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Technical Paper

Characterizing the Influence of EGR and Fuel Pressure on the Emissions in Low Temperature Diesel Combustion

In the wake of global focus shifting towards the health and conservation of the planet, greater importance is placed upon the hazardous emissions of our fossil fuels, as well as their finite supply. These two areas remain intense topics of research in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase the fuel efficiency of vehicles, a sector which is a major contributor to society's global CO₂ emissions and consumer of fossil-fuel resources. A particular solution to this problem is the diesel engine, with its inherently fuel-lean combustion, which gives rise to low CO₂ production and higher efficiencies than other potential powertrain solutions. Diesel engines, however, typically exhibit higher nitrogen oxides (NOx) and soot engine-out emissions than their gasoline counterparts. NOx is an ingredient to ground-level ozone production and smoke is a possible carcinogen, both of which are facing stricter emissions regulations.
Technical Paper

Heat Release Parameters to Assess Low Temperature Combustion Attainment

Internal combustion engines have dealt with increasingly restricted emissions requirements. After-treatment devices are successful bringing emissions into compliance, but in-cylinder combustion control can reduce their burden by reducing engine-out emissions. For example, oxides of nitrogen (NOx) are diesel combustion exhaust species of notoriety for their difficulty in after-treatment removal. In-cylinder conditions can be controlled for low levels of NOx, but this produces high levels of soot particulate matter (PM). The simultaneous reduction of NOx and PM can be realized through a combustion process known as low temperature combustion (LTC). This paper presents an investigation into the manifestation of LTC in the calculated heat release profile. Such a study could be important since some extreme LTC conditions may exhibit a return to the soot-NOx tradeoff, rendering an emissions-based definition of LTC unhelpful.
Technical Paper

Biodiesel Imposed System Responses in a Medium-Duty Diesel Engine

The often-observed differences in nitrogen oxides, or NOx, emissions between biodiesel and petroleum diesel fuels in diesel engines remain intense topics of research. In several instances, biodiesel-fuelled engines have higher NOx emissions than petroleum-fuelled engines; a situation often referred to as the "biodiesel NOx penalty." The literature is rich with investigations that reveal many fundamental mechanisms which contribute to (in varying and often inverse ways) the manifestation of differences in NOx emissions; these mechanisms include, for example, differences in ignition delay, changes to in-cylinder radiation heat transfer, and unequal heating values between the fuels. In addition to fundamental mechanisms, however, are the effects of "system-response" issues.
Technical Paper

Performance Parameter Analysis of a Biodiesel-Fuelled Medium Duty Diesel Engine

Biodiesel remains an alternative fuel of interest for use in diesel engines. A common characteristic of biodiesel, relative to petroleum diesel, is a lowered heating value (or energy content of the fuel). A lower heating value of the fuel would, presuming all other parameters are equal, result in decreased engine torque. Since engine torque is often user-demanded, the lower heating value of the fuel generally translates into increased brake specific fuel consumption. Several literature report this characteristic of biodiesel. In spite of the wealth of fuel consumption characteristic data available for biodiesel, it is not clear how other engine performance parameters may change with the use of biodiesel. Characterizing these parameters becomes complicated when considering the interactions of the various engine systems, such as a variable geometry turbocharger with exhaust gas recirculation.
Technical Paper

Influencing Parameters of Brake Fuel Conversion Efficiency with Diesel / Gasoline Operation in a Medium-Duty Diesel Engine

Research on dual-fuel engine systems is regaining interest as advances in combustion reveal enabling features for attaining high efficiencies. Although this movement is manifested by development of advanced modes of combustion (e.g., reactivity controlled compression ignition combustion, or RCCI), the possibility of gasoline / diesel conventional combustion exists, which is characterized by premixed gasoline and direct-injected diesel fuel at conventional diesel injection timing. This study evaluates the effects of operating parameter on fuel conversion efficiency for gasoline / diesel conventional combustion in a medium duty diesel engine. Through adjustment of gasoline ratio (mass basis), injection timing and rail pressure (with adjustments to diesel fuel quantity to hold torque constant), the combustion, performance and emissions are studied.
Technical Paper

Biodiesel Later-Phased Low Temperature Combustion Ignition and Burn Rate Behavior on Engine Torque

Finding a replacement for fossil fuels is critical for the future of automotive transportation. The compression ignition (CI) engine is an important aspect of everyday life by means of transportation and shipping of materials. Biodiesel is a viable augmentation for conventional diesel fuel in compression ignition engines. Biodiesel-fuelled diesel engines produce less particulate matter (PM) relative to conventional diesel and biodiesel has the ability to be a carbon dioxide (CO₂) neutral fuel, which may come under government regulation as a greenhouse gas. Although biodiesel is a viable diesel replacement and has certain emissions benefits, it typically also has a known characteristic of higher oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions relative to petroleum diesel. Advanced modes of combustion such as low temperature combustion (LTC) have attained much attention due to ever-increasing emission standards, and could also help reduce NOx in biodiesel.
Technical Paper

Improvement in Spark-Ignition Engine Fuel Consumption and Cyclic Variability with Pulsed Energy Spark Plug

Conventional spark plugs ignite a fuel-air mixture via an electric-to-plasma energy transfer; the effectiveness of which can be described by an electric-to-plasma energy efficiency. Although conventional spark plug electric-to-plasma efficiencies have historically been viewed as adequate, it might be wondered how an increase in such an efficiency might translate (if at all) to improvements in the flame initiation period and eventual engine performance of a spark-ignition engine. A modification can be made to the spark plug that places a peaking capacitor in the path of the electrical current; upon coil energizing, the stored energy in the peaking capacitor substantially increases the energy delivered by the spark. A previous study has observed an improvement in the electric-to-plasma energy efficiency to around 50%, whereas the same study observed conventional spark plug electric-to-plasma energy efficiency to remain around 1%.
Technical Paper

High Power Discharge Combustion Effects on Fuel Consumption, Emissions, and Catalyst Heating

A key element to achieving vehicle emission certification for most light-duty vehicles using spark-ignition engine technology is prompt catalyst warming. Emission mitigation largely does not occur while the catalyst is below its “light-off temperature”, which takes a certain time to achieve when the engine starts from a cold condition. If the catalyst takes too long to light-off, the vehicle could fail its emission certification; it is necessary to minimize the catalyst warm up period to mitigate emissions as quickly as possible. One technique used to minimize catalyst warm up is to calibrate the engine in such a way that it delivers high temperature exhaust. At idle or low speed/low-load conditions, this can be done by retarding spark timing with a corresponding increase in fuel flow rate and / or leaning the mixture. Both approaches, however, encounter limits as combustion stability degrades and / or nitrogen oxide emissions rise excessively.
Technical Paper

A Study on the Effects of Cetane Number on the Energy Balance between Differently Sized Engines

This paper investigates the effect of the cetane number (CN) of a diesel fuel on the energy balance between a light duty (1.9L) and medium duty (4.5L) diesel engine. The two engines have a similar stroke to bore (S/B) ratio, and all other control parameters including: geometric compression ratio, cylinder number, stroke, and combustion chamber, have been kept the same, meaning that only the displacement changes between the engine platforms. Two Coordinating Research Council (CRC) diesel fuels for advanced combustion engines (FACE) were studied. The two fuels were selected to have a similar distillation profile and aromatic content, but varying CN. The effects on the energy balance of the engines were considered at two operating conditions; a “low load” condition of 1500 rev/min (RPM) and nominally 1.88 bar brake mean effective pressure (BMEP), and a “medium load” condition of 1500 RPM and 5.65 BMEP.
Technical Paper

Speciated Hydrocarbon Emissions from an Automotive Diesel Engine and DOC Utilizing Conventional and PCI Combustion

Premixed compression ignition low-temperature diesel combustion (PCI) can simultaneously reduce particulate matter (PM) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx). Carbon monoxide (CO) and total hydrocarbon (THC) emissions increase relative to conventional diesel combustion, however, which may necessitate the use of a diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC). For a better understanding of conventional and PCI combustion, and the operation of a platinum-based production DOC, engine-out and DOC-out exhaust hydrocarbons are speciated using gas chromatography. As combustion mode is changed from lean conventional to lean PCI to rich PCI, engine-out CO and THC emissions increase significantly. The relative contributions of individual species also change; increasing methane/THC, acetylene/THC and CO/THC ratios indicate a richer combustion zone and a reduction in engine-out hydrocarbon incremental reactivity.
Technical Paper

The Development of Throttled and Unthrottled PCI Combustion in a Light-Duty Diesel Engine

Present-day implementations of premixed compression ignition low temperature (PCI) combustion in diesel engines use higher levels of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) than conventional diesel combustion. Two common devices that can be used to achieve high levels of EGR are an intake throttle and a variable geometry turbocharger (VGT). Because the two techniques affect the engine air system in different ways, local combustion conditions differ between the two in spite of, in some cases, having similar burn patterns in the form of heat release. The following study has developed from this and other observations; observations which necessitate a deeper understanding of emissions formation within the PCI combustion regime. This paper explains, through the use of fundamental phenomenological observations, differences in ignition delay and emission indices of particulate matter (EI-PM) and nitric oxides (EI-NOx) from PCI combustion attained via the two different techniques to flow EGR.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of a Narrow Spray Cone Angle, Advanced Injection Timing Strategy to Achieve Partially Premixed Compression Ignition Combustion in a Diesel Engine

Simultaneous reduction of nitric oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) emissions is possible in a diesel engine by employing a Partially Premixed Compression Ignition (PPCI) strategy. PPCI combustion is attainable with advanced injection timings and heavy exhaust gas recirculation rates. However, over-advanced injection timing can result in the fuel spray missing the combustion bowl, thus dramatically elevating PM emissions. The present study investigates whether the use of narrow spray cone angle injector nozzles can extend the limits of early injection timings, allowing for PPCI combustion realization. It is shown that a low flow rate, 60-degree spray cone angle injector nozzle, along with optimized EGR rate and split injection strategy, can reduce engine-out NOx by 82% and PM by 39%, at the expense of a modest increase (4.5%) in fuel consumption.
Technical Paper

Lean and Rich Premixed Compression Ignition Combustion in a Light-Duty Diesel Engine

Lean Premixed Compression Ignition (PCI) low-temperature combustion promises to simultaneously reduce NOx and PM emissions, while suffering a moderate penalty in fuel consumption. Similarly, opportunities exist to develop rich PCI combustion strategies which can provide the necessary exhaust constituents for aggressive regeneration of a Lean NOx Trap (LNT). The current work highlights the development of lean and rich PCI combustion strategies. It is shown that the lean PCI combustion strategy successfully operates with low NOx and PM, at the expense of a 5% increase in fuel consumption over conventional diesel operation. The rich PCI combustion strategy similarly operates with low NOx and PM, and produces enough CO (up to 5% by volume in exhaust) for aggressive regeneration of an LNT.
Journal Article

Low Temperature Heat Release of Palm and Soy Biodiesel in Late Injection Low Temperature Combustion

The first stage of ignition in saturated hydrocarbon fuels is characterized as low temperature heat release (LTHR) or cool flame combustion. LTHR takes place as a series of isomerization reactions at temperatures from 600K to 900K, and is often detectable in HCCI, rapid compression machines, and early injection low temperature combustion (LTC). The experimental investigation presented attempts to determine the behavior of LTHR in late injection low temperature combustion in a medium duty diesel as fuel varies and the influence of such behavior on LTC torque and emissions.
Journal Article

The Impact of Biodiesel on Injection Timing and Pulsewidth in a Common-Rail Medium-Duty Diesel Engine

Due to its ease of use in diesel engines, its presumably lower carbon footprint, and its potential as a renewable fuel, biodiesel has attracted considerable attention in technological development and research literature. Much literature is devoted to evaluating the injection and combustion characteristics of biodiesel fuel using unit injectors, where injection pressure and timing are regulated within the same unit. The use of common rail fuel systems, where fuel pressure is now equally governed to each injector (of a multi-cylinder engine), may change the conventionally accepted impact of biodiesel on injection and combustion characteristics. The objectives of this study are to characterize the responses of an electronically-controlled common-rail fuel injector (in terms of timing and duration) when delivering either 100% palm olein biodiesel or 100% petroleum diesel for a diesel engine, and correlate potential changes in injector characteristics to changes in combustion.