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Technical Paper

Predicting the Fuel Economy Impact of “Cold-Start” for Reformed Gasoline Fuel Cell Vehicles

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) appear to be a promising solution for the future of clean and efficient personal transportation. Issues of how to generate the hydrogen and then store it on-board to provide satisfactory driving range must still be resolved before they can compete with conventional vehicles. Alternatively, FCVs could obtain hydrogen from on-board reforming of gasoline or other fuels such as methanol or ethanol. On-board reformers convert fuel into a hydrogen-rich fuel stream through catalytic reactions in several stages. The high temperatures associated with fuel processing present an engineering challenge to warm up the reformer quickly and efficiently in a vehicle environment. Without a special warmup phase or vehicle hybridization, the reformer and fuel cell system must provide all power to move the vehicle, including ¼ power in 30 s, and ½ power in 3 min to satisfy the Federal Test Procedure (FTP) cycle demands.
Technical Paper

A Rational Approach to Qualifying Materials for Use in Fuel Systems

About 10 years ago in the US, an automotive OEM consortium formed the Oxygenated Fuels Task Force which in turn created the SAE Cooperative Research Project Group 2 to develop a simple rational method for qualifying materials. At that time the focus was Methanol/Gasoline blends. This work resulted in SAE J1681, Gasoline/Methanol Mixtures for Materials Testing. Recently this document was rewritten to make it the single, worldwide, generic source for fuel system test fluids. The paper will describe the rationale for selecting the fuel surrogate fluids and why this new SAE standard should replace all existing test fuel or test fluid standards for fuel system materials testing.
Technical Paper

Fast Gas Analyzer Observations of Stochastic Preignition Events

The goal of this study was to generate exhaust fast gas data that could be used to identify phenomena that occur before, during, and after stochastic preignition (SPI), also called low-speed preignition (LSPI), events. Crank angle resolved measurement of exhaust hydrocarbons, NO, CO, and CO2 was performed under engine conditions prone to these events. Fuels and engine operating strategies were varied in an attempt to understand similarities and differences in SPI-related behavior that may occur between them. Several different uncommon (typically occurring in less than 1% of engine cycles) features of the fast gas data were identified, and the correlations between them and SPI events were explored. Although the thresholds used to define and identify these observations were arbitrary, they provided a practical means of identifying behavior in the fast gas data and correlating it to SPI occurrence.
Technical Paper

Heat of Vaporization and Species Evolution during Gasoline Evaporation Measured by DSC/TGA/MS for Blends of C1 to C4 Alcohols in Commercial Gasoline Blendstocks

Evaporative cooling of the fuel-air charge by fuel evaporation is an important feature of direct-injection spark-ignition engines that improves fuel knock resistance and reduces pumping losses at intermediate load, but in some cases, may increase fine particle emissions. We have reported on experimental approaches for measuring both total heat of vaporization and examination of the evaporative heat effect as a function of fraction evaporated for gasolines and ethanol blends. In this paper, we extend this work to include other low-molecular-weight alcohols and present results on species evolution during fuel evaporation by coupling a mass spectrometer to our differential scanning calorimetry/thermogravimetric analysis instrument. The alcohols examined were methanol, ethanol, 1-propanol, isopropanol, 2-butanol, and isobutanol at 10 volume percent, 20 volume percent, and 30 volume percent.
Technical Paper

Measured and Predicted Vapor Liquid Equilibrium of Ethanol-Gasoline Fuels with Insight on the Influence of Azeotrope Interactions on Aromatic Species Enrichment and Particulate Matter Formation in Spark Ignition Engines

A relationship has been observed between increasing ethanol content in gasoline and increased particulate matter (PM) emissions from direct injection spark ignition (DISI) vehicles. The fundamental cause of this observation is not well understood. One potential explanation is that increased evaporative cooling as a result of ethanol’s high HOV may slow evaporation and prevent sufficient reactant mixing resulting in the combustion of localized fuel rich regions within the cylinder. In addition, it is well known that ethanol when blended in gasoline forms positive azeotropes which can alter the liquid/vapor composition during the vaporization process. In fact, it was shown recently through a numerical study that these interactions can retain the aromatic species within the liquid phase impeding the in-cylinder mixing of these compounds, which would accentuate PM formation upon combustion.
Technical Paper

Effects of Heat of Vaporization and Octane Sensitivity on Knock-Limited Spark Ignition Engine Performance

Knock-limited loads for a set of surrogate gasolines all having nominal 100 research octane number (RON), approximately 11 octane sensitivity (S), and a heat of vaporization (HOV) range of 390 to 595 kJ/kg at 25°C were investigated. A single-cylinder spark-ignition engine derived from a General Motors Ecotec direct injection (DI) engine was used to perform load sweeps at a fixed intake air temperature (IAT) of 50 °C, as well as knock-limited load measurements across a range of IATs up to 90 °C. Both DI and pre-vaporized fuel (supplied by a fuel injector mounted far upstream of the intake valves and heated intake runner walls) experiments were performed to separate the chemical and thermal effects of the fuels’ knock resistance. The DI load sweeps at 50°C intake air temperature showed no effect of HOV on the knock-limited performance. The data suggest that HOV acts as a thermal contributor to S under the conditions studied.
Technical Paper

Improving the Fuel Efficiency of Light-Duty Ethanol Vehicles - An Engine Dynamometer Study of Dedicated Engine Strategies

This paper describes an experimental study to determine the potential for fuel efficiency improvements offered by dedicated, high compression E85 engines with optimized powertrain calibration strategies. The study involved a prototype variable fuel engine that could operate using either gasoline or E85, and a high compression version of the same engine that was suitable only for E85. Fuel consumption and engine-out emissions were evaluated using steady-state engine dynamometer tests to represent urban and highway speed/load conditions. For each fuel and engine combination, the fuel efficiency and emissions trade-offs provided by varying Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) levels were determined. For the high compression engine, operation at lower speed/higher load conditions (producing the same power as the standard speed/load settings) was also investigated.
Journal Article

Heat of Vaporization Measurements for Ethanol Blends Up To 50 Volume Percent in Several Hydrocarbon Blendstocks and Implications for Knock in SI Engines

The objective of this work was to measure knock resistance metrics for ethanol-hydrocarbon blends with a primary focus on development of methods to measure the heat of vaporization (HOV). Blends of ethanol at 10 to 50 volume percent were prepared with three gasoline blendstocks and a natural gasoline. Performance properties and composition of the blendstocks and blends were measured, including research octane number (RON), motor octane number (MON), net heating value, density, distillation curve, and vapor pressure. RON increases upon blending ethanol but with diminishing returns above about 30 vol%. Above 30% to 40% ethanol the curves flatten and converge at a RON of about 103 to 105, even for the much lower RON NG blendstock. Octane sensitivity (S = RON - MON) also increases upon ethanol blending. Gasoline blendstocks with nearly identical S can show significantly different sensitivities when blended with ethanol.
Journal Article

Selection Criteria and Screening of Potential Biomass-Derived Streams as Fuel Blendstocks for Advanced Spark-Ignition Engines

We describe a study to identify potential biofuels that enable advanced spark ignition (SI) engine efficiency strategies to be pursued more aggressively. A list of potential biomass-derived blendstocks was developed. An online database of properties and characteristics of these bioblendstocks was created and populated. Fuel properties were determined by measurement, model prediction, or literature review. Screening criteria were developed to determine if a bioblendstock met the requirements for advanced SI engines. Criteria included melting point (or cloud point) < -10°C and boiling point (or T90) <165°C. Compounds insoluble or poorly soluble in hydrocarbon were eliminated from consideration, as were those known to cause corrosion (carboxylic acids or high acid number mixtures) and those with hazard classification as known or suspected carcinogens or reproductive toxins.
Journal Article

Gasoline Anti-Knock Index Effects on Vehicle Net Power at High Altitude

Automakers are designing smaller displacement engines with higher power densities to improve vehicle fuel economy, while continuing to meet customer expectations for power and drivability. The specific power produced by the spark-ignited engine is constrained by knock and fuel octane. Whereas the lowest octane rating is 87 AKI (antiknock index) for regular gasoline at most service stations throughout the U.S., 85 AKI fuel is widely available at higher altitudes especially in the mountain west states. The objective of this study was to explore the effect of gasoline octane rating on the net power produced by modern light duty vehicles at high altitude (1660 m elevation). A chassis dynamometer test procedure was developed to measure absorbed wheel power at transient and stabilized full power operation. Five vehicles were tested using 85 and 87 AKI fuels.
Journal Article

Knock Resistance and Fine Particle Emissions for Several Biomass-Derived Oxygenates in a Direct-Injection Spark-Ignition Engine

Several high octane number oxygenates that could be derived from biomass were blended with gasoline and examined for performance properties and their impact on knock resistance and fine particle emissions in a single cylinder direct-injection spark-ignition engine. The oxygenates included ethanol, isobutanol, anisole, 4-methylanisole, 2-phenylethanol, 2,5-dimethyl furan, and 2,4-xylenol. These were blended into a summertime blendstock for oxygenate blending at levels ranging from 10 to 50 percent by volume. The base gasoline, its blends with p-xylene and p-cymene, and high-octane racing gasoline were tested as controls. Relevant gasoline properties including research octane number (RON), motor octane number, distillation curve, and vapor pressure were measured. Detailed hydrocarbon analysis was used to estimate heat of vaporization and particulate matter index (PMI). Experiments were conducted to measure knock-limited spark advance and particulate matter (PM) emissions.
Technical Paper

A Robust Preignition Rating Methodology: Evaluating the Propensity to Establish Propagating Flames under Real Engine Conditions

In this work, an experimental and analysis methodology was developed to evaluate the preignition propensity of fuels and engine operating conditions in an SI engine. A heated glow plug was introduced into the combustion chamber to induce early propagating flames. As the temperature of the glowplug varied, both the fraction of cycles experiencing these early flames and the phasing of this combustion in the engine cycle varied. A statistical methodology for assigning a single-value to this complex behavior was developed and found to have very good repeatability. The effects of engine operating conditions and fuels were evaluated using this methodology. While this study is not directly studying the so-called stochastic preignition or low-speed preignition problem, it studies one aspect of that problem in a very controlled manner.
Journal Article

Analysis of Ethanol Fuel Blends

In the last three years, three quality surveys on ethanol-blended fuels intended for use in flex-fuel vehicles have been published. Two of these surveys cover Flex-Fuel quality, and the third encompasses the quality of mid-level ethanol blends (MLEBs) from blender pumps. The purpose of these surveys was to report on the quality of the fuels and provide a snapshot in time of fuel quality. This study examines the larger picture portrayed by these surveys and looks for broader trends in fuel quality. The analysis found that compliance with vapor pressure specification limits for Flex Fuel improved from 40% to 66% in Class 1, from 31% to 43% in Class 2, and from 12% to 30% in Class 3 between 2008 and 2010. Failures on other critical properties, such as acidity, pHe, water, and inorganic chloride were less than 6% in these studies. The 2010 Flex Fuel samples readily met the ethanol content specification, with 88%, 92%, and 95% compliance for Classes 1, 2, and 3, respectively.
Journal Article

Investigating Malfunction Indicator Light Illumination Due to Increased Oxygenate Use in Gasoline

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 requires the U.S. to use 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel per year by 2022. Domestic ethanol production has increased steadily in recent years, growing from less than 5 billion gallons per year (bgpy) in 2006 to over 13 bgpy in 2010. While there is interest in developing non-oxygenated renewable fuels for use in conventional vehicles as well as interest in expanding flex-fuel vehicle (FFV) production for increased E85 use, there remains concern that EISA compliance will require further use of oxygenated biofuels in conventional vehicles. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently granted partial approval to a waiver allowing the use of E15 in 2001 and newer light-duty vehicles.
Journal Article

Fuel & Lubricant Effects on Stochastic Preignition

In this multi-phase study, fuel and lubricant effects on stochastic preignition (SPI) were examined. First, the behavior of fuels for which SPI data had previously been collected were characterized in terms of their combustion and emissions behavior, and correlations between these characteristics and their SPI behavior were examined. Second, new SPI data was collected for a matrix of fuels that was constructed to test and confirm hypotheses that resulted from interpretation of the earlier data in the study and from data in open literature. Specifically, the extent to which the presence of heavy components in the fuel affected SPI propensity, and the extent to which flame initiation propensity affected SPI propensity, were examined. Finally, the interaction of fuels with lubricants expected to exhibit a range of SPI propensities was examined.
Technical Paper

The Impacts of Mid-level Biofuel Content in Gasoline on SIDI Engine-out and Tailpipe Particulate Matter Emissions

In this work, the influences of ethanol and iso-butanol blended with gasoline on engine-out and post three-way catalyst (TWC) particle size distribution and number concentration were studied using a General Motors (GM) 2.0L turbocharged spark ignition direct injection (SIDI) engine. The engine was operated using the production engine control unit (ECU) with a dynamometer controlling the engine speed and the accelerator pedal position controlling the engine load. A TSI Fast Mobility Particle Sizer (FMPS) spectrometer was used to measure the particle size distribution in the range from 5.6 to 560 nm with a sampling rate of 1 Hz. U.S. federal certification gasoline (E0), two ethanol-blended fuels (E10 and E20), and 11.7% iso-butanol blended fuel (BU12) were tested. Measurements were conducted at 10 selected steady-state engine operation conditions. Bi-modal particle size distributions were observed for all operating conditions with peak values at particle sizes of 10 nm and 70 nm.
Technical Paper

Automotive Materials Engineering Challenges and Solutions for the Use of Ethanol and Methanol Blended Fuels

Economic market forces and increasing environmental awareness of gasoline have led to interest in developing alternatives to gasoline, and extending the current global supply for transportation fuels. One viable strategy is the use of alternative alcohol fuels for combustion engines, with ethanol and methanol in various concentration ranges proposed and in-use. Utilizing and citing data from this review, a comprehensive overview of the materials selection and engineering challenges facing metals, plastics and elastomers are presented. The engineering approach and solution-sets discussed will focus on production feasibility and implementation. The effects from the fuel chemistry and quality of fuel ethanol produced on the related vehicle components are discussed.
Technical Paper

Fuel Used for Vehicle Air Conditioning: A State-by-State Thermal Comfort-Based Approach

How much fuel does vehicle air conditioning actually use? This study attempts to answer that question to determine the national and state-by-state fuel use impact seen by using air conditioning in light duty gasoline vehicles. The study used data from US cities, representative of averages over the past 30 years, whose temperature, incident radiation, and humidity varied through time of day and day of year. National surveys estimated when people drive their vehicles during the day and throughout the year. A simple thermal comfort model based on Fanger's heat balance equations determined the percentage of time that a driver would use the air conditioning based on the premise that if a person were dissatisfied with the thermal environment, they would turn on the air conditioning. Vehicle simulations for typical US cars and trucks determined the fuel economy reduction seen with AC use.
Technical Paper

Central Carolina Vehicle Particulate Emissions Study

In-use, light-duty vehicles were recruited in Cary, North Carolina for emissions testing on a transportable dynamometer in 1999. Two hundred forty-eight vehicles were tested in as received condition using the IM240 driving cycle. The study was conducted in two phases, a summer and winter phase, with half of the vehicles recruited during each phase. Regulated emissions, PM10, carbonaceous PM, aldehydes and ketones were measured for every test. PM2.5, individual volatile hydrocarbons, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, sterane and hopane emissions were measured from a subset of the vehicles. Average light-duty gasoline PM10 emission rates increased from 6.5 mg/mi for 1993-97 vehicles to 53.8 mg/mi for the pre-1985 vehicles. The recruited fleet average, hot-stabilized IM240 PM10 emission rate for gasoline vehicles was 19.0 mg/mi.
Technical Paper

Hydrogen: Primary or Supplementary Fuel for Automotive Engines

Hydrogen, gasoline, and mixtures thereof were compared as fuels for lean-burn engines. Hydrogen for the mixed fuels tests was generated by partial oxidation of gasoline. Hydrogen combustion yielded the highest thermal efficiency at any NOx level. Gasoline yielded the second highest thermal efficiency for NOx levels greater than or approximately equal to two gm/mi. For lower NOx levels and high vehicle inertia weights, progressively more hydrogen supplementation was the second most efficient system. For vehicle inertia weights below 5000 lbm (2300 kg), the statutory NOx standard (0.4 gm/mi) could be met with one lb/hr (0.13 g/s) hydrogen supplementation.