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Technical Paper

Autoignition of Alcohols and Ethers in a Rapid Compression Machine

The autoignition characteristics of methanol, ethanol and MTBE (methyl tert-butyl ether) have been investigated in a rapid compression machine at pressures in the range 20-40 atm and temperatures within 750-1000 K. All three oxygenated fuels tested show higher autoignition temperatures than paraffins, a trend consistent with the high octane number of these fuels. The autoignition delay time for methanol was slightly lower than predicted values using reported reaction mechanisms. However, the experimental and measured values for the activation energy are in very good agreement around 44 kcal/mol. The measured activation energy for ethanol autoignition is in good agreement with previous shock tube results (31 kcal/mol), although ignition times predicted by the shock tube correlation are a factor of three lower than the measured values. The measured activation energy for MTBE, 41.4 kcal/mol, was significantly higher than the value previously observed in shock tubes (28.1 kcal/mol).
Technical Paper

Real World Performance of an Onboard Gasoline/Ethanol Separation System to Enable Knock Suppression Using an Octane-On-Demand Fuel System

Higher compression ratio and turbocharging, with engine downsizing can enable significant gains in fuel economy but require engine operating conditions that cause engine knock under high load. Engine knock can be avoided by supplying higher-octane fuel under such high load conditions. This study builds on previous MIT papers investigating Octane-On-Demand (OOD) to enable a higher efficiency, higher-boost higher compression-ratio engine. The high-octane fuel for OOD can be obtained through On-Board-Separation (OBS) of alcohol blended gasoline. Fuel from the primary fuel tank filled with commercially available gasoline that contains 10% by volume ethanol (E10) is separated by an organic membrane pervaporation process that produces a 30 to 90% ethanol fuel blend for use when high octane is needed. In addition to previous work, this paper combines modeling of the OBS system with passenger car and medium-duty truck fuel consumption and octane requirements for various driving cycles.
Technical Paper

Alcohol Fueled Heavy Duty Vehicles Using Clean, High Efficiency Engines

Non-petroleum based liquid fuels are essential for reducing oil dependence and greenhouse gas generation. Increased substitution of alcohol fuel for petroleum based fuels could be achieved by 1) use in high efficiency spark ignition engines that are employed for heavy duty as well as light duty operation and 2) use of methanol as well as ethanol. Methanol is the liquid fuel that is most efficiently produced from thermo-chemical gasification of coal, natural gas, waste or biomass. Ethanol can also be produced by this process but at lower efficiency and higher cost. Coal derived methanol is in limited initial use as a transportation fuel in China. Methanol could potentially be produced from natural gas at an economically competitive fuel costs, and with essentially the same greenhouse gas impact as gasoline. Waste derived methanol could also be an affordable low carbon fuel.
Technical Paper

Using Mass Spectrometry to Detect Ethanol and Acetaldehyde Emissions from a Direct Injection Spark Ignition Engine Operating on Ethanol/Gasoline Blends

Ethanol and acetaldehyde emissions from a direct ignition spark ignition were measured using mass spectrometry. Previous methods focused on eliminating or minimizing interference from exhaust species with identical atomic mass and fragment ions created in ionization process. This paper describes a new technique which exploits the fragment ions from ethanol and acetaldehyde. A survey of mass spectra of all major species of exhaust gas was conducted. It was found that ethanol contributes most ions in mass number 31 and that no other gas species produces ions at this mass number. Acetaldehyde detection suffers more interference. Nevertheless, it was estimated that detection at mass number 43 is possible with 10% error from 2-methylbutane. This new technique was validated in an engine experiment. By running the engine with pure gasoline and E85, the validity of the technique can be checked.
Technical Paper

A New Approach to Ethanol Utilization: High Efficiency and Low NOx in an Engine Operating on Simulated Reformed Ethanol

The use of hydrogen as a fuel supplement for lean-burn engines at higher compression ratios has been studied extensively in recent years, with good promise of performance and efficiency gains. With the advances in reformer technology, the use of a gaseous fuel stock, comprising of substantially higher fractions of hydrogen and other flammable reformate species, could provide additional improvements. This paper presents the performance and emission characteristics of a gas mixture of equal volumes of hydrogen, CO, and methane. It has recently been reported that this gas mixture can be produced by reforming of ethanol at comparatively low temperature, around 300C. Experiments were performed on a 1.8-liter passenger-car Nissan engine modified for single-cylinder operation. Special pistons were made so that compression ratios ranging from CR= 9.5 to 17 could be used. The lean limit was extended beyond twice stoichiometric (up to lambda=2.2).
Technical Paper

Fuel Effects on HCCI Operation in a Spark Assisted Direct Injection Gasoline Engine

The fuel effects on HCCI operation in a spark assisted direct injection gasoline engine are assessed. The low load limit has been extended with a pilot fuel injection during the negative valve overlap (NVO) period. The fuel matrix consists of hydrocarbon fuels and various ethanol blends and a butanol blend, plus fuels with added ignition improvers. The hydrocarbon fuels and the butanol blend do not significantly alter the high or the low limits of operation. The HCCI operation appears to be controlled more by the thermal environment than by the fuel properties. For E85, the engine behavior depends on the extent that the heat release from the pilot injected fuel in the NVO period compensates for the evaporative cooling of the fuel.
Technical Paper

Effects of Ethanol Evaporative Cooling on Particulate Number Emissions in GDI Engines

The spark ignition engine particulate number (PN) emissions have been correlated to a particulate matter index (PMI) in the literature. The PMI value addresses the fuel effect on PN emission through the individual fuel species reactivity and vapor pressure. The latter quantity is used to account for the propensity of the non-volatile fuel components to survive to the later part of the combustion event as wall liquid films, which serve as sources for particulate emission. The PMI, however, does not encompass the suppression of vaporization by the evaporative cooling of fuel components, such as ethanol, that have high latent heat of vaporization. This paper assesses this evaporative cooling effect on PN emissions by measurements in a GDI engine operating with a base gasoline which does not contain oxygenate, with a blend of the gasoline and ethanol, and with a blend of the gasoline, ethanol, and a hydrocarbon additive so that the blend has the same PMI as the original gasoline.
Journal Article

Particulate Matter Emissions from a Direct Injection Spark Ignition Engine under Cold Fast Idle Conditions for Ethanol-Gasoline Blends

The engine out particular matter number (PN) distributions at engine coolant temperature (ECT) of 0° C to 40° C for ethanol/ gasoline blends (E0 to E85) have been measured for a direct-injection spark ignition engine under cold fast idle condition. For E10 to E85, PN increases modestly when the ECT is lowered. The distributions, however, are insensitive to the ethanol content of the fuel. The PN for E0 is substantially higher than the gasohol fuels at ECT below 20° C. The total PN values (obtained from integrating the PN distribution from 15 to 350 run) are approximately the same for all fuels (E0 to E85) when ECT is above 20° C. When ECT is decreased below 20° C, the total PN values for E10 to E85 increase modestly, and they are insensitive to the ethanol content. For E0, however, the total PN increases substantially. This sharp change in PN from E0 to E10 is confirmed by running the tests with E2.5 and E5. The midpoint of the transition occurs at approximately E5.
Journal Article

Influence of Different Fuel Properties and Gasoline - Ethanol Blends on Low-Speed Pre-Ignition in Turbocharged Direct Injection Spark Ignition Engines

In recent years a new combustion phenomenon called Low-Speed Pre-Ignition (LSPI) occurred, which is the most important limiting factor to exploit further downsizing potential due to the associated peak pressures and thus the huge damage potential. In the past there were already several triggers for pre-ignitions identified, whereat engine oil seems to have an important influence. Other studies have reported that detached oil droplets from the piston crevice volume lead to auto-ignition prior to spark ignition. However, wall wetting and subsequently oil dilution and changes in the oil properties by impinging fuel on the cylinder wall seem to have a significant influence in terms of accumulation and detachment of oil-fuel droplets in the combustion chamber. For this reason, the influence of test fuels with different volatility were investigated in order to verify their influence on wall wetting, detachment and pre-ignition tendency.
Journal Article

Effects of Ethanol Content on Gasohol PFI Engine Wide-Open-Throttle Operation

The NOx emission and knock characteristics of a PFI engine operating on ethanol/gasoline mixtures were assessed at 1500 and 2000 rpm with λ =1 under Wide-Open-Throttle condition. There was no significant charge cooling due to fuel evaporation. The decrease in NOx emission and exhaust temperature could be explained by the change in adiabatic flame temperature of the mixture. The fuel knock resistance improved significantly with the gasohol so that ignition could be timed at a value much closer or at MBT timing. Changing from 0% to 100% ethanol in the fuel, this combustion phasing improvement led to a 20% increase in NIMEP and 8 percentage points in fuel conversion efficiency at 1500 rpm. At 2000 rpm, where knocking was less severe, the improvement was about half (10% increase in NIMEP and 4 percentage points in fuel conversion efficiency).
Journal Article

Speciated Engine-Out Organic Gas Emissions from a PFI-SI Engine Operating on Ethanol/Gasoline Mixtures

Engine-out HC emissions from a PFI spark ignition engine were measured using a gas chromatograph and a flame ionization detector (FID). Two port fuel injectors were used respectively for ethanol and gasoline so that the delivered fuel was comprised of 0, 25, 50, 75 and 100% (by volume) of ethanol. Tests were run at 1.5, 3.8 and 7.5 bar NIMEP and two speeds (1500 and 2500 rpm). The main species identified with pure gasoline were partial reaction products (e.g. methane and ethyne) and aromatics, whereas with ethanol/gasoline mixtures, substantial amounts of ethanol and acetaldehyde were detected. Indeed, using pure ethanol, 74% of total HC moles were oxygenates. In addition, the molar ratio of ethanol to acetaldehyde was determined to be 5.5 to 1. The amount (as mole fraction of total HC moles) of exhaust aromatics decreased linearly with increasing ethanol in the fuel, while oxygenate species correspondingly increased.