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Technical Paper

Economic, Environmental and Energy Life-Cycle Assessment of Coal Conversion to Automotive Fuels in China

A life-cycle assessment (LCA) has been developed to help compare the economic, environmental and energy (EEE) impacts of converting coal to automotive fuels in China. This model was used to evaluate the total economic cost to the customer, the effect on the local and global environments, and the energy efficiencies for each fuel option. It provides a total accounting for each step in the life cycle process including the mining and transportation of coal, the conversion of coal to fuel, fuel distribution, all materials and manufacturing processes used to produce a vehicle, and vehicle operation over the life of the vehicle. The seven fuel scenarios evaluated in this study include methanol from coal, byproduct methanol from coal, methanol from methane, methanol from coke oven gas, gasoline from coal, electricity from coal, and petroleum to gasoline and diesel. The LCA results for all fuels were compared to gasoline as a baseline case.
Technical Paper

Powertrain Development of the 1996 Ford Flexible Fuel Taurus

Two flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs) using dielectric alcohol sensors have been designed and developed for mass production. One FFV will operate on gasoline or methanol up to 85% (M85). The second FFV will operate on gasoline or ethanol up to 85% (E85). Significant modification of a conventional dedicated gasoline engine was necessary in order to avoid major problems in the areas of preignition, engine wear and material compatibility. Operation on alcohol fuels provides for improved torque and horsepower over gasoline. Feedgas emission levels with alcohol fuels are lower than those with gasoline. However, this advantage is diminished at the tailpipe due to the long catalytic converter light-off times that result from the lower combustion temperatures which characterize alcohol fuels. Meeting evaporative emission regulations provided a challenge due to the high levels of vapor generated by low alcohol percentage fuel blends.
Technical Paper

Auto-Oil Program Phase II Heavy Hydrocarbon Study: Analysis of Engine-Out Hydrocarbon Emissions Data

The engine-out (EO) total and speciated hydrocarbon emissions data from the Auto-Oil Program Phase II Heavy Hydrocarbon Study had been analyzed. The methodology was to first investigate the stabilized EO emissions (Bag 2) of a specific vehicle (Vehicle 04B, a 1989 Model Year Ford Taurus); then the vehicle-to-vehicle differences in Bag2 emissions were considered. Finally, the differences in the Bag2 and the starting/warm-up EO emissions (Bag1) were examined. The speciated emissions may be interpreted as a “feed-through” part due to the unreacted fuel species, and an “offset” part due to the decomposition products. The significant non-fuel emitted species were methane and the olefins. The HC emissions for vehicles with different total emissions were similar in species composition. For both the total and speciated emissions, there was no substantial difference between the Bag1 and Bag2 values for Vehicle 04B.
Technical Paper

Novel Experiment on In-Cylinder Desorption of Fuel from the Oil Layer

A technique has been developed to measure the desorption and subsequent oxidation of fuel in the oil layer by spiking the oil with liquid fuel and firing the engine on gaseous fuel or motoring with air. Experiments suggest that fuel desorption is not diffusion limited above 50 °C and indicated that approximately two to four percent of the cylinder oil layer is fresh oil from the sump. The increase in hydrocarbon emissions is of the order of 100 ppmC1 per 1% liquid fuel introduced into the fresh oil in a methane fired engine at mid-speed and light load conditions. Calculations indicate that fuel desorbing from oil is much more likely to produce hydrocarbon emissions than fuel emerging from crevices.
Technical Paper

A Dynamometer Study of Off-Cycle Exhaust Emissions - The Auto/Oil Air Quality Improvement Research Program

Four vehicle fleets, consisting of 3 to 4 vehicles each, were emission tested on a 48″ roll chassis dynamometer using both the FTP urban dynamometer driving cycle and the REP05 driving cycle. The REP05 cycle was developed to test vehicles under high speed and high load conditions not included in the FTP. The vehicle fleets consisted of 1989 light-duty gasoline vehicles, 1992-93 limited production FFV/VFV methanol vehicles, 1992-93 compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles and their gasoline counterparts, and a 1992 production and two prototype ethanol FFV/VFV vehicles. All vehicles (except the dedicated CNG vehicles) were tested using Auto/Oil AQIRP fuels A and C2. Other fuels used were M85 blended from A and C2, E85 blended from C1, which is similar to C2 but without MTBE, and four CNG fuels representing the range of in-use CNG fuels. In addition to bag measurements, tailpipe exhaust concentration and A/F data were collected once per second throughout every test.
Technical Paper

Emissions with E85 and Gasolines in Flexible/Variable Fuel Vehicles - The Auto/Oil Air Quality Improvement Research Program

Exhaust and evaporative emissions from three flexible/variable fuel vehicles (FFV/VFV) were measured as the vehicles operated on E85 fuel (a mixture of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline) or on gasoline. One vehicle was a production vehicle designed for ethanol fuels and sold in 1992-93 and the other two vehicles were prototypes which were recalibrated 1992 model year methanol FFV's. The gasolines tested were Industry Average Fuel A and a reformulated gasoline Fuel C2 that met California 1996 regulatory requirements. The gasoline component of Fuel E85 was based on the reformulated gasoline. The major findings from this three-vehicle program were that E85 reduced NOx 49% compared to Fuel A and 37% compared to Fuel C2, but increased total toxics 108% (5 mg/mi) and 255% (20 mg/mi), respectively, primarily by increasing acetaldehyde. The NOx effect was significant for both engine-out and tailpipe emissions.
Technical Paper

Design Considerations for Natural Gas Vehicle Catalytic Converters

Bench reactor experiments were carried out to investigate the effects of operating temperature, precious metal loading, space velocity, and air-fuel (A/F) ratio on the performance of palladium (Pd) catalysts under simulated natural gas vehicle (NGV) exhaust conditions. The performance of these catalysts under simulated gasoline vehicle (GV) conditions was also investigated. In the case of simulated NGV exhaust, where methane was used as the prototypical hydrocarbon (HC) species, peak three-way conversion was obtained under richer conditions than required with simulated GV exhaust (propane and propene HC species). Moreover, the hydrocarbon efficiency of the catalyst under simulated NGV exhaust conditions was more sensitive to both A/F ratio and perturbations in A/F ratio than the HC efficiency under GV exhaust conditions.
Technical Paper

Speciation of Evaporative Emissions from Plastic Fuel Tanks

Until now no results have been available regarding the composition of evaporative emissions in a SHED test. In particular, for alcohol containing fuels, it is important to assess the relative percentage of alcohols and hydrocarbons in view of their different environmental impacts. This paper presents the results of a study conducted to determine the composition of the emissions from a number of multilayer coextruded plastic fuel tanks soaked in IE10 and CM15 test fuels. These emissions were analyzed for composition using a gas chromatography analytical method which employs a vapor trap and desorb sampling technique. In the case of CM15, methanol was found to account for as much as 50% of the overall evaporative emissions. This speciation method also allows estimation of how leakage and permeation contribute separately to the overall emissions.
Technical Paper

Options for the Introduction of Methanol as a Transportation Fuel

It is generally recognized chat methanol is the best candidate for long-term replacement of petroleum-based fuels at soma time in the future. The transition from an established fuel to a new fuel, and vehicles that can use the new fuel, is difficult, however. This paper discusses two independent investigations of possible transition uses of methanol, which, when combined, may provide an option for introduction of methanol that takes advantage of the existing industrial base, and provides economic incentives to the consumer. The concept combines the intermediate blends of methanol and gasoline (50%-70% methanol) with the Flexible Fuel Vehicle. In addition to a possible maximum cost effectiveness, these fuels ease vehicle range restrictions due to refueling logistics, and mitigate cold starting problems, while at the same time providing most of the performance of the higher concentration blends.
Technical Paper

Chemical Kinetic Modeling of the Oxidation of Unburned Hydrocarbons

The chemistry of unburned hydrocarbon oxidation in SI engine exhaust was modeled as a function of temperature and concentration of unburned gas for lean and rich mixtures. Detailed chemical kinetic mechanisms were used to model isothermal reactions of unburned fuel/air mixture in an environment of burned gases at atmospheric pressure. Simulations were performed using five pure fuels (methane, ethane, propane, n-butane and toluene) for which chemical kinetic mechanisms and steady state hydrocarbon (HC) emissions data were available. A correlation is seen between reaction rates and HC emissions for different fuels. Calculated relative amounts of intermediate oxidation products are shown to be consistent with experimental measurements.
Technical Paper

Rheological Characterization of Lubricant-Methanol-Water Emulsions

Rheological measurements were performed on a series of lubricants for flexible fuel vehicles, and blends of water or methanol in these oils. A series of measurements, including kinematic viscosity, viscosity at low and high shear rates, low shear viscosity under borderline pumping conditions, and density were performed on all oils and blends. The effects of mixing conditions, such as mixing speed and temperature on these properties were also studied. Viscosity increases when water emulsifies in oils. Methanol exhibits limited solubility in all oils, but more so in synthetic base oils. Viscosity tests at 248 K (-25°C) do not indicate the onset of critical pumping conditions, even at high concentrations of water or methanol. Tests at high shear rates at 323 K (50°C) suggest that water-oil emulsions are quite stable, while methanol-oil blends lose their methanol content either due to evaporation or shear-induced separation.
Technical Paper

Improved Emissions Speciation Methodology for Phase II of the Auto/Oil Air Quality Improvement Research Program - Hydrocarbons and Oxygenates

Analytical procedures for the speciation of hydrocarbons and oxygenates (ethers, aldehydes, ketones and alcohols) in vehicle evaporative and tailpipe exhaust emissions have been improved for Phase II studies of the Auto/Oil Air Quality Improvement Research Program (AQIRP). One gas chromatograph (GC) was used for measurement of C1-C4 species and a second GC for C4-C12 species. Detection limits for this technique are 0.005 ppm C or 0.1 mg/mile exhaust emission level at a chromatographic signal-to-noise ratio of 3/1, a ten-fold improvement over the Phase I technique. The Phase I library was modified to include additional species for a total of 154 species. A 23-component gas standard was used to establish a calibration scale for automated computer identification of species. This method identifies 95±3% of the total hydrocarbon mass measured by GC for a typical exhaust sample. Solid adsorbent cartridges or impingers were used to collect aldehydes and ketones.
Technical Paper

Treatment of Natural Gas Vehicle Exhaust

The objective of this study is to investigate the removal of methane (CH4), nitric oxide (NO), and carbon monoxide (CO) from simulated natural gas vehicle (NGV) exhaust over a palladium catalyst. The effects of changes in space velocity and natural gas sulfur (S) content were studied. The study suggests that the NGV has to be operated slightly rich of stoichiometry to achieve simultaneous removal of the three constituents. The CH4 conversion decreases with an increase in the space velocity. The CO and NO conversions remain unaffected over the space velocity range (10,000 hr-1 to 100,000 hr-1) investigated. The presence of sulfur dioxide in the exhaust lowers the CH4 conversion and increases the CO conversion in the rich region. The NO conversion remains unaffected. Studies were conducted over model catalysts to investigate the modes of CH4 removal from the simulated NGV exhaust.
Technical Paper

Wear Protection Properties of Flexible Fuel Vehicle (FFV) Lubricants

A laboratory wear test is used to evaluate the wear protection properties of new and used engine oils formulated for FFV service. Laboratory-blended mixtures of these oils with methanol and water have also been tested. The test consists of a steel ball rotating against three polished cast iron discs. Oil samples are obtained at periodic intervals from a fleet of 3.0L Taurus vehicles operating under controlled go-stop conditions. To account for the effects of fuel dilution, some oils are tested before and after a stripping procedure to eliminate gasoline, methanol and other volatile components. In addition to TAN and TBN measurements, a capillary electrophoresis technique is used to evaluate the formate content in the oils. The results suggest that wear properties of used FFV lubricants change significantly with their degree of usage.
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

Flame Kernel Development in a Methanol Fueled Engine

The combustion behavior in a modem 4-valve engine using a broad range of methanol/gasoline fuel mixtures was studied. The initial flame development was examined by using a spark plug fiber optics probe. Approximately, the kernel expansion speed, Sg, is relatively unchanged from M0 to M40; jumps by ∼30% from M40 to M60; and then remains roughly constant from M60 to M100. Statistics of the IMEP indicate that at a lean idle condition the combustion rate and robustness correlate with Sg: a higher value of Sg gives better combustion. Thus M60-M100 fuels give better idle combustion behavior than the M0-M40 fuels.
Technical Paper

Near Infrared Absorption Sensor for In-Vehicle Determination of Automotive Fuel Composition

The use of methanol as an automotive fuel can be expected to become significant in North America during the 1990's. Methanol fuel will be sold as 85%/15% MeOH/gasoline mixture. Limited availability of methanol fuel in some parts of North America will require methanol vehicles to be dynamically adaptable to fuel compositions ranging from 85% methanol to 100% gasoline. One approach to meeting such a requirement is a sensor that is mounted somewhere in the vehicle's fuel handling system that determines the concentration of methanol in the fuel flowing to the engine. The output of the sensor is supplied to the computer controlled engine management system that sets engine operating parameters. A sensor based on near infrared absorbance is the subject of this paper.
Technical Paper

Two Alternative, Dielectric-Effect, Flexible-Fuel Sensors

This paper describes two types of dielectric-effect sensors that may be used as alternatives to a dielectric-effect sensor using a single capacitor. In the first type, three capacitors are mounted in a compact module inserted into a vehicle fuel line. The three capacitors are connected together to form an electrical pi-filter network. This approach provides a large variation of output signal as the fuel changes from gasoline to methanol. The sensor can be designed to operate in the 1 to 20 MHz frequency range. The second type of sensor investigated uses a resonant-cavity structure. Ordinarily, sensors based on resonant cavities are useful only if the operating frequency is several hundred MHz or higher. The high relative dielectric constant of methanol allows useful sensors to be built using relatively short lengths of metal tubing for the cavities. For example, a sensor built using a fuel rail only 38.7 cm long operated in a frequency range from 31 to 52 MHz.
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

Modeling of Trace Knock in a Modern SI Engine Fuelled by Ethanol/Gasoline Blends

This paper presents a numerical study of trace knocking combustion of ethanol/gasoline blends in a modern, single cylinder SI engine. Results are compared to experimental data from a prior, published work [1]. The engine is modeled using GT-Power and a two-zone combustion model containing detailed kinetic models. The two zone model uses a gasoline surrogate model [2] combined with a sub-model for nitric oxide (NO) [3] to simulate end-gas autoignition. Upstream, pre-vaporized fuel injection (UFI) and direct injection (DI) are modeled and compared to characterize ethanol's low autoignition reactivity and high charge cooling effects. Three ethanol/gasoline blends are studied: E0, E20, and E50. The modeled and experimental results demonstrate some systematic differences in the spark timing for trace knock across all three fuels, but the relative trends with engine load and ethanol content are consistent. Possible reasons causing the differences are discussed.