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Technical Paper

Improving Ethanol Life Cycle Energy Efficiency by Direct Utilization of Wet Ethanol in HCCI Engines

Homogenous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) is a new engine technology with fundamental differences over conventional engines. HCCI engines are intrinsically fuel flexible and can run on low-grade fuels as long as the fuel can be heated to the point of ignition. In particular, HCCI engines can run on “wet ethanol:” ethanol-in-water mixtures with high concentration of water, such as the high water content ethanol-in-water mixture that results from fermentation of corn mash. Considering that much of the energy required for processing fermented ethanol is spent in distillation and dehydration, direct use of wet ethanol in HCCI engines considerably shifts the energy balance in favor of ethanol.
Technical Paper

Demonstrating Optimum HCCI Combustion with Advanced Control Technology

We have converted a Caterpillar 3406 natural gas spark ignited engine to HCCI mode and used it as a test bed for demonstrating advanced control methodologies. Converting the engine required modification of most engine systems: piston geometry, starting, fueling, boosting, and (most importantly) controls. We implemented a thermal management system consisting of a recuperator that transfers heat from exhaust to intake gases and a dual intake manifold that permits precise cylinder-by-cylinder ignition control. Advanced control methodologies are used for (1) minimizing cylinder-to-cylinder combustion timing differences caused by small variations in temperature or compression ratio; (2) finding the combustion timing that minimizes fuel consumption; and (3) tuning the controller parameters to improve transient response.
Technical Paper

Modeling Iso-octane HCCI Using CFD with Multi-Zone Detailed Chemistry; Comparison to Detailed Speciation Data Over a Range of Lean Equivalence Ratios

Multi-zone CFD simulations with detailed kinetics were used to model iso-octane HCCI experiments performed on a single-cylinder research engine. The modeling goals were to validate the method (multi-zone combustion modeling) and the reaction mechanism (LLNL 857 species iso-octane) by comparing model results to detailed exhaust speciation data, which was obtained with gas chromatography. The model is compared to experiments run at 1200 RPM and 1.35 bar boost pressure over an equivalence ratio range from 0.08 to 0.28. Fuel was introduced far upstream to ensure fuel and air homogeneity prior to entering the 13.8:1 compression ratio, shallow-bowl combustion chamber of this 4-stroke engine. The CFD grid incorporated a very detailed representation of the crevices, including the top-land ring crevice and head-gasket crevice. The ring crevice is resolved all the way into the ring pocket volume. The detailed grid was required to capture regions where emission species are formed and retained.
Technical Paper

Screening of Potential Biomass-Derived Streams as Fuel Blendstocks for Mixing Controlled Compression Ignition Combustion

Mixing controlled compression ignition, i.e., diesel engines are efficient and are likely to continue to be the primary means for movement of goods for many years. Low-net-carbon biofuels have the potential to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of diesel combustion and could have advantageous properties for combustion, such as high cetane number and reduced engine-out particle and NOx emissions. We developed a list of over 400 potential biomass-derived diesel blendstocks and populated a database with the properties and characteristics of these materials. Fuel properties were determined by measurement, model prediction, or literature review. Screening criteria were developed to determine if a blendstock met the basic requirements for handling in the diesel distribution system and use as a blend with conventional diesel. Criteria included cetane number ≥40, flashpoint ≥52°C, and boiling point or T90 ≤338°C.
Technical Paper

The Effect of the Di-Tertiary Butyl Peroxide (DTBP) additive on HCCI Combustion of Fuel Blends of Ethanol and Diethyl Ether

The influence of the small amounts (1-3%) of the additive di-tertiary butyl peroxide (DTBP) on the combustion event of Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) engines was investigated using engine experiments, numerical modeling, and carbon-14 isotope tracing. DTBP was added to neat ethanol and diethyl ether (DEE) in ethanol fuel blends for a range of combustion timings and engine loads. The addition of DTBP to the fuel advanced combustion timing in each instance, with the DEE-in-ethanol mixture advancing more than the ethanol alone. A numerical model reproduced the experimental results. Carbon-14 isotope tracing showed that more ethanol burns to completion in DEE-in-ethanol blends with a DTBP additive when compared to results for DEE-in-ethanol without the additive. However, the addition of DTBP did not elongate the heat release in either case.
Technical Paper

Effect of Charge Non-uniformity on Heat Release and Emissions in PCCI Engine Combustion

Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) engines are currently of great interest as a future alternative to Diesel and Spark Ignition engines because of HCCI's potential to achieve high efficiency with very low NOx emissions. However, significant technical barriers remain to practical implementation of HCCI engines: difficult-to-control combustion, low power density, rapid pressure rise, and high hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions. To overcome some of these barriers, operational strategies that involve relaxing the constraint of truly “homogeneous” HCCI combustion have been studied. The phrase “Premixed Charge Compression Ignition” or “PCCI” combustion can be used to describe this class of combustion processes, in which combustion occurs similarly to HCCI engines as a non-mixing controlled, chemical kinetics dominated, auto-ignition process, but the fuel, air, and residual gas mixture need not be homogeneous.
Technical Paper

Diesel Combustion: An Integrated View Combining Laser Diagnostics, Chemical Kinetics, And Empirical Validation

This paper proposes a structure for the diesel combustion process based on a combination of previously published and new results. Processes are analyzed with proven chemical kinetic models and validated with data from production-like direct injection diesel engines. The analysis provides new insight into the ignition and particulate formation processes, which combined with laser diagnostics, delineates the two-stage nature of combustion in diesel engines. Data are presented to quantify events occurring during the ignition and initial combustion processes that form soot precursors. A framework is also proposed for understanding the heat release and emission formation processes.
Technical Paper

HCCI in a CFR Engine: Experiments and Detailed Kinetic Modeling

Single cylinder engine experiments and chemical kinetic modeling have been performed to study the effect of variations in fuel, equivalence ratio, and intake charge temperature on the start of combustion and the heat release rate. Neat propane and a fuel blend of 15% dimethyl-ether in methane have been studied. The results demonstrate the role of these parameters on the start of combustion, efficiency, imep, and emissions. Single zone kinetic modeling results show the trends consistent with the experimental results.
Technical Paper

HCCI Combustion: Analysis and Experiments

Homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) is a new combustion technology that may develop as an alternative to diesel engines with high efficiency and low NOx and particulate matter emissions. This paper describes the HCCI research activities being currently pursued at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and at the University of California Berkeley. Current activities include analysis as well as experimental work. On analysis, we have developed two powerful tools: a single zone model and a multi-zone model. The single zone model has proven very successful in predicting start of combustion and providing reasonable estimates for peak cylinder pressure, indicated efficiency and NOx emissions. This model is being applied to develop detailed engine performance maps and control strategies, and to analyze the problem of engine startability. The multi-zone model is capable of very accurate predictions of the combustion process, including HC and CO emissions.
Technical Paper

1.9-Liter Four-Cylinder HCCI Engine Operation with Exhaust Gas Recirculation

We present the effect of EGR, at a set fuel flow rate and intake temperature, on the operating parameters of timing of combustion, duration of combustion, power output, thermal efficiency, and NOx emission; which is remarkably low. We find that addition of EGR at constant inlet temperature and constant fuel flow rate has little effect on HCCI parameter of start of combustion (SOC). However, burn duration is highly dependent on the amount of EGR inducted. The experimental setup at UC Berkeley uses a 1.9-liter 4-cylinder diesel engine with a compression ratio of 18.8:1 (offered on a 1995 VW Passat TDI). The engine was converted to run in HCCI mode by addition of an 18kW air pre-heater installed in the intake system. Pressure traces were obtained using four water-cooled quartz pressure transducers, which replaced the Diesel fuel injectors. Gaseous fuel (propane or butane) flowed steadily into the intake manifold.
Technical Paper

A Computer Generated Reduced Iso-Octane Chemical Kinetic Mechanism Applied to Simulation of HCCI Combustion

This paper shows how a computer can systematically remove non-essential chemical reactions from a large chemical kinetic mechanism. The computer removes the reactions based upon a single solution using a detailed mechanism. The resulting reduced chemical mechanism produces similar numerical predictions significantly faster than predictions that use the detailed mechanism. Specifically, a reduced chemical kinetics mechanism for iso-octane has been derived from a detailed mechanism by eliminating unimportant reaction steps and species. The reduced mechanism has been developed for the specific purpose of fast and accurate prediction of ignition timing in an HCCI engine. The reduced mechanism contains 199 species and 383 reactions, while the detailed mechanism contains 859 species and 3606 reactions. Both mechanisms have been used in numerical simulation of HCCI combustion.
Technical Paper

Current Research in HCCI Combustion at UC Berkeley and LLNL

This paper describes the Homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) research activities being currently pursued at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and at the University of California Berkeley. Current activities include analysis as well as experimental work. HCCI is an old combustion technology that may now be developed with expectations of high efficiency, low NOx, and low particulate matter emissions; in short, an alternative to diesel engines. On analysis, we have developed two powerful tools: a single zone model and a multi-zone model. The single zone model has proven very successful in predicting start of combustion and providing reasonable estimates for peak cylinder pressure, indicated efficiency and NOX emissions. This model is being applied to develop detailed engine performance maps and control strategies, and to analyze the problem of engine startability.
Technical Paper

Autoignition Chemistry of the Hexane Isomers: An Experimental and Kinetic Modeling Study

Autoignition of the five distinct isomers of hexane is studied experimentally under motored engine conditions and computationally using a detailed chemical kinetic reaction mechanism. Computed and experimental results are compared and used to help understand the chemical factors leading to engine knock in spark-ignited engines and the molecular structure factors contributing to octane rating for hydrocarbon fuels. The kinetic model reproduces observed variations in critical compression ratio with fuel structure, and it also provides intermediate and final product species concentrations in much better agreement with observed results than has been possible previously. In addition, the computed results provide insights into the kinetic origins of fuel octane sensitivity.
Journal Article

Pathline Analysis of Full-cycle Four-stroke HCCI Engine Combustion Using CFD and Multi-Zone Modeling

This paper investigates flow and combustion in a full-cycle simulation of a four-stroke, three-valve HCCI engine by visualizing the flow with pathlines. Pathlines trace massless particles in a transient flow field. In addition to visualization, pathlines are used here to trace the history, or evolution, of flow fields and species. In this study evolution is followed from the intake port through combustion. Pathline analysis follows packets of intake charge in time and space from induction through combustion. The local scalar fields traversed by the individual packets in terms of velocity magnitude, turbulence, species concentration and temperatures are extracted from the simulation results. The results show how the intake event establishes local chemical and thermal environments in-cylinder and how the species respond (chemically react) to the local field.
Journal Article

Detailed HCCI Exhaust Speciation and the Sources of Hydrocarbon and Oxygenated Hydrocarbon Emissions

Detailed exhaust speciation measurements were made on an HCCI engine fueled with iso-octane over a range of fueling rates, and over a range of fuel-stratification levels. Fully premixed fueling was used for the fueling sweep. This sweep extended from a fuel/air equivalence ratio (ϕ) of 0.28, which is sufficiently high to achieve a combustion efficiency of 96%, down to a below-idle fueling rate of ϕ = 0.08, with a combustion efficiency of only 55%. The stratification sweep was conducted at an idle fueling rate, using an 8-hole GDI injector to vary stratification from well-mixed conditions for an early start of injection (SOI) (40°CA) to highly stratified conditions for an SOI well up the compression stroke (325°CA, 35°bTDC-compression). The engine speed was 1200 rpm. At each operating condition, exhaust samples were collected and analyzed by GC-FID for the C1 and C2 hydrocarbon (HC) species and by GC-MS for all other species except formaldehyde and acetaldehyde.
Technical Paper

Computational Simulation of Tractor-Trailer Gap Flow with Drag-Reducing Aerodynamic Devices

Computational simulations of the Modified Ground Transportation System1 (M-GTS), a 1/14th-scale simplified tractor-trailer geometry, are performed at both laboratory and full-scale Reynolds numbers using the NASA overset grid code OVERFLOW2. Steady Reynolds' Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) simulations are conducted to deepen the understanding of tractor-trailer gap flow structure, and to ascertain the time-averaged efficacy of tractor cab extenders and trailer-face splitter plates in reducing aerodynamic drag in typical crosswinds. Results of lab-scale simulations compare favorably to body force and particle image velocimetry (PIV) data obtained from University of Southern California (USC) experiments for two tractor-trailer gap lengths. Full-scale simulations highlight model geometry limitations and allude to the use of splitter plates in place of, or in conjunction with, tractor cab extenders.
Technical Paper

Detailed Chemical Kinetic Modeling of Surrogate Fuels for Gasoline and Application to an HCCI Engine

Gasoline consists of many different classes of hydrocarbons, such as paraffins, olefins, aromatics, and cycloalkanes. In this study, a surrogate gasoline reaction mechanism is developed, and it has one representative fuel constituent from each of these classes. These selected constituents are iso-octane, n-heptane, 1-pentene, toluene, and methyl-cyclohexane. The mechanism was developed in a step-wise fashion, adding submechanisms to treat each fuel component. Reactions important for low temperature oxidation (<1000K) and cross-reactions among different fuels are incorporated into the mechanism. The mechanism consists of 1328 species and 5835 reactions. A single-zone engine model is used to evaluate how well the mechanism captures autoignition behavior for conditions corresponding to homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) engine operation.
Journal Article

Detailed Kinetic Modeling of HCCI Combustion with Isopentanol

Isopentanol is an advanced biofuel that can be produced by micro-organisms through genetically engineered metabolic pathways. Compared to the more frequently studied ethanol, isopentanol's molecular structure has a longer carbon chain and includes a methyl branch. Its volumetric energy density is over 30% higher than ethanol, and it is less hygroscopic. Some fundamental combustion properties of isopentanol in an HCCI engine have been characterized in a recent study by Yang and Dec (SAE 2010-01-2164). They found that for typical HCCI operating conditions, isopentanol lacks two-stage ignition properties, yet it has a higher HCCI reactivity than gasoline. The amount of intermediate temperature heat release (ITHR) is an important fuel property, and having sufficient ITHR is critical for HCCI operation without knock at high loads using intake-pressure boosting. Isopentanol shows considerable ITHR, and the amount of ITHR increases with boost, similar to gasoline.
Technical Paper

Spatial Analysis of Emissions Sources for HCCI Combustion at Low Loads Using a Multi-Zone Model

We have conducted a detailed numerical analysis of HCCI engine operation at low loads to investigate the sources of HC and CO emissions and the associated combustion inefficiencies. Engine performance and emissions are evaluated as fueling is reduced from typical HCCI conditions, with an equivalence ratio ϕ = 0.26 to very low loads (ϕ = 0.04). Calculations are conducted using a segregated multi-zone methodology and a detailed chemical kinetic mechanism for iso-octane with 859 chemical species. The computational results agree very well with recent experimental results. Pressure traces, heat release rates, burn duration, combustion efficiency and emissions of hydrocarbon, oxygenated hydrocarbon, and carbon monoxide are generally well predicted for the whole range of equivalence ratios. The computational model also shows where the pollutants originate within the combustion chamber, thereby explaining the changes in the HC and CO emissions as a function of equivalence ratio.
Technical Paper

Sulfur Tolerance of Selective Partial Oxidation of NO to NO2 in a Plasma

Several catalytic aftertreatment technologies rely on the conversion of NO to NO2 to achieve efficient reduction of NOx and particulates in diesel exhaust. These technologies include the use of selective catalytic reduction of NOx with hydrocarbons, NOx adsorption, and continuously regenerated particulate trapping. These technologies require low sulfur fuel because the catalyst component that is active in converting NO to NO2 is also active in converting SO2 to SO3. The SO3 leads to increase in particulates and/or poison active sites on the catalyst. A non-thermal plasma can be used for the selective partial oxidation of NO to NO2 in the gas-phase under diesel engine exhaust conditions. This paper discusses how a non-thermal plasma can efficiently oxidize NO to NO2 without oxidizing SO2 to SO3.