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Technical Paper

Phenomena that Determine Knock Onset in Spark-Ignition Engines

Experiments were carried out to collect in-cylinder pressure data and microphone signals from a single-cylinder test engine using spark timingsbefore, at, and after knock onset for toluene reference fuels. The objective was to gain insight into the phenomena that determine knock onset, detected by an external microphone. In particular, the study examines how the end-gas autoignition process changes as the engine's spark timing is advanced through the borderline knock limit into the engine's knocking regime. Fast Fourier transforms (FFT) and bandpass filtering techniques were used to process the recorded cylinder pressure data to determine knock intensities for each cycle. Two characteristic pressure oscillation frequencies were detected: a peak just above 6 kHz and a range of peaks in the 15-22 kHz range. The microphone data shows that the audible knock signal has the same 6 kHz peak.
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

Piston Fuel Film Observations in an Optical Access GDI Engine

A gasoline direct injection fuel spray was observed using a fired, optical access, square cross-section single cylinder research engine and high-speed video imaging. Spray interaction with the piston is described qualitatively, and the results are compared with Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation results using KIVA-3V version 2. CFD simulations predicted that within the operating window for stratified charge operation, between 1% and 4% of the injected fuel would remain on the piston as a liquid film, dependent primarily on piston temperature. The experimental results support the CFD simulations qualitatively, but the amount of fuel film remaining on the piston appears to be under-predicted. High-speed video footage shows a vigorous spray impingement on the piston crown, resulting in vapor production.
Technical Paper

Contribution of Liquid Fuel to Hydrocarbon Emissions in Spark Ignition Engines

The purpose of this work was to develop an understanding of how liquid fuel transported into the cylinder of a port-fuel-injected gasoline-fueled SI engine contributes to hydrocarbon (HC) emissions. To simulate the liquid fuel flow from the valve seat region into the cylinder, a specially designed fuel probe was developed and used to inject controlled amounts of liquid fuel onto the port wall close to the valve seat. By operating the engine on pre-vaporized Indolene, and injecting a small amount of liquid fuel close to the valve seat while the intake valve was open, we examined the effects of liquid fuel entering the cylinder at different circumferential locations around the valve seat. Similar experiments were also carried out with closed valve injection of liquid fuel at the valve seat to assess the effects of residual blowback, and of evaporation from the intake valve and port surfaces.
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

An Experimental and Theoretical Study of the Contribution of Oil Evaporation to Oil Consumption

Engine oil consumption is an important source of hydrocarbon and particulate emissions in automotive engines. Oil evaporating from the piston-ring-liner system is believed to contribute significantly to total oil consumption, especially during severe operating conditions. This paper presents an extensive experimental and theoretical study on the contribution of oil evaporation to total oil consumption at different steady state speed and load conditions. A sulfur tracer method was used to measure the dependence of oil consumption on coolant outlet temperature, oil volatility, and operating speed and load in a production spark ignition engine. Liquid oil distribution on the piston was studied using a one-point Laser-Induced-Fluorescence (LIF) technique. In addition, important in-cylinder variables for oil evaporation, such as liner temperature and cylinder pressure, were measured. A multi-species cylinder liner oil evaporation model was developed to interpret the oil consumption data.
Technical Paper

Analysis of Oil Consumption Behavior during Ramp Transients in a Production Spark Ignition Engine

Engine oil consumption is recognized to be a significant source of pollutant emissions. Unburned or partially burned oil in the exhaust gases contributes directly to hydrocarbon and particulate emissions. In addition, chemical compounds present in oil additives poison catalytic converters and reduce their conversion efficiency. Oil consumption can increase significantly during critical non-steady operating conditions. This study analyzes the oil consumption behavior during ramp transients in load by combining oil consumption measurements, in-cylinder measurements, and computer-based modeling. A sulfur based oil consumption method was used to measure real-time oil consumption during ramp transients in load at constant speed in a production spark ignition engine. Additionally in-cylinder liquid oil behavior along the piston was studied using a one-point Laser-Induced-Fluorescence (LIF) technique.
Technical Paper

Modeling NO Formation in Spark Ignition Engines with a Layered Adiabatic Core and Combustion Inefficiency Routine

A thermodynamic based cycle simulation which uses a thermal boundary layer, either, a fully mixed or layered adiabatic core, and a crevice combustion inefficiency routine has been used to explore the sensitivity of NO concentration predictions to critical physical modeling assumptions. An experimental database, which included measurements of residual gas fraction, was obtained from a 2.0 liter Nissan engine while firing on propane. A model calibration methodology was developed to ensure accurate predictions of in-cylinder pressure and burned gas temperature. Comparisons with experimental NO data then showed that accounting for temperature stratification during combustion with a layered adiabatic core and including a crevice/combustion inefficiency routine, improved the match of modeling predictions to data, in comparison to a fully mixed adiabatic core.
Technical Paper

Effects of Charge Motion Control During Cold Start of SI Engines

An experimental study was performed to investigate the effects of various intake charge motion control valves (CMCVs) on mixture preparation, combustion, and hydrocarbon (HC) emissions during the cold start-up process of a port fuel injected spark ignition (SI) engine. Different charge motions were produced by three differently shaped plates in the CMCV device, each of which blocked off 75% of the engine's intake ports. Time-resolved HC, CO and CO2 concentrations were measured at the exhaust port exit in order to achieve cycle-by-cycle engine-out HC mass and in-cylinder air/fuel ratio. Combustion characteristics were examined through a thermodynamic burn rate analysis. Cold-fluid steady state experiments were carried out with the CMCV open and closed. Enhanced charge motion with the CMCV closed was found to shorten the combustion duration, which caused the location of 50% mass fraction burned (MFB) to occur up to 5° CA earlier for the same spark timing.
Technical Paper

An Investigation of Gasoline Engine Knock Limited Performance and the Effects of Hydrogen Enhancement

A set of experiments was performed to investigate the effects of relative air-fuel ratio, inlet boost pressure, and compression ratio on engine knock behavior. Selected operating conditions were also examined with simulated hydrogen rich fuel reformate added to the gasoline-air intake mixture. For each operating condition knock limited spark advance was found for a range of octane numbers (ON) for two fuel types: primary reference fuels (PRFs), and toluene reference fuels (TRFs). A smaller set of experiments was also performed with unleaded test gasolines. A combustion phasing parameter based on the timing of 50% mass fraction burned, termed “combustion retard”, was used as it correlates well to engine performance. The combustion retard required to just avoid knock increases with relative air-fuel ratio for PRFs and decreases with air-fuel ratio for TRFs.
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.
Technical Paper

The Performance of Future ICE and Fuel Cell Powered Vehicles and Their Potential Fleet Impact

A study at MIT of the energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from advanced technology future automobiles has compared fuel cell powered vehicles with equivalent gasoline and diesel internal combustion engine (ICE) powered vehicles [1][2]. Current data regarding IC engine and fuel cell vehicle performance were extrapolated to 2020 to provide optimistic but plausible forecasts of how these technologies might compare. The energy consumed by the vehicle and its corresponding CO2 emissions, the fuel production and distribution energy and CO2 emissions, and the vehicle manufacturing process requirements were all evaluated and combined to give a well-to-wheels coupled with a cradle-to-grave assessment. The assessment results show that significant opportunities are available for improving the efficiency of mainstream gasoline and diesel engines and transmissions, and reducing vehicle resistances.
Technical Paper

Knock Behavior of a Lean-Burn, H2 and CO Enhanced, SI Gasoline Engine Concept

Experiments were performed to identify the knock trends of lean hydrocarbon-air mixtures, and such mixtures enhanced with hydrogen (H2) and carbon monoxide (CO). These enhanced mixtures simulated 15% and 30% of the engine's gasoline being reformed in a plasmatron fuel reformer [1]. Knock trends were determined by measuring the octane number (ON) of the primary reference fuel (mixture of isooctane and n-heptane) supplied to the engine that just produced audible knock. Experimental results show that leaner operation does not decrease the knock tendency of an engine under conditions where a fixed output torque is maintained; rather it slightly increases the octane requirement. The knock tendency does decrease with lean operation when the intake pressure is held constant, but engine torque is then reduced.
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

Future Light-Duty Vehicles: Predicting their Fuel Consumption and Carbon-Reduction Potential

The transportation sector in the United States is a major contributor to global energy consumption and carbon dioxide emission. To assess the future potentials of different technologies in addressing these two issues, we used a family of simulation programs to predict fuel consumption for passenger cars in 2020. The selected technology combinations that have good market potential and could be in mass production include: advanced gasoline and diesel internal combustion engine vehicles with automatically-shifting clutched transmissions, gasoline, diesel, and compressed natural gas hybrid electric vehicles with continuously variable transmissions, direct hydrogen, gasoline and methanol reformer fuel cell hybrid electric vehicles with direct ratio drive, and battery electric vehicle with direct ratio drive.
Technical Paper

Effects of Oxygenated Fuels on DI Diesel Combustion and Emissions

Experiments to study the effects of oxygenated fuels on emissions and combustion were performed in a single-cylinder direct-injection (DI) diesel engine. A matrix of oxygen containing fuels assessed the impact of weight percent oxygen content, oxygenate chemical structure, and oxygenate volatility on emissions. Several oxygenated chemicals were blended with an ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel and evaluated at an equivalent energy release and combustion phasing. Additional experiments investigated the effectiveness of oxygenated fuels at a different engine load, a matched fuel/air equivalence ratio, and blended with a diesel fuel from the Fischer-Tropsch process. Interactions between emissions and critical engine operating parameters were also quantified. A scanning mobility particle sizer (SMPS) was used to evaluate particle size distributions, in addition to particulate matter (PM) filter and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) measurements.
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

The Relevance of Fuel RON and MON to Knock Onset in Modern SI Engines

The Octane Index (OI) relates a fuel's knocking characteristics to a Primary Reference Fuel (PRF) that exhibits similar knocking characteristics at the same engine conditions. However, since the OI varies substantially with the engine operating conditions, it is typically measured at two standard conditions: the Research and Motor Octane Number (RON and MON) tests. These tests are intended to bracket the knock-limited operating range, and the OI is taken to be a weighted average of RON and MON: OI = K MON + (1-K) RON where K is the weighing factor. When the tests were established, K was approximately 0.5. However, recent tests with modern engines have found that K is now negative, indicating that the RON and MON tests no longer bracket the knock-limited operating conditions. Experiments were performed to measure the OI of different fuels in a modern engine to better understand the role of fuel sensitivity (RON-MON) on knock limits.
Technical Paper

Effect of In-Cylinder Liquid Fuel Films on Engine-Out Unburned Hydrocarbon Emissions for an SI Engine

An experimental study was performed in a firing SI engine at conditions representative of the warmup phase of operation in which liquid gasoline films were established at various locations in the combustion chamber and the resulting impact on hydrocarbon emissions was assessed. Unique about this study was that it combined, in a firing engine environment, direct visual observation of the liquid fuel films, measurements of the temperatures these films were subjected to, and the determination from gas analyzers of burned and unburned fuel quantities exiting the combustion chamber - all with cycle-level resolution or better. A means of deducing the exhaust hydrocarbon emissions that were due to the liquid fuel films in the combustion chamber was developed. An increase in exhaust hydrocarbon emissions was always observed with liquid fuel films present in the combustion chamber.