knock in Spark Ignition Engines

The present contribution combines the consideration of the chemical reaction activity of the end gas and engine operating conditions to predict the onset of knock and associated performance in a spark ignition engine fuelled with methane. A two-zone predictive combustion model was developed based on an estimate of the effective duration of the combustion period and the mass burning rate for any set of operating conditions. The unburned end gas preignition chemical reaction activity is described by a detailed chemical reaction kinetic scheme for methane and air. The variation with time of the value of a formulated dimensionless knock parameter based on the value of the cumulative energy released due to preignition reaction activity of the end gas per unit volume relative to the total energy release per unit cylinder swept volume is calculated It is shown that whenever knocking is encountered, the value of builds up to a sufficiently high value that exceeds a critical value.
Technical Paper

Methane-Carbon Dioxide Mixtures as a Fuel

The presence of carbon dioxide with methane is often encountered to varying proportions in numerous natural, industrial and bio-gases. The paper discusses how such a presence modifies significantly the thermodynamic, kinetic and combustion characteristics of methane in air. Experimental results are presented showing how the performance of engines, both of the spark ignition and compression ignition dual fuel types is adversely affected by the increasing presence of carbon dioxide with the methane. The bases for these trends are discussed and some guidelines towards alleviating the adverse effects of the presence of carbon dioxide in such fuel mixtures are made.
Technical Paper

A Predictive Model for Knock in Dual Fuel Engines

A model is described for the prediction of the onset of autoignition and knock in compression ignition engines of the dual fuel type. The associated variations with time of performance parameters such as the energy release rate, cylinder pressure and charge temperature, power output and species concentrations can also be obtained. This is achieved through modelling in detail the chemical reaction rates of the gaseous fuel during compression and subsequently during diesel fuel pilot ignition and combustion. A comprehensive reaction scheme involving 105 reaction steps with 31 chemical species is employed for the purpose. The results are based mainly on methane or propane as the gaseous fuel while accounting for the contribution of pilot diesel fuel injection. Calculated data showed good general agreement with the corresponding experimental values.
Technical Paper

An Examination of the Ignition Delay Period in Dual Fuel Engines

The ignition delay period occurring in dual fuel engines operating on a wide range of gaseous fuels and in diesel engines with various inert diluents added to the intake charge is examined. The observed differences in the delay period between dual fuel and diesel operations are then attributed mainly to changes in the oxygen concentration of the charge, the charge effective temperature and the chemical kinetic processes.
Technical Paper

An Examination of the Combustion Processes of a Methane Fuelled Engine When Employing Plasma Jet Ignition

Examination is made of the changes that take place in the major parameters of the combustion process and engine performance when using three different designs of plasma jet igniters of the open cavity type in a methane fuelled single cylinder engine. The characteristics of the combustion process were analysed employing a two-zone diagnostic model based on cylinder pressure-time development data. The use of plasma jet igniters with methane as a fuel enhanced the rates of burning in the initial stages of combustion, especially with very lean mixtures. The lean limit of engine operation was also extended. Their use for near stoichiometric fast burning mixtures tends in comparison to contribute little towards enhancing engine performance.