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Technical Paper

µMist® - The next generation fuel injection system: Improved atomisation and combustion for port-fuel-injected engines

The Swedish Biomimetics 3000's μMist® platform technology has been used to develop a radically new injection system. This prototype system, developed and characterized with support from Lotus, as part of Swedish Biomimetics 3000®'s V₂IO innovation accelerating model, delivers improved combustion efficiency through achieving exceptionally small droplets, at fuel rail pressures far less than conventional GDI systems and as low as PFI systems. The system gives the opportunity to prepare and deliver all of the fuel load for the engine while the intake valves are open and after the exhaust valves have closed, thereby offering the potential to use advanced charge scavenging techniques in PFI engines which have hitherto been restricted to direct-injection engines, and at a lower system cost than a GDI injection system.
Journal Article

Iso-Stoichiometric Ternary Blends of Gasoline, Ethanol and Methanol: Investigations into Exhaust Emissions, Blend Properties and Octane Numbers

Iso-stoichiometric ternary blends - in which three-component blends of gasoline, ethanol and methanol are configured to the same stoichiometric air-fuel ratio as an equivalent binary ethanol-gasoline blend - can function as invisible "drop-in" fuels suitable for the existing E85/gasoline flex-fuel vehicle fleet. This has been demonstrated for the two principal means of detecting alcohol content in such vehicles, which are considered to be a virtual, or software-based, sensor, and a physical sensor in the fuel line. Furthermore when using such fuels the tailpipe CO₂ emissions are essentially identical to those found when the vehicle is operated on E85. Because of the fact that methanol can be made from a wider range of feed stocks than ethanol and at a cheaper price, these blends then provide opportunities to improve energy security, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to produce a fuel blend which could potentially be cheaper on a cost-per-unit-energy basis than gasoline or diesel.
Technical Paper

GEM Ternary Blends of Gasoline, Ethanol and Methanol: An Initial Investigation into Fuel Spray and Combustion Characteristics in a Direct-Injected Spark-Ignition Optical Engine Using Mie Imaging

Five different fuels, including gasoline, commercial E85, pure methanol and two mixtures of gasoline, ethanol and methanol, (GEM), configured to a target stoichiometric air fuel ratio have been investigated in a fully-optically-accessed engine. The work investigated effects of injection duration, and performed spray imaging, thermodynamic analysis of the combustion and OH imaging, for two fixed engine conditions of 2.7 and 3.7 bar NMEP at 2000 rpm. The engine was operated with constant ignition timing for all fuels and both loads. One of the most important results from this study was the suitability of a single type of injector to handle all the fuels tested. There were differences observed in the spray morphology between the fuels, due to the different physical properties of the fuels. The energy utilisation measured in this study showed differences of up to 14% for the different GEM fuels whereas an earlier in-vehicle study had showed only 2 to 3%.
Technical Paper

Flex-Fuel Vehicle Development to Promote Synthetic Alcohols as the Basis of a Potential Negative-CO2 Energy Economy

The engine of a high performance sports car has been converted to operation on E85, a high alcohol-blend fuel containing nominally 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline by volume. In addition to improving performance, the conversion resulted in significant improvement in full-load thermal efficiency versus operation on gasoline. This engine has been fitted in a test vehicle and made flex-fuel capable, a process which resulted in significant improvements in both vehicle performance and tailpipe CO2 when operating solely on ethanol blends, offering an environmentally-friendly approach to high performance motoring. The present paper describes some of the highlights of the development of the flex-fuel calibration to enable the demonstrator vehicle to operate on any mixture of 95 RON gasoline and E85 in the fuel tank. It also discusses how through detailed development, the vehicle has been made to comply with primary pollutant emissions legislation on any ethanol-gasoline mixture up to E85.
Technical Paper

The HOTFIRE Homogeneous GDI and Fully Variable Valve Train Project - An Initial Report

There is a great deal of interest in new technologies to assist in reducing the CO2 output of passenger vehicles, as part of the drive to meet the limits agreed by the EU and the European Automobile Manufacturer's Association ACEA, itself a result of the Kyoto Protocol. For the internal combustion engine, the most promising of these include gasoline direct injection, downsizing and fully variable valve trains. While new types of spray-guided gasoline direct injection (GDI) combustion systems are finally set to yield the level of fuel consumption improvement which was originally promised for the so-called ‘first generation’ wall- and air-guided types of GDI, injectors for spray-guided combustion systems are not yet in production to help justify the added complication and cost of the NOx trap necessary with a stratified combustion concept.
Technical Paper

Extending the Supply of Alcohol Fuels for Energy Security and Carbon Reduction

The paper critiques proposals for de-carbonizing transport and offers a potential solution which may be attained by the gradual evolution of the current fleet of predominantly low-cost vehicles via the development of carbon-neutral liquid fuels. The closed-carbon cycles which are possible using such fuels offer the prospect of maintaining current levels of mobility with affordable transport whilst neutralizing the threat posed by the high predicted growth of greenhouse gas emissions from this sector. Approaches to de-carbonizing transport include electrification and the adoption of molecular hydrogen as an energy carrier. These two solutions result in very expensive vehicles for personal transport which mostly lie idle for 95% of their life time and are purchased with high-cost capital.
Technical Paper

Alcohol-Based Fuels in High Performance Engines

The paper discusses the use of alcohol fuels in high performance pressure-charged engines such as are typical of the type being developed under the ‘downsizing’ banner. To illustrate this it reports modifications to a supercharged high-speed sports car engine to run on an ethanol-based fuel (ethanol containing 15% gasoline by volume, or ‘E85’). The ability for engines to be able to run on alcohol fuels may become very important in the future from both a global warming viewpoint and that of security of energy supply. Additionally, low-carbon-number alcohol fuels such as ethanol and methanol are attractive alternative fuels because, unlike gaseous fuels, they can be stored relatively easily and the amount of energy that can be contained in the vehicle fuel tank is relatively high (although still less than when using gasoline).
Technical Paper

Improving Fuel Economy in a Turbocharged DISI Engine Already Employing Integrated Exhaust Manifold Technology and Variable Valve Timing

Many new technologies are being developed to improve the fuel consumption of gasoline engines, including the combination of direct fuel injection with turbocharging in a so-called ‘downsizing’ approach. In such spark ignition engines operating on the Otto cycle, downsizing targets a shift in the operating map such that the engine is dethrottled to a greater extent during normal operation, thus reducing pumping losses and improving fuel consumption. However, even with direct injection, the need for turbine protection fuelling at high load in turbocharged engines - which is important for customer usage on faster European highways such as German Autobahns - brings a fuel consumption penalty over a naturally-aspirated engine in this mode of operation.