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Technical Paper

In-Cylinder Oxygen Mass Fraction Estimation Method for Minimizing Cylinder-to-Cylinder Variations

Recent developments in advanced combustion engines have demonstrated the potential increases in efficiency and reductions in emissions through low temperature combustion (LTC). These combustion modes often rely on high exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), early fuel injection systems, and in some cases a combination of fuels with different reactivities. Despite the advantages of LTC, such operations are highly sensitive to the in-cylinder pre-combustion conditions and face significant challenges in multi-cylinder operation due to cylinder-to-cylinder variations of the combustion process. The cause of cylinder-to-cylinder variations is strongly tied to non-uniform trapped mass. In particular, in-cylinder oxygen concentration plays a critical role in the combustion process of each cylinder and can be leveraged to predict combustion characteristics and to develop control algorithms that mitigate cylinder-to-cylinder variation.
Technical Paper

Blend Ratio Optimization of Fuels Containing Gasoline Blendstock, Ethanol, and Higher Alcohols (C3-C6): Part II - Blend Properties and Target Value Sensitivity

Higher carbon number alcohols offer an opportunity to meet the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) and improve the energy content, petroleum displacement, and/or knock resistance of gasoline-alcohol blends from traditional ethanol blends such as E10 while maintaining desired and regulated fuel properties. Part II of this paper builds upon the alcohol selection, fuel implementation scenarios, criteria target values, and property prediction methodologies detailed in Part I. For each scenario, optimization schemes include maximizing energy content, knock resistance, or petroleum displacement. Optimum blend composition is very sensitive to energy content, knock resistance, vapor pressure, and oxygen content criteria target values. Iso-propanol is favored in both scenarios' suitable blends because of its high RON value.
Technical Paper

Blend Ratio Optimization of Fuels Containing Gasoline Blendstock, Ethanol, and Higher Alcohols (C3-C6): Part I - Methodology and Scenario Definition

The U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) requires an increase in the use of advanced biofuels up to 36 billion gallons by 2022. Longer chain alcohols, in addition to cellulosic ethanol and synthetic biofuels, could be used to meet this demand while adhering to the RFS2 corn-based ethanol limitation. Higher carbon number alcohols can be utilized to improve the energy content, knock resistance, and/or petroleum displacement of gasoline-alcohol blends compared to traditional ethanol blends such as E10 while maintaining desired and regulated fuel properties. Part I of this paper focuses on the development of scenarios by which to compare higher alcohol fuel blends to traditional ethanol blends. It also details the implementation of fuel property prediction methods adapted from literature. Possible combinations of eight alcohols mixed with a gasoline blendstock were calculated and the properties of the theoretical fuel blends were predicted.
Technical Paper

Influence of Water Injection on Performance and Emissions of a Direct-Injection Hydrogen Research Engine

The application of hydrogen (H2) as an internal combustion (IC) engine fuel has been under investigation for several decades. The favorable physical properties of hydrogen make it an excellent alternative fuel for IC engines and hence it is widely regarded as the energy carrier of the future. Direct injection of hydrogen allows optimizing this potential as it provides multiple degrees of freedom to influence the in-cylinder combustion processes and consequently engine efficiency and exhaust emissions. At certain operating conditions the stratification associated with hydrogen direct injection (DI) leads to an efficiency improvement. However, it also results in higher emissions levels. This paper examines the effects of combining an advanced direct injection strategy with water injection for efficiency benefits and emissions reduction of a hydrogen fuelled DI spark ignition (SI) engine.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of Injector Location and Nozzle Design in a Direct-Injection Hydrogen Research Engine

The favorable physical properties of hydrogen (H2) make it an excellent alternative fuel for internal combustion (IC) engines and hence it is widely regarded as the energy carrier of the future. Hydrogen direct injection provides multiple degrees of freedom for engine optimization and influencing the in-cylinder combustion processes. This paper compares the results in the mixture formation and combustion behavior of a hydrogen direct-injected single-cylinder research engine using two different injector locations as well as various injector nozzle designs. For this study the research engine was equipped with a specially designed cylinder head that allows accommodating a hydrogen injector in a side location between the intake valves as well as in the center location adjacent to the spark plug.
Technical Paper

Numerical Investigation of Spark Ignition Events in Lean and Dilute Methane/Air Mixtures Using a Detailed Energy Deposition Model

It is beneficial but challenging to operate spark-ignition engines under highly lean and dilute conditions. The unstable ignition behavior can result in downgraded combustion performance in engine cylinders. Numerical approach is serving as a promising tool to identify the ignition requirements by providing insight into the complex physical/chemical phenomena. An effort to simulate the early stage of flame kernel initiation in lean and dilute fuel/air mixture has been made and discussed in this paper. The simulations are set to validate against laboratory results of spark ignition behavior in a constant volume combustion vessel. In order to present a practical as well as comprehensive ignition model, the simulations are performed by taking into consideration the discharge circuit analysis, the detailed reaction mechanism, and local heat transfer between the flame kernel and spark plug.
Technical Paper

Feedforward Control of Fuel Distribution on Advanced Dual-Fuel Engines with Varying Intake Valve Closing Timings

This study examines the dynamics and control of an engine operated with late intake valve closure (LIVC) timings in a dual-fuel combustion mode. The engine features a fuel delivery system in which diesel is direct-injected and natural gas is port-injected. Despite the benefits of LIVC and dual-fuel strategy, combining these two techniques resulted in efficiency losses due to the variability of the combustion process across cylinders. The difference in power production across cylinders ranges from 9% at an IVC of 570°ATDC* to 38% at an IVC of 620 °ATDC and indicates an increasingly uneven fuel distribution as the intake valve remains open longer in the compression stroke. This paper describes an approach for controlling the amount of fuel injected into each cylinders’ port of an inline six- cylinder heavy-duty dual-fuel engine to minimize the variations in fuel distribution across cylinder.
Technical Paper

Hydrocarbon Speciation in Blended Gasoline-Natural Gas Operation on a Spark-Ignition Engine

The high octane rating and more plentiful domestic supply of natural gas make it an excellent alternative to gasoline. Recent studies have shown that using natural gas in dual fuel engines provides one possible strategy for leveraging the advantages of both natural gas and gasoline. In particular, such engines been able to improve overall engine efficiencies and load capacity when they leverage direct injection of the natural gas fuel. While the benefits of these engine concepts are still being explored, differences in fuel composition, combustion process and in-cylinder mixing could lead to dramatically different emissions which can substantially impact the effectiveness of the engine’s exhaust aftertreatment system. In order to explore this topic, this study examined the variations in speciated hydrocarbon emissions which occur for different fuel blends of E10 and compressed natural gas and for different fuel injection strategies on a spark-ignition engine.
Technical Paper

Influence of Compression Ratio on High Load Performance and Knock Behavior for Gasoline Port-Fuel Injection, Natural Gas Direct Injection and Blended Operation in a Spark Ignition Engine

Natural Gas (NG) is an alternative fuel which has attracted a lot of attention recently, in particular in the US due to shale gas availability. The higher hydrogen-to-carbon (H/C) ratio, compared to gasoline, allows for decreasing carbon dioxide emissions throughout the entire engine map. Furthermore, the high knock resistance of NG allows increasing the efficiency at high engine loads compared to fuels with lower knock resistance. NG direct injection (DI) allows for fuel to be added after intake valve closing (IVC) resulting in an increase in power density compared to an injection before IVC. Steady-state engine tests were performed on a single-cylinder research engine equipped with gasoline (E10) port-fuel injection (PFI) and NG DI to allow for in-cylinder blending of both fuels. Knock investigations were performed at two discrete compression ratios (CR), 10.5 and 12.5.
Journal Article

Influence of Injector Location on Part-Load Performance Characteristics of Natural Gas Direct-Injection in a Spark Ignition Engine

Interest in natural gas as an alternative fuel source to petroleum fuels for light-duty vehicle applications has increased due to its domestic availability and stable price compared to gasoline. With its higher hydrogen-to-carbon ratio, natural gas has the potential to reduce engine out carbon dioxide emissions, which has shown to be a strong greenhouse gas contributor. For part-load conditions, the lower flame speeds of natural gas can lead to an increased duration in the inflammation process with traditional port-injection. Direct-injection of natural gas can increase in-cylinder turbulence and has the potential to reduce problems typically associated with port-injection of natural gas, such as lower flame speeds and poor dilution tolerance. A study was designed and executed to investigate the effects of direct-injection of natural gas at part-load conditions.
Journal Article

Meeting RFS2 Targets with an E10/E15-like Fuel - Experimental and Analytical Assessment of Higher Alcohols in Multi-component Blends with Gasoline

This paper evaluates the potential of adding higher alcohols to gasoline blendstock in an attempt to improve overall fuel performance. The alcohols considered include ethanol, normal- and iso-structures of propanol, butanol and pentanol as well as normal-hexanol (C2-C6). Fuel performance is quantified based on energy content, knock resistance as well as petroleum displacement and promising multi-component blends are systematically identified based on property prediction methods. These promising multi-component blends, as well as their respective reference fuels, are subsequently tested for efficiency and emissions performance utilizing a gasoline direct injection, spark ignition engine. The engine test results confirm that combustion and efficiency of tailored multi-component blends closely match those of the reference fuels. Regulated emissions stemming from combustion of these blends are equal or lower compared to the reference fuels across the tested engine speed and load regime.
Journal Article

Cylinder-to-Cylinder Variations in Power Production in a Dual Fuel Internal Combustion Engine Leveraging Late Intake Valve Closings

Advanced internal combustion engines, although generally more efficient than conventional combustion engines, often encounter limitations in multi-cylinder applications due to variations in the combustion process. This study leverages experimental data from an inline 6-cylinder heavy-duty dual fuel engine equipped with a fully-flexible variable intake valve actuation system to study cylinder-to-cylinder variations in power production. The engine is operated with late intake valve closure timings in a dual-fuel combustion mode featuring a port-injection and a direct-injection fueling system in order to improve fuel efficiency and engine performance. Experimental results show increased cylinder-to-cylinder variation in IMEP as IVC timing moves from 570°ATDC to 610°ATDC, indicating an increasingly uneven fuel distribution between cylinders.
Journal Article

Performance, Efficiency and Emissions Assessment of Natural Gas Direct Injection compared to Gasoline and Natural Gas Port-Fuel Injection in an Automotive Engine

Interest in natural gas as a fuel for light-duty transportation has increased due to its domestic availability and lower cost relative to gasoline. Natural gas, comprised mainly of methane, has a higher knock resistance than gasoline making it advantageous for high load operation. However, the lower flame speeds of natural gas can cause ignitability issues at part-load operation leading to an increase in the initial flame development process. While port-fuel injection of natural gas can lead to a loss in power density due to the displacement of intake air, injecting natural gas directly into the cylinder can reduce such losses. A study was designed and performed to evaluate the potential of natural gas for use as a light-duty fuel. Steady-state baseline tests were performed on a single-cylinder research engine equipped for port-fuel injection of gasoline and natural gas, as well as centrally mounted direct injection of natural gas.
Journal Article

Evaluation of Knock Behavior for Natural Gas - Gasoline Blends in a Light Duty Spark Ignited Engine

The compression ratio is a strong lever to increase the efficiency of an internal combustion engine. However, among others, it is limited by the knock resistance of the fuel used. Natural gas shows a higher knock resistance compared to gasoline, which makes it very attractive for use in internal combustion engines. The current paper describes the knock behavior of two gasoline fuels, and specific incylinder blend ratios with one of the gasoline fuels and natural gas. The engine used for these investigations is a single cylinder research engine for light duty application which is equipped with two separate fuel systems. Both fuels can be used simultaneously which allows for gasoline to be injected into the intake port and natural gas to be injected directly into the cylinder to overcome the power density loss usually connected with port fuel injection of natural gas.
Journal Article

Assessment of Multiple Injection Strategies in a Direct-Injection Hydrogen Research Engine

Hydrogen is widely considered a promising fuel for future transportation applications for both, internal combustion engines and fuel cells. Due to their advanced stage of development and immediate availability hydrogen combustion engines could act as a bridging technology towards a wide-spread hydrogen infrastructure. Although fuel cell vehicles are expected to surpass hydrogen combustion engine vehicles in terms of efficiency, the difference in efficiency might not be as significant as widely anticipated [1]. Hydrogen combustion engines have been shown capable of achieving efficiencies of up to 45 % [2]. One of the remaining challenges is the reduction of nitric oxide emissions while achieving peak engine efficiencies. This paper summarizes research work performed on a single-cylinder hydrogen direct injection engine at Argonne National Laboratory.
Journal Article

Study of Basic Injection Configurations using a Direct-Injection Hydrogen Research Engine

The application of hydrogen (H2) as an internal combustion (IC) engine fuel has been under investigation for several decades. The favorable physical properties of hydrogen make it an excellent alternative fuel for fuel cells as well as IC engines and hence it is widely regarded as the energy carrier of the future. The potential of hydrogen as an IC engine fuel can be optimized by direct injection (DI) as it provides multiple degrees of freedom to influence the in-cylinder combustion processes and consequently the engine efficiency and exhaust emissions. This paper studies a single-hole nozzle and examines the effects of injection strategy on engine efficiency, combustion behavior and NOx emissions. The experiments for this study are done on a 0.5 liter single-cylinder research engine which is specifically designed for combustion studies and equipped with a cylinder head that allows side as well as central injector location.
Technical Paper

Optimizing Thermal Efficiency of a Multi-Cylinder Heavy Duty Engine with E85 Gasoline Compression Ignition

Gasoline compression ignition (GCI) using a single gasoline-type fuel for direct/port injection has been shown as a method to achieve low-temperature combustion with low engine-out NOx and soot emissions and high indicated thermal efficiency. However, key technical barriers to achieving low temperature combustion on multi-cylinder engines include the air handling system (limited amount of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR)) as well as mechanical engine limitations (e.g. peak pressure rise rate). In light of these limitations, high temperature combustion with reduced amounts of EGR appears more practical. Previous studies with 93 AKI gasoline demonstrated that the port and direct injection strategy exhibited the best performance, but the premature combustion event prevented further increase in the premixed gasoline fraction and efficiency.