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Overview of Southwest Research Institute Activities in Engine Technology R&D

The worldwide drive to improved energy efficiency for engine systems is being supported by several engine R&D programs at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI). This research includes large programs in major-market engine categories, such as heavy-duty, non-road, and light-duty; and includes diesel, gasoline, and alternative fuel aspects. This presentation describes several key diesel engine programs being pursued under the SwRI Clean High Efficiency Diesel Engine consortium (CHEDE-VI), whose goal is to demonstrate future diesel technology exceeding 50% brake thermal efficiency. Additionally, SwRI?s High Efficiency Dilute Gasoline Engines consortium (HEDGE-II), is reviewed, where advanced technology for ultra-high efficiency gasoline engines is being demonstrated. The HEDGE-II program is built upon dilute gasoline engine research, where brake thermal efficiencies in excess of 42% are being obtained for engines applicable to the light-duty market. Presenter Charles E.
Technical Paper

Reactivity and Exhaust Emissions from an EHC-Equipped LPG Conversion Vehicle Operating on Butane/Propane Fuel Blends

This paper describes experiments conducted to determine Federal Test Procedure (FTP) exhaust emissions, ozone-forming potentials, specific reactivities, and reactivity adjustment factors for several butane/propane alternative fuel blends run on a light-duty EHC-equipped gasoline vehicle converted to operate on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Duplicate emission tests were conducted on the light-duty vehicle at each test condition using appropriate EPA FTP test protocol. Hydrocarbon speciation was utilized to determine reactivity-adjusted non-methane organic gas (NMOG) emissions for one test on each fuel.
Technical Paper

CNG Compositions in Texas and the Effects of Composition on Emissions, Fuel Economy, and Driveability of NGVs

A survey of the CNG compositions within NGV driving range of Houston was performed. It was found that the statistics for the Texas CNGs were very similar to those from a previous national survey Based upon the present survey results, two extremes of CNG composition were chosen for a study of the effects of composition on emissions, fuel economy, and driveability. Two other CNG compositions were also included to provide for comparisons with the recently completed Auto/Oil Air Quality Improvement Research Program (AQIRP) and to extend the AQIRP database. One of the vehicles used in the AQIRP study was also used in the present investigation. Correlations were investigated for the relationships between the CNG composition and tailpipe emissions, fuel economy, and driveability.
Technical Paper

Effect of CNG Start - Gasoline Run on Emissions from a 3/4 Ton Pick-Up Truck

This paper describes experiments to determine the effect on exhaust emissions of starting on compressed natural gas (CNG) and then switching to gasoline once the catalyst reaches operating temperature. Carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen, and detailed exhaust hydrocarbon speciation data were obtained for dedicated CNG, then unleaded gasoline, and finally CNG start -gasoline run using the Federal Test Procedure at 24°C and at -7°C. The result was a reduction in emissions from the gasoline baseline, especially at -7°C. It was estimated that CNG start - gasoline run resulted in a 71 percent reduction in potential ozone formation per mile.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of Six Natural Gas Combustion Systems for LNG Locomotive Applications

An experimental program to develop a practical natural gas-fueled locomotive engine was conducted. Six natural gas-fueled combustion systems for an EMD 710-type locomotive engine were developed and tested. The six systems were evaluated in terms of NOx and CO emissions, thermal efficiency, knock tolerance, and other practical considerations. Each combustion system was tested at Notch 5, 100-percent load, Notch 8, 80-percent load, and Notch 8, 100-percent load conditions. In general, all of the technologies produced significantly lower NOx emissions than the baseline diesel engine. Based on the results of the tests and other analyses, a late cycle, high-injection pressure (LaCHIP) combustion system, using a diesel pilot-ignited, late cycle injection of natural gas with a Diesel-type combustion process, was determined to provide the most practical combustion system for a natural gas-fueled, EMD 710-powered locomotive.
Technical Paper

Use of Butane as an Alternative Fuel-Emissions from a Conversion Vehicle Using Various Blends

This paper describes experiments conducted to determine the regulated emissions, ozone-forming potentials, specific reactivities, and reactivity adjustment factors for eight butane and propane alternative fuel blends run on a light-duty vehicle, emission certified to be a California transitional low emission vehicle (TLEV) and converted to operate on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Duplicate EPA FTP emission tests were conducted with each fuel. Hydrocarbon speciation was utilized to determine reactivity-adjusted non-methane organic gases (NMOG) emissions for one test on each fuel. Results showed that all eight fuels could allow the converted vehicle to pass California ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) NMOG and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) standards. Six of the eight fuels could allow the vehicle to pass ULEV carbon monoxide (CO) standards. BUTANE has been an important gasoline blending component for many years.
Technical Paper

An Intake Charge Cooling System for Application to Diesel, Gasoline and Natural Gas Engines

Low intake manifold temperature, well below ambient, has many applications in internal combustion engines. In diesel engines, it can reduce NOx to a level of 2.0 g/hp-hr or below, going beyond the 1994 heavy duty diesel engine emissions standards. In gasoline engines, it can allow high compression ratio, turbocharged operation without end gas knock. This will permit ready conversion of some heavy duty diesel engines to gasoline operation at increased power density and lower emissions. In natural gas engines, it will allow base diesel engine to be converted to stoichiometric natural gas operation without increasing thermal loads. A three way catalyst can then be used to reduce emissions.
Technical Paper

Diesel Engine Flame Photographs With High Pressure Injection

The effect of high pressure injection (using an accumulator type unit injector with peak injection pressure of approximately 20,000 psi, having a decreasing injection rate profile) on combustion was studied. Combustion results were obtained using a DDA Series 3–53 diesel engine with both conventional analysis techniques and high speed photography. Diesel No. 2 fuel and a low viscosity - high volatility fuel, similar to gasoline were used in the study. Results were compared against baseline data obtained with standard injectors. Some of the characteristics of high pressure injection used with Diesel No. 2 fuel include: substantially improved ignition, shorter ignition delay, and higher pressure rise. Under heavy load - high speed conditions, greater smokemeter readings were achieved with the high pressure injection system with Diesel No. 2 fuel. Higher flame speeds and hence, greater resistance to knock were observed with the high volatility low cetane fuel.
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


A vehicle test program was conducted to investigate the potential of combining several performance related evaluations into the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (proposed) 16,093-km intake valve deposit protocol. The 16,093-km (10,000-mile) tests, conducted with BMW 318i vehicles, were utilized to assess the gasoline- related effects on port fuel injector (PFI) flow, intake valve deposits (IVDs), octane requirement increase (ORI), combustion chamber deposits (CCDs), and oil viscosity increase (OVI). The test matrix was based upon four 1985 BMW 318i vehicles and four fuels. The four-fuel set consisted of three commercial gasolines and one pure chemical, iso- octane. Each of the four cars was tested on each fuel. During each 16,093-km test phase, the octane requirement and physical condition of the engine oil were evaluated.
Technical Paper

Fuel Effects on Emissions from an Advanced Technology Vehicle

A 1991 Toyota Camry equipped with an electrically-heated catalyst (EHC) system was evaluated in duplicate over the Federal Test Procedure (FTP) with three different fuels. Evaluations were conducted with the EHC in place but without any external heating, and with the EHC operated with a post-crank heating strategy. The EHC system was placed immediately upstream of an original production catalyst, which was then moved to a location 40.6 cm from the exhaust manifold. The three test fuels were: 1) the Auto/Oil industry average gasoline, RF-A; 2) a fuel meeting California's Phase II gasoline specifications; and 3) a paraffinic test fuel. Non-methane organic gas (NMOG) emission rates with the EHC active were similiar with all three fuels, with absolute levels less than or equal to California's 50,000 mile Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) standard. Substantial differences, however were observed in the ozone forming potential of these fuels with the EHC active.
Technical Paper

Comparison of Exhaust Emissions from a Vehicle Fueled with Methanol-Containing Additives for Flame Luminosity

Two additive blends proposed for improving the flame luminosity in neat methanol fuel were investigated to determine the effect of these additives on the exhaust emissions in a dual-fueled Volkswagen Jetta. The two blends contained 4 percent toluene plus 2 percent indan in methanol and 5 percent cyclopentene plus 5 percent indan in methanol. Each blend was tested for regulated and unregulated emissions as well as a speciation of the exhaust hydrocarbons resulting from use of each fuel. The vehicle exhaust emissions from these two fuel blends were compared to the Coordinating Research Council Auto-Oil national average gasoline (RF-A), M100, and M85 blended from RF-A. Carter Maximum Incremental Reactivity Factors were applied to the speciated hydrocarbon emission results to determine the potential ozone formation for each fuel. Toxic emissions as defined in the 1990 Clean Air Act were also compared for each fuel.
Technical Paper

Exhaust Emissions from Farm, Construction, and Industrial Engines and Their Impact

The research program on which this paper is based included both laboratory emission measurements and extrapolation of results to the national population of heavy-duty farm, construction, and industrial engines. Emission tests were made on four gasoline engines and eight diesel engines typical of those used in F, C, and I equipment. Gaseous and particulate emissions were measured during engine operation on well-accepted steady-state procedures, and diesel smoke was measured during both steady-state conditions and the Federal smoke test cycle. Emissions measured were hydrocarbons, CO, CO2, NO, NOx, O2, aliphatic aldehydes, light hydrocarbons, particulate, and smoke. Emission of sulfur oxides (SOx) was estimated on the basis of fuel consumed, and both evaporative and blowby hydrocarbons were also estimated where applicable (gasoline engines only). Data on emissions obtained from this study were compared with those available in the literature, where possible.
Technical Paper

Conversion of Two Small Utility Engines to LPG Fuel

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) converted two small air-cooled, gasoline engines to operate on LPG (sometimes called propane since propane is LPG's major constituent). Typical two- and four-cycle engines were chosen for this investigation. The two-cycle engine used was a McCulloch string trimmer engine with 28 cc displacement. The four-cycle engine used was an L-head, Tecumseh TVS90 with 148 cc displacement. These are typical of engines found on lower cost lawn mowers and string trimmers. The engines were baseline tested on gasoline, converted to LPG, and tested to determine equivalence ratios at which the engines could be operated without exceeding manufacturers' recommended spark plug seat or exhaust temperatures. Engine startability and throttle response was maintained with the LPG conversion. The emissions of the four-cycle engine were measured following the CARB 6-mode emissions test procedure.
Technical Paper

Improved Atomization of Methanol for Low-Temperature Starting in Spark-Ignition Engines

Heating neat (100 percent) methanol fuel (M100) is shown to improve dramatically the atomization of the fuel from a production, automotive, port fuel injector of pintle design. This improvement is particularly noticeable and important when compared with atomization at low fuel temperatures, corresponding to those conditions where cold-start is a significant problem with neat methanol-fueled (M100) vehicles. The improved atomization is demonstrated with photographs and laser-diffraction measurements of the drop-size distributions. Fuel temperatures were varied from -34°C (-29°F to 117°C (243°F), while the boiling point of methanol is 64.7°C (148.5°F). Air temperatures were ambient at about 24°C (75°F). For temperatures above the boiling point, some flash boiling and vaporization were presumably occurring, and these may have contributed to the atomization, but the trends for drop size did not shown any discontinuity near the boiling point.
Technical Paper

Impact of the Direct Injection of Liquid Propane on the Efficiency of a Light-Duty, Spark-Ignited Engine

Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is commonly known as autogas when used as a fuel for internal combustion engines. In North America, autogas primarily consists of propane, but can contain small amounts of butane, methane and propylene. Autogas is not a new fuel for internal combustion engines, but as engine technology evolves, the properties of autogas can be utilized to improve engine and vehicle efficiency. With support from the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) performed testing to quantify efficiency differences with liquid autogas direct injection in a modern downsized and boosted direct-injected engine using the production gasoline fuel injection hardware. Engine dynamometer testing demonstrated that autogas produced similar performance characteristics to gasoline at part load, but could be used to improve brake thermal efficiency at loads above 9 bar Brake Mean Effective Pressure (BMEP).
Technical Paper

Emissions Control of Gasoline Engines for Heavy-Duty Vehicles

This paper summarizes an investigation of reductions in exhaust emission levels attainable using various techniques appropriate to gasoline engines used in vehicles over 14,000 lbs GVW. Of the eight gasoline engines investigated, two were evaluated parametrically resulting in an oxidation and reduction catalyst “best combination” configuration. Four of the engines were evaluated in an EGR plus oxidation catalyst configuration, and two involved only baseline tests. Test procedures used in evaluating the six “best combination” configurations include: three engine emission test procedures using an engine dynamometer, a determination of vehicle driveability, and two vehicle emission test procedures using a chassis dynamometer. Dramatic reductions in emissions were attained with the catalyst “best combination” configurations. Engine durability, however, was not investigated.
Technical Paper

Modified Sequence V-D Test with Two Engines Using Alcohol Fuels

Modifying the standard Sequence V-D test for alcohol fuels requires material changes in the fuel handling system addition of a fine mesh fuel filter and the provision for easy fuel drainage. Besides rejetting the carburetors the initial ring gaps of the 2.3L engine are reduced to maintain the blow by level of the standard test. Large oil consumption necessitates a modified oil leveling procedure. Precise measurements of the rings bores and valve-train components are essential to the evaluation of oil performance. Wear of a 2.3L engine using alcohols is larger than using gasoline. Special oils can be formulated to mitigate the wear problem. To test the 1.6L engine with the Sequence V-D procedure requires extensive modification to the production carburetor and some plumbing changes of the standard test stand. Load and initial oil charge are scaled to reflect the smaller engine requirements. Wear of the 1.6L engine is less severe than the 2.3L.
Technical Paper

Expanding Diesel Engine Cetane Limits through Staged Injection

Interest in alternative diesel fuels has led to consideration of various types of poor ignition quality products, such as a broad cut fuel or a synthetic fuel/DF-2 blend. Attempts were made to expand the cetane number tolerance limit of an EMD 567B medium-speed diesel engine through staged injection to permit operation on such fuels. A small portion of the fuel was injected early in the cycle to act as a pilot for the main fuel charge. Both pilot and main charges were the same fuel. Knocking was eliminated on fuels with cetane numbers as low as 17 at the standard 16:1 compression ratio. Attempts to operate on methanol at 20:1 failed, but such operation may be feasible with further modifications.
Technical Paper

Use of Alcohol-in-Diesel Fuel Emulsions and Solutions in a Medium-Speed Diesel Engine

The use of alcohol as a supplemental fuel for a medium-speed diesel engine was investigated using a two-cylinder, two-stroke test engine. Both stabilized and unstabilized emulsions of methanol-in-diesel fuel and ethanol-in-diesel fuel were tested. Also, anhydrous ethanol/diesel fuel solutions were evaluated. Maximum alcohol content of the emulsions and solutions was limited by engine knocking due to a reduction in fuel cetane number. Engine power and thermal efficiency were slightly below baseline diesel fuel levels in the high and mid-speed ranges, but were somewhat improved at low speeds during tests of the unstabilized emulsions and the ethanol solutions. However, thermal efficiency of the stabilized emulsions fell below baseline levels at virtually all conditions.