The Influence of Fuel Cetane Number on Catalyst Light-Off Operation in a Modern Diesel Engine
The design of modern diesel-powered vehicles involves optimization and balancing of trade-offs for fuel efficiency, emissions, and noise. To meet increasingly stringent emission regulations, diesel powertrains employ aftertreatment devices to control nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter emissions and use active exhaust warm-up strategies to ensure those devices are active as quickly as possible. A typical strategy for exhaust warm-up is to operate with retarded combustion phasing, limited by combustion stability and HC emissions. The amount of exhaust enthalpy available for catalyst light-off is limited by the extent to which combustion phasing can be retarded. Diesel cetane number (CN), a measure of fuel ignition quality, has an influence on combustion stability at retarded combustion phasing. Diesel fuel in the United States tends to have a lower CN (both minimum required and average in market) than other countries.