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Technical Paper

NOx Reduction Kinetics Mechanisms and Radical-Induced Autoignition Potential of EGR in I.C. Engines Using Methanol and Hydrogen

This numerical study examines the chemical-kinetics mechanism responsible for EGR NOx reduction in standard engines. Also, it investigates the feasibility of using EGR alone in hydrogen-air and methanol-air combustion to help generate and retain the same radicals previously found to be responsible for the inducement of the autoignition (in such mixtures) in IC engines with the SONEX Combustion System (SCS) piston micro-chamber. The analysis is based on a detailed chemical kinetics mechanism (for each fuel) that includes NOx production. The mechanism for H-air-NOx combustion makes use of 19 species and 58 reactions while the methanol-air-NOx mechanism is based on the use of 49 species and 227 reactions. It was earlier postulated that the combination of thermal control and charge dilution provided by the EGR produces an alteration in the combustion mechanisms (for both the hydrogen and methanol cases) that lowers peak cycle temperatures-thus greatly reducing the production of NOx.
Technical Paper

Flame Quenching in the Micro-Chamber Passages of I .C. Engines with Regular-Symmetric Sonex Piston Geometry

Both physical experiments and detailed chemical kinetics studies establish that Sonex micro-chambers imbedded in the walls of the piston bowl of an I.C. engine generate highly reactive intermediate chemical species and radicals- which, when allowed to mix with the fresh charge of the next cycle in the main chamber, substantially alter the chemical kinetics of main chamber combustion. A much more stable overall combustion process is observed, requiring substantially leaner air-fuel ratios than normal, and with much lower ignition temperatures. The net result, without any efficiency penalty, is an engine with an “ultra-clean” exhaust and with a greater tolerance to a wider range of fuels. Crucial to this process is the quenching of the flame in the passages connecting the micro-chambers to the piston bowl. It is flame quenching which enables the incomplete combustion of the charge trapped in the micro-chamber cavities.
Technical Paper

Development of a New Concept Piston for Alcohol Fuel Use in a Cl Engine

The feasibility of the Sonex. Combustion System (SCS) has been investigated for alcohol use in a single-cylinder, naturally aspirated DI engine. The SCS concept is to utilize active chemical species mated in specially designed small cavities in the piston bowl to enhance pre-ignition chemical reactions. With a prototype SCS piston, the CI engine ran stably from full load to 75% load on neat methanol and ethanol at a compression ratio of 17.5:1, without any ignition assist. At low load conditions, preheating of intake air was used. The idea of utilizing chemistry effects in the SCS design was proven to be feasible as a cetane-improving technology.
Technical Paper

A Preliminary Study of Chemically Enhanced Autoignition in an Internal Combustion Engine

Chemically enhanced autoignition in a spark-ignited engine with a special design of piston geometry has been observed experimentally, in which the engine would operate stably without a spark, once it is started by spark ignition. Under this operation mode, the engine provides lower pollutant emissions including NOx. In this process, the intermediate species left from the previous cycle play a key role in the low temperature autoignition. The objective of this study is to determine the effect of some important radical and intermediate species, such as HO2, OH, and H2O2, on autoignition by a numerical modeling approach using a detailed chemical kinetic mechanism. The fuel studied is hydrogen. The effect of added HO2, OH and H2O2 on the characteristics of the autoignition of H2-air mixture is investigated. Chemically enhanced autoignition of H2-air in an internal combustion engine is also simulated.