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Technical Paper

Characterization of Knock in a Spark-Ignition Engine

Spark-ignition engine knock was characterized in terms of when during the engine cycle and combustion process knock occurred and its magnitude or intensity. Cylinder pressure data from a large number of successive individual cycles were generated from a single-cylinder engine of hemispherical chamber design over a range of operating conditions where knock occurred in some or all of these cycles. Mean values and distributions of following parameters were quantified: knock occurrence crank angle, knock intensity, combustion rate and the end-gas thermodynamic state. These parameters were determined from the cylinder pressure data on an individual cycle basis using a mass-burn-rate analysis. The effects of engine operating variables on these parameters were studied, and correlations between these parameters were examined.
Technical Paper

Predicting the Effects of Air and Coolant Temperature, Deposits, Spark Timing and Speed on Knock in Spark Ignition Engines

The prediction of knock onset in spark-ignition engines requires a chemical model for the autoignition of the hydrocarbon fuel-air mixture, and a description of the unburned end-gas thermal state. Previous studies have shown that a reduced chemistry model developed by Keck et al. adequately predicts the initiation of autoignition. However, the combined effects of heat transfer and compression on the state of the end gas have not been thoroughly investigated. The importance of end-gas heat transfer was studied with the objective of improving the ability of our knock model to predict knock onset over a wide range of engine conditions. This was achieved through changing the thermal environment of the end gas by either varying the inlet air temperature or the coolant temperature. Results show that there is significant heating of the in-cylinder charge during intake and a substantial part of the compression process.
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

Phenomena that Determine Knock Onset in Spark-Ignition Engines

Experiments were carried out to collect in-cylinder pressure data and microphone signals from a single-cylinder test engine using spark timingsbefore, at, and after knock onset for toluene reference fuels. The objective was to gain insight into the phenomena that determine knock onset, detected by an external microphone. In particular, the study examines how the end-gas autoignition process changes as the engine's spark timing is advanced through the borderline knock limit into the engine's knocking regime. Fast Fourier transforms (FFT) and bandpass filtering techniques were used to process the recorded cylinder pressure data to determine knock intensities for each cycle. Two characteristic pressure oscillation frequencies were detected: a peak just above 6 kHz and a range of peaks in the 15-22 kHz range. The microphone data shows that the audible knock signal has the same 6 kHz peak.
Journal Article

The Underlying Physics and Chemistry behind Fuel Sensitivity

Recent studies have shown that for a given RON, fuels with a higher sensitivity (RON-MON) tend to have better antiknock performance at most knock-limited conditions in modern engines. The underlying chemistry behind fuel sensitivity was therefore investigated to understand why this trend occurs. Chemical kinetic models were used to study fuels of varying sensitivities; in particular their autoignition delay times and chemical intermediates were compared. As is well known, non-sensitive fuels tend to be paraffins, while the higher sensitivity fuels tend to be olefins, aromatics, diolefins, napthenes, and alcohols. A more exact relationship between sensitivity and the fuel's chemical structure was not found to be apparent. High sensitivity fuels can have vastly different chemical structures. The results showed that the autoignition delay time (τ) behaved differently at different temperatures. At temperatures below 775 K and above 900 K, τ has a strong temperature dependence.
Technical Paper

Performance Maps of Turbocharged SI Engines with Gasoline-Ethanol Blends: Torque, Efficiency, Compression Ratio, Knock Limits, and Octane

1 Downsizing and turbocharging a spark-ignited engine is becoming an important strategy in the engine industry for improving the efficiency of gasoline engines. Through boosting the air flow, the torque is increased, the engine can thus be downsized, engine friction is reduced in both absolute and relative terms, and engine efficiency is increased. However knock onset with a given octane rating fuel limits both compression ratio and boost levels. This paper explores the operating limits of a turbocharged engine, with various gasoline-ethanol blends, and the interaction between compression ratio, boost levels, and spark retard, to achieve significant increases in maximum engine mean effective pressure and efficiency.