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Technical Paper

Combustion Characterization of Neat n-Butanol in an SI Engine

2020-04-14
2020-01-0334
Increasingly stringent emission standards have promoted the interest in alternate fuel sources. Because of the comparable energy density to the existing fossil fuels and renewable production, alcohol fuels may be a suitable replacement, or an additive to the gasoline/diesel fuels to meet the future emission standards with minimal modification to current engine geometry. In this research, the combustion characteristics of neat n-butanol are analyzed under spark ignition operation using a single cylinder SI engine. The fuel is injected into the intake manifold using a port-fuel injector. Two modes of charge dilution were used in this investigation to test the limits of stable engine operation, namely lean burn using excess fresh air and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR). The in-cylinder pressure measurement and subsequently, heat release analysis are used to investigate the combustion characteristics of the fuel under low load SI engine operation.
Journal Article

Impact of Spark Plasma Length on Flame Kernel Development under Flow Condition

2020-04-14
2020-01-1114
Advanced ignition systems with enhanced discharge current have been extensively investigated in research, since they are highly regarded as having the potential to overcome challenges that arise when spark-ignition engines are running under lean or EGR diluted conditions. Local flow field is also of particular importance to improve the ignitability of the air-fuel mixture in SI engines as the spark plasma channel can be stretched by the flow across the spark gap, leading to longer plasma length, thus more thermal spark energy distributed to the air-fuel mixture in the vicinity of the spark plug. Research results have shown that a constantly high discharge current is effective to maintain a stable spark plasma channel with less restrikes and longer plasma holding period.
Technical Paper

An Investigation on the Regeneration of Lean NOX Trap Using Dimethyl Ether

2020-04-14
2020-01-1354
The ever-stringent emission regulations are major challenges for the diesel fueled engines in automotive industry. The applications of advanced after-treatment technologies as well as alternative fuels [1] are considered as promising methodology to reduce exhaust emission from compression ignition (CI) engines. Using dimethyl ether (DME) as an alternative fuel has been extensively studied by many researchers and automotive manufactures since DME has demonstrated enormous potential in terms of emission reduction, such as low CO emission, and soot and sulfur free. However, the effect of employing DME in a lean NOX trap (LNT) based after-treatment system has not been fully addressed yet. In this work, investigations of the long breathing LNT system using DME as a reductant were performed on a heated after-treatment flow bench with simulated engine exhaust condition.
Technical Paper

Combustion and Emission Characteristics of SI and HCCI Combustion Fueled with DME and OME

2020-04-14
2020-01-1355
DME has been considered an alternative fuel to diesel fuel with promising benefits because of its high reactivity and volatility. Research shows that an engine fueled with DME will produce zero smoke emissions. However, the storage and the handling of the fuel are underlying difficulties owing to its high vapour pressure (530 kPa @ 20 °C). In lieu, OME1 fuel, a derivate of DME, offers advantages exhibited with DME fuel, all the while being a liquid fuel for engine application. In this work, engine tests are performed to realize the combustion behaviour of DME and OME1 fuel on a single-cylinder research engine with a compression ratio of 9.2:1. The dilution ratio of the mixture is progressively increased in two manners, allowing more air in the cylinder and applying exhaust gas recirculation (EGR). The high reactivity of DME suits the capability to be used in compression ignition combustion whereas OME1 must be supplied with a supplemental spark to initiate the combustion.
Technical Paper

An Investigation on the Regeneration of Lean NOx Trap Using Ethanol and n-Butanol

2019-04-02
2019-01-0737
Reduction of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in lean burn and diesel fueled Compression Ignition (CI) engines is one of the major challenges faced by automotive manufacturers. Lean NOx Trap (LNT) and urea-based Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) exhaust after-treatment systems are well established technologies to reduce NOx emissions. However, each of these technologies has associated advantages and disadvantages for use over a wide range of engine operating conditions. In order to meet future ultra-low NOx emission norms, the use of both alternative fuels and advanced after-treatment technology may be required. The use of an alcohol fuel such as n-butanol or ethanol in a CI engine can reduce the engine-out NOx and soot emissions. In CI engines using LNTs for NOx reduction, the fuel such as diesel is utilized as a reductant for LNT regeneration.
Technical Paper

A Study of Energy Enhanced Multi-Spark Discharge Ignition in a Constant-Volume Combustion Chamber

2019-04-02
2019-01-0728
Multi-spark discharge (MSD) ignition is widely used in high-speed internal combustion engines such as racing cars, motorcycles and outboard motors in attempts to achieve multiple sparks during each ignition. In contrast to transistor coil ignition (TCI) system, MSD system can be greatly shortened the charging time in a very short time. However, when the engine speed becomes higher, the ignition will be faster, electrical energy stored in the ignition system will certainly become less, especially for MSD system. Once the energy released into the spark plug gap can’t be guaranteed sufficiently, ignition will become more difficult, and it will get worse in some harsh environment such as strong turbulence or lean fuel conditions. With these circumstances, the risks of misfire and partial combustion will increase, which can deteriorate the power outputs and exhaust emissions of internal combustion engine.
Technical Paper

Preliminary Testing of n-Butanol HCCI on High Compression Ratio Diesel Engines

2019-04-02
2019-01-0577
The control of combustion phasing in homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) combustion is investigated with neat n-butanol in this work. HCCI is a commonly researched combustion mode, owing to its improved thermal efficiency over conventional gasoline combustion, as well as its lower nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter emissions compared to those of diesel combustion. Despite these advantages, HCCI lacks successful widespread implementation with conventional fuels, primarily due to the lack of effective combustion phasing control. In this preliminary study, chemical kinetic simulations are conducted to study the auto-ignition characteristics of n-butanol under varied background pressures, temperatures, and dilution levels using established mechanisms in CHEMKIN software. Increasing the pressure or temperature lead to a shorter ignition delay, whereas increasing the dilution by the application of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) leads to a longer ignition delay.
Technical Paper

A Simplified Circuit Model for the Emulation of Glow Phase during Spark Discharge

2018-04-03
2018-01-0092
The ever-growing demand to meet the stringent exhaust emission regulations have driven the development of modern gasoline engines towards lean combustion strategies and downsizing to achieve the reduction of exhaust emission and fuel consumption. Currently, the inductive ignition system is still the dominant ignition system applied in Spark Ignited (SI) engines. It is popular due to its simple design, low cost and robust performance. The new development in spark ignition engines demands higher spark energy to be delivered by the inductive ignition system to overcome the unfavorable ignition conditions caused by the increased and diluted in-cylinder charge. To meet this challenge, better understanding of the inductive ignition system is required. The development of a first principle model for simulation can help in understanding the working mechanism of the system in a better way.
Technical Paper

Ion Current Measurement of Diluted Combustion Using a Multi-Electrode Spark Plug

2018-04-03
2018-01-1134
Close-loop feedback combustion control is essential for improving the internal combustion engines to meet the rigorous fuel efficiency demands and emission legislations. A vital part is the combustion sensing technology that diagnoses in-cylinder combustion information promptly, such as using cylinder pressure sensor and ion current measurement. The promptness and fidelity of the diagnostic are particularly important to the potential success of using intra-cycle control for abnormal cycles such as super knocking and misfiring. Many research studies have demonstrated the use of ion-current sensing as feedback signal to control the spark ignition gasoline engines, with the spark gap shared for both ignition and ion-current detection. During the spark glow phase, the sparking current may affect the combustion ion current signal. Moreover, the electrode gap size is optimized for sparking rather than measurement of ion current.
Technical Paper

Early Pilot Injection Strategies for Reactivity Control in Diesel-ethanol Dual Fuel Combustion

2018-04-03
2018-01-0265
This paper examines the diesel-ethanol dual fuel combustion at medium engine loads on a single-cylinder research diesel engine with a compression ratio of 16.5:1. The effect of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and ethanol energy ratio was investigated for the dual fuel combustion to achieve simultaneously ultra-low NOx and soot emissions. A medium ethanol ratio of about 0.6 was found suitable to meet the requirements for mixing enhancement and ignition control, which resulted in the lowest NOx and soot emissions among the tested ethanol ratios. A double-pilot injection strategy was found competent to lower the pressure rise rate owing to the reduced fuel quantity in the close-to-TDC injection. The advancement of pilot injection timing tended to reduce the CO and THC emissions, which is deemed beneficial for high EGR operations. The reactivity mutual-modulation between the diesel pilot and the background ethanol mixture was identified.
Technical Paper

A Fuel Sensitive Ignition Delay Model for Direct Injection Diesel Engine Operating under EGR Diluted Conditions

2018-04-03
2018-01-0231
This empirical work investigates the impacts of thermodynamic parameters, such as pressure and temperature, and fuel properties, such as fuel Cetane number and aromatic contents on ignition delay in diesel engines. Systematic tests are conducted on a single-cylinder research engine to evaluate the ignition delay changes due to the fuel property differences at low, medium and high engine loads under different EGR dilution ratios. The test fuels offer a range of Cetane numbers from 28 to 54.2 and aromatic contents volume ratios from 19.4% to 46.6%. The experimental results of ignition delays are used to derive an ignition delay model modified from Arrhenius’ expression. Following the same format of Arrhenius’ equation, the model incorporates the pressure and temperature effects, and further includes the impacts of intake oxygen concentration, fuel Cetane number and aromatic contents volume ratio on the ignition delay.
Journal Article

Preliminary Investigation of Exhaust Pressure Waves in a Single Cylinder Diesel Engine and the Impacts on Aftertreatment Sprays

2017-03-28
2017-01-0616
The pressure wave actions were investigated in the exhaust system of a single cylinder diesel engine through both experimental and simulation methods. The characteristics of the exhaust pressure waves under different engine operating conditions, such as engine load and exhaust backpressure, were examined. The results showed that the strength of the exhaust pressure wave was affected by both the in-cylinder pressure and the exhaust backpressure in the exhaust system during the period when the exhaust valves were open. The exhaust gas flow velocity was also estimated by the one dimensional simulation tool AVL BOOST™. The results suggested that the velocity of the exhaust gas fluctuated during the engine cycle, and followed trends similar to the exhaust pressure wave. The transient gas flow velocity was high when there was a strong compression wave, and it was reduced when the pressure fluctuations in the exhaust manifold were small.
Technical Paper

A Feasibility Study of Using DI Butanol as an Ignition Source for Dual-Fuel Combustion

2017-03-28
2017-01-0770
The combustion of dual-fuel engines usually uses a pilot flame to burn out a background fuel inside a cylinder under high compression. The background fuel can be either a gaseous fuel or a volatile liquid fuel, commonly with low reactivity to prevent premature combustion and engine knocking; whereas the pilot flame is normally set off with the direct injection of a liquid fuel with adequate reactivity that is suitable for deterministic auto-ignition with a high compression ratio. In this work, directly injected butanol is used to generate the pilot flame, while intake port injected ethanol or butanol is employed as the background fuel. Compared with the conventional diesel-only combustion, dual-fuel operations not only broaden the fuel applicability, but also enhance the potential for clean combustion, in high efficiency engines. The amount of background fuel and the scheduling of pilot flame are investigated through extensive laboratory experiments.
Technical Paper

Mode Switching to Improve Low Load Efficiency of an Ethanol-Diesel Dual-Fuel Engine

2017-03-28
2017-01-0771
The dual-fuel application using ethanol and diesel fuels can substantially improve the classical trade-off between oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and smoke, especially at moderate-to-high load conditions. However, at low engine load levels, the use of a low reactivity fuel in the dual-fuel application usually leads to increased incomplete combustion products that in turn result in a significant reduction of the engine thermal efficiency. In this work, engine tests are conducted on a high compression ratio, single cylinder dual-fuel engine that incorporates the diesel direct-injection and ethanol port-injection. Engine load levels are identified, at which, diesel combustion offers better efficiency than the dual-fuel combustion while attaining low NOx and smoke emissions. Thereafter, a cycle-to-cycle based closed-loop controller is implemented for the combustion phasing and engine load control in both the diesel and dual-fuel combustion regimes.
Technical Paper

Improvement on Energy Efficiency of the Spark Ignition System

2017-03-28
2017-01-0678
Future clean combustion engines tend to increase the cylinder charge to achieve better fuel economy and lower exhaust emissions. The increase of the cylinder charge is often associated with either excessive air admission or exhaust gas recirculation, which leads to unfavorable ignition conditions at the ignition point. Advanced ignition methods and systems have progressed rapidly in recent years in order to suffice the current and future engine development, and a simple increase of energy of the inductive ignition system does not often provide the desired results from a cost-benefit point of view. Proper design of the ignition system circuit is required to achieve certain spark performances.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Multi-Pole Spark Ignition Under Lean Conditions and with EGR

2017-03-28
2017-01-0679
In order to meet the future carbon dioxide legislation, advanced clean combustion engines are tending to employ low temperature diluted combustion strategies along with intensified cylinder charge motion. The diluted mixtures are made by means of excess air admission or exhaust gas recirculation. A slower combustion speed during the early flame kernel development because of the suppressed mixture reactivity will reduce the reliability of the ignition process and the overall combustion stability. In an effort to address this issue, an ignition strategy using a multi-pole spark igniter is tested in this work. The igniter uses three electrically independent spark gaps to allow three spatially distributed spark discharges. The multi-pole spark strategy displayed more advanced combustion phasing and lower phasing variability compared to single spark discharges.
Technical Paper

Measurement of Temperature and Soot (KL) Distributions in Spray Flames of Diesel-Butanol Blends by Two-Color Method Using High-Speed RGB Video Camera

2016-10-17
2016-01-2190
Taking advantages of high speed RGB video cameras, the two-color method can be implemented with a relatively simple setup to obtain the temporal development of the two dimensional temperature and soot (KL) distributions in a reacting diesel jet. However, several issues such as the selection of the two wavelengths, the role of bandpass filters, and the proper optical settings, etc. should be known to obtain a reliable measurement. This paper, at first, discusses about the uncertainties in the measurement of temperature and KL distributions in the diesel flame by the two-color method using the high speed RGB video camera. Since n-butanol, as an alternative renewable fuel, has the potential application in diesel engines, the characteristic of spray combustion of diesel-butanol blends under the diesel-like ambient conditions in a pre-burning constant-volume combustion chamber is studied.
Technical Paper

Fuel Burn Rate Control to Improve Load Capability of Neat n-Butanol Combustion in a Modern Diesel Engine

2016-10-17
2016-01-2301
This research work investigates the control strategies of fuel burn rate of neat n-butanol combustion to improve the engine load capability. Engine tests of homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) and partially premixed combustion (PPC) with neat n-butanol show promising NOx and smoke emissions; however, the rapid burn rate of n-butanol results in excessive pressure rise rates and limits the engine load capability. A multi-event combustion strategy is developed to modulate the fuel burn rate of the combustion cycle and thus to reduce the otherwise high pressure rise rates at higher engine load levels. In the multi-event combustion strategy, the first combustion event is produced near TDC by the compression ignition of the port injected butanol that resembles the HCCI combustion; the second combustion event occurs near 7~12 degrees after TDC, which is produced by butanol direct injection (DI) after the first HCCI-like combustion event.
Technical Paper

Distributed Electrical Discharge to Improve the Ignition of Premixed Quiescent and Turbulent Mixtures

2016-04-05
2016-01-0706
The present work investigates the efficacy of distributed electrical discharge to increase the ignition volume by means of multipole spark discharge and radio frequency (RF) corona discharge. A range of ignition strategies are implemented to evaluate the efficacy of distributed ignition. The multipole spark igniter design has multiple high-voltage electrodes in close proximity to each other. This distributed spark ignition concept has the ability to generate multiple flame kernels either simultaneously or in a staggered mode. A novel elastic breakdown ignition strategy in responsive distribution (eBIRD) high frequency discharge is also implemented via the multipole igniter. The RF corona discharge is generated through an in-house developed ignition system. A form of distributed ignition is initiated along the streamer filaments.
Technical Paper

Emission Analysis of HCCI Combustion in a Diesel Engine Fueled by Butanol

2016-04-05
2016-01-0749
Advances in engine technology in recent years have led to significant reductions in the emission of pollutants and gains in efficiency. As a facet of investigations into clean, efficient combustion, the homogenous charge compression ignition (HCCI) mode of combustion can improve upon the thermal efficiency and nitrogen oxides emission of conventional spark ignition engines. With respect to conventional diesel engines, the low nitrogen oxides and particulate matter emissions reduce the requirements on the aftertreatment system to meet emission regulations. In this paper, n-butanol, an alcohol fuel with the potential to be derived from renewable sources, was used in a light-duty diesel research engine in the HCCI mode of combustion. Control of the combustion was implemented using the intake pressure and external exhaust gas recirculation. The moderate reactivity of butanol required the assistance of increased intake pressure for ignition at the lower engine load range.
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