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Technical Paper

Comparative Analysis of Automotive Powertrain Choices for the Next 25 Years

This paper assesses the potential improvement of automotive powertrain technologies 25 years into the future. The powertrain types assessed include naturally-aspirated gasoline engines, turbocharged gasoline engines, diesel engines, gasoline-electric hybrids, and various advanced transmissions. Advancements in aerodynamics, vehicle weight reduction and tire rolling friction are also taken into account. The objective of the comparison is the potential of anticipated improvements in these powertrain technologies for reducing petroleum consumption and greenhouse gas emissions at the same level of performance as current vehicles in the U.S.A. The fuel consumption and performance of future vehicles was estimated using a combination of scaling laws and detailed vehicle simulations. The results indicate that there is significant potential for reduction of fuel consumption for all the powertrains examined.
Technical Paper

Lean SI Engines: The role of combustion variability in defining lean limits

Previous research has shown the potential benefits of running an engine with excess air. The challenges of running lean have also been identified, but not all of them have been fundamentally explained. Under high dilution levels, a lean limit is reached where combustion becomes unstable, significantly deteriorating drivability and engine efficiency, thus limiting the full potential of lean combustion. This paper expands the understanding of lean combustion by explaining the fundamentals behind this rapid rise in combustion variability and how this instability can be reduced. A flame entrainment combustion model was used to explain the fundamentals behind the observed combustion behavior in a comprehensive set of lean gasoline and hydrogen-enhanced cylinder pressure data in an SI engine. The data covered a wide range of operating conditions including different compression ratios, loads, types of dilution, fuels including levels of hydrogen enhancement, and levels of turbulence.
Technical Paper

Alternative Fuels: Gas to Liquids as Potential 21st Century Truck Fuels

Modern natural gas-to-liquids (GTL) conversion processes (Fischer-Tropsch liquid fuels (FTL)) offers an attractive means for making synthetic liquid fuels. Military diesel and jet fuels are procured under Commercial Item Description (CID) A-A-52557 (based on ASTM D 975) and MIL-DTL-83133/MIL-DTL-5624 (JP-8/JP-5), respectively. The Single Fuel Forward (single fuel in the battlefield) policy requires the use of JP-8 or JP-5 (JP-8/5). Fuel properties crucial to fuel system/engine performance/operation are identified for both old and new tactical/non-tactical vehicles. The 21st Century Truck program is developing technology for improved safety, reduced harmful exhaust emissions, improved fuel efficiency, and reduced cost of ownership of future military and civilian ground vehicles (in the heavy duty category having gross vehicle weights exceeding 8500 pounds).[1]
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.
Journal Article

The Shift in Relevance of Fuel RON and MON to Knock Onset in Modern SI Engines Over the Last 70 Years

Since the advent of the spark ignition engine, the maximum engine efficiency has been knock limited. Knock is a phenomena caused by the rapid autoignition of fuel/air mixture (endgas) ahead of the flame front. The propensity of a fuel to autoignite corresponds to its autoignition chemistry at the local endgas temperature and pressure. Since a fuel blend consists of many components, its autoignition chemistry is very complex. The octane index (OI) simplifies this complex autoignition chemistry by comparing a fuel to a Primary Reference Fuel (PRF), a binary blend of iso-octane and n-heptane. As more iso-octane is added into the blend, the PRF is less likely to autoignite. The OI of a fuel is defined as the volumetric percentage of iso-octane in the PRF blend that exhibits similar knocking characteristics at the same engine conditions.
Technical Paper

Aggregate Vehicle Emission Estimates for Evaluating Control Strategies

Currently, states that are out of compliance with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards must, according to the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (CAAA), develop and implement control strategies that demonstrate specific degrees of reduction in emissions-with the degree of reduction depending upon the severity of the problem. One tool that has been developed to aid regulators in both deciding an appropriate course of action and to demonstrate the desired reductions in mobile emissions is EPA's Mobile 5a emission estimation model. In our study, Mobile 5a has been used to examine the effects of regulatory strategies, as applied to the Northeast United States, on vehicle emissions under worst-case ozone-forming conditions.
Technical Paper

An Overview of Hydrocarbon Emissions Mechanisms in Spark-Ignition Engines

This paper provides an overview of spark-ignition engine unburned hydrocarbon emissions mechanisms, and then uses this framework to relate measured engine-out hydrocarbon emission levels to the processes within the engine from which they result. Typically, spark-ignition engine-out HC levels are 1.5 to 2 percent of the gasoline fuel flow into the engine; about half this amount is unburned fuel and half is partially reacted fuel components. The different mechanisms by which hydrocarbons in the gasoline escape burning during the normal engine combustion process are described and approximately quantified. The in-cylinder oxidation of these HC during the expansion and exhaust processes, the fraction which exit the cylinder, and the fraction oxidized in the exhaust port and manifold are also estimated.
Technical Paper

Combustion Characterization in a Direct-Injection Stratified-Charge Engine and Implications on Hydrocarbon Emissions

An experimental study was conducted on a direct-injection stratified-charge (DISC) engine incorporating a combustion process similar to the Texaco Controlled Combustion System and operated with gasoline. Analysis of the injected fuel flow and the heat release showed that the combustion process was characterized by three distinct phases: fuel injection and distribution around the piston bowl, flame propagation through the stratified fuel-air mixture, and mixing-controlled burn-out with the heat-release rate proportional to the amount of unburned fuel in the combustion chamber. This characterization was consistent with previous visualization studies conducted on rapid-compression machines with similar configurations. Experiments with varied injection timing, spark plug location, and spark timing showed that the combustion timing relative to injection was critical to the hydrocarbon emissions from the engine.
Technical Paper

Modeling of Engine-Out Hydrocarbon Emissions for Prototype Production Engines

A model has been developed which predicts engine-out hydrocarbon (HC) emissions for spark-ignition engines. The model consists of a set of scaling laws that describe the individual processes that contribute to HC emissions. The model inputs are the critical engine design and operating variables. This set of individual process scaling relations was then calibrated using production spark-ignition engine data at a fixed light-load operating point. The data base consisted of engine-out HC emissions from two-valve and four-valve engine designs with variations in spark timing, valve timing, coolant temperature, crevice volume, and EGR, for five different engines. The model was calibrated separately for the three different engines to accommodate differences in engine design details and to determine the relative magnitudes of each of the major sources. A good fit to this database was obtained.
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.
Technical Paper

Predicting NOx Emissions and Effects of Exhaust Gas Recirculation in Spark-Ignition Engines

An improved theoretical model that predicts the nitric oxide concentration in the exhaust of a spark-ignition engine has been evaluated over a wide range of fuel-air ratios, percentage of exhaust gas recycled, and engine speed. Experiments were carried out in a standard CFR single-cylinder engine. Comparison of the measured and calculated exhaust nitric oxide concentrations shows good agreement over all operating conditions. It is shown that in lean mixtures, nitric oxide concentrations freeze early in the expansion stroke. For rich mixtures, freezing occurs later after all the charge has been burned and substantial nitric oxide decomposition takes place. In addition, effects of exhaust gas recirculation on flame speed, ignition delay, and cycle-to-cycle pressure variations were evaluated. A simple model relating cycle-to-cycle variations with changes in ignition delay is presented.
Technical Paper

Divided-Chamber Diesel Engine, Part II: Experimental Validation of a Predictive Cycle-Simulation and Heat Release Analysis

In this study, a set of performance and emissions data, obtained from a single-cylinder divided-chamber automotive diesel engine over the normal engine operating range, is described and analyzed. The data are used to evaluate a computer simulation of the engine's operating cycle, described in a companion paper, which predicts the properties of gases inside the engine cylinder throughout the cycle, and engine efficiency, power and NOx emissions. Satisfactory agreement between predictions and measurements is obtained over most of the engine's operating range. The characteristics of the experimental pre- and main-chamber pressure versus crank angle data are then examined in detail. A heat release analysis appropriate for divided-chamber diesel engines is developed and used to obtain heat release rate profiles through the combustion process.
Technical Paper

Current Developments in Spark-Ignition Engines

This paper reviews the major changes that have occurred in spark-ignition engine design and operation over the last two decades. The automobile air pollution problem, automobile emission standards, and automobile fuel economy standards -- the factors which have and are producing these changes -- are briefly described. The major components in spark-ignition engine emission control systems are outlined, and advances in carburetion, fuel injection, ignition systems, spark retard and exhaust gas recycle strategies, and catalytic converters, are reviewed. The impact of these emission controls on vehicle fuel economy is assessed. The potential for fuel economy improvements in conventional spark-ignition engines is examined, and promising developments in improved engine and vehicle matching are outlined.
Technical Paper

Parametric Studies of Performance and NOx Emissions of the Three-Valve Stratified Charge Engine Using a Cycle Simulation

The trade-off between engine operating efficiency and NOx emissions in the prechamber three-valve stratified-charge engine is examined in a series of parametric studies using an improved model developed at M.I.T. (1). Engine geometric, operating, and combustion parameters are varied independently and the effects on brake-specific-fuel-consumption, exhaust temperature and brake-specific-NO observed. Parameters chosen for study are: timing of the start of combustion, overall air-fuel ratio, prechamber air-fuel ratio at the start of combustion, main-chamber combustion duration, prechamber size (prechamber volume and orifice diameter), EGR (in main and prechamber intakes), and load. The results quantify trade-off opportunities amongst these design and operating variables which are available to the engine designer.
Technical Paper

Development and Use of a Cycle Simulation to Predict SI Engine Efficiency and NOx Emissions

A computer simulation of the four-stroke spark-ignition engine cycle has been developed for studies of the effects of variations in engine design and operating parameters on engine performance, efficiency and NO emissions. The simulation computes the flows into and out of the engine, calculates the changes in thermodynamic properties and composition of the unburned and burned gas mixtures within the cylinder through the engine cycle due to work, heat and mass transfers, and follows the kinetics of NO formation and decomposition in the burned gas. The combustion process is specified as an input to the program through use of a normalized rate of mass burning profile. From this information, the simulation computes engine power, fuel consumption and NO emissions. Predictions made with the simulation have been compared with data from a single-cylinder CFR engine over a range of equivalence ratios, spark-timings and compression ratios.
Technical Paper

Combustion Optimization in a Hydrogen-Enhanced Lean-Burn SI Engine

As part of ongoing research on hydrogen-enhanced lean burn SI engines, this paper details an experimental combustion system optimization program. Experiments focused on three key areas: the ignition system, in-cylinder charge motion produced by changes in the inlet ports, and uniformity of fuel-air mixture preparation. Hydrogen enhancement is obtained with a H2, CO, N2 mixture produced by a fuel reformer such as the plasmatron. The ignition system tests compared a standard inductive coil scheme against high-energy discharge systems. Charge motion experiments focused on the impact of different flow and turbulence patterns generated within the cylinder by restrictor plates at the intake port entrance, as well as novel inlet flow modification cones. The in-cylinder fluid motion generated by each configuration was characterized using swirl and tumble flow benches. Mixture preparation tests compared a standard single-hole pintle port fuel injector against a fine atomizing 12-hole injector.
Technical Paper

Effects of Hydrogen Enhancement on Efficiency and NOx Emissions of Lean and EGR-Diluted Mixtures in a SI Engine

Dilute operation of a SI engine offers attractive performance incentives. Lowered combustion temperatures and changes in the mixture composition inhibit NOx formation and increase the effective value of the ratio of burned gas specific heats, increasing gross indicated efficiency. Additionally, reduced intake manifold throttling minimizes pumping losses, leading to higher net indicated efficiency. These benefits are offset by the reduced combustion speed of dilute fuel-air mixtures, which can lead to high cycle-to-cycle variation and unacceptable engine behavior characteristics. Hydrogen enhancement can suppress the undesirable consequences of dilute operation by accelerating the combustion process, thereby extending the dilution limit. Hydrogen would be produced on-board the vehicle with a gasoline reforming device such as the plasmatron. High dilution at higher loads would necessitate boosting to meet the appropriate engine specific power requirements.
Technical Paper

Effects of Combustion Phasing, Relative Air-fuel Ratio, Compression Ratio, and Load on SI Engine Efficiency

In an effort to both increase engine efficiency and generate new, consistent, and reliable data useful for the development of engine concepts, a modern single-cylinder 4-valve spark-ignition research engine was used to determine the response of indicated engine efficiency to combustion phasing, relative air-fuel ratio, compression ratio, and load. Combustion modeling was then used to help explain the observed trends, and the limitations on achieving higher efficiency. This paper analyzes the logic behind such gains in efficiency and presents correlations of the experimental data. The results are helpful for examining the potential for more efficient engine designs, where high compression ratios can be used under lean or dilute regimes, at a variety of loads.