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Technical Paper

System Efficiency Issues for Natural Gas Fueled HCCI Engines in Heavy-Duty Stationary Applications

Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) has been proposed for natural gas engines in heavy duty stationary power generation applications. A number of researchers have demonstrated, through simulation and experiment, the feasibility of obtaining high gross indicated thermal efficiencies and very low NOx emissions at reasonable load levels. With a goal of eventual commercialization of these engines, this paper sets forth some of the primary challenges in obtaining high brake thermal efficiency from production feasible engines. Experimental results, in conjunction with simulation and analysis, are used to compare HCCI operation with traditional lean burn spark ignition performance. Current HCCI technology is characterized by low power density, very dilute mixtures, and low combustion efficiency. The quantitative adverse effect of each of these traits is demonstrated with respect to the brake thermal efficiency that can be expected in real world applications.
Technical Paper

Plasma-Facilitated SCR of NOx in Heavy-Duty Diesel Exhaust

This paper describes two independent studies on γ-alumina as a plasma-activated catalyst. γ-alumina (2.5 - 4.3 wt%) was coated onto the surface of mesoporous silica to determine the importance of aluminum surface coordination on NOx conversion in conjunction with nonthermal plasma. Results indicate that the presence of 5- and 6- fold aluminum coordination sites in γ-alumina could be a significant factor in the NOx reduction process. A second study examined the effect of changing the reducing agent on NOx conversion. Several hydrocarbons were examined including propene, propane, isooctane, methanol, and acetaldehyde. It is demonstrated that methanol was the most effective reducing agent of those tested for a plasma-facilitated reaction over γ-alumina.
Technical Paper

Lean-NOx and Plasma Catalysis Over γ-Alumina for Heavy Duty Diesel Applications

The NOx reduction performance under lean conditions over γ-alumina was evaluated using a micro-reactor system and a non-thermal plasma-equipped bench test system. Various alumina samples were obtained from alumina manufacturers to assess commercial alumina materials. In addition, γ-alumina samples were synthesized at Caterpillar with a sol-gel technique in order to control alumina properties. The deNOx performances of the alumina samples were compared. The alumina samples were characterized with analytical techniques such as inductively coupled plasma (ICP) emission spectroscopy, temperature programmed desorption (TPD) and surface area measurements (BET) to understand physical and chemical properties. The information derived from these techniques was correlated with the NOx reduction performance to identify key parameters of γ-alumina for optimizing materials for lean-NOx and plasma assisted catalysis.
Technical Paper

Plasma-Enhanced Catalytic Reduction of NOx in Simulated Lean Exhaust

NOx reduction efficiency in simulated lean exhaust conditions has been examined for three proprietary catalyst materials using a non-thermal plasma discharge as a pretreatment stage to the catalyst. Using propene as the reducing agent for selective catalytic reduction, 74% reduction of NOx has been observed in the presence of 20 ppm SO2. For sulfur-free simulated exhaust, 84% NOx reduction has been obtained. Results show that the impact of sulfur on the samples examined can vary widely from virtually no effect (< 5%) to more than 20% loss in activity depending on the catalyst. Any loss due to sulfur poisoning appears to be irreversible according to limited measurements on poisoned catalysts exposed to sulfur-free exhaust streams. Catalysts were tested over a temperature range of 473-773K, with the highest activity observed at 773K. Examination of this large temperature window has shown that the optimum C1:NOx ratio changes with temperature.
Technical Paper

Operating a Heavy-Duty Direct-Injection Compression-Ignition Engine with Gasoline for Low Emissions

A study of partially premixed combustion (PPC) with non-oxygenated 91 pump octane number1 (PON) commercially available gasoline was performed using a heavy-duty (HD) compression-ignition (CI) 2.44 l Caterpillar 3401E single-cylinder oil test engine (SCOTE). The experimental conditions selected were a net indicated mean effective pressure (IMEP) of 11.5 bar, an engine speed of 1300 rev/min, an intake temperature of 40°C with intake and exhaust pressures of 200 and 207 kPa, respectively. The baseline case for all studies presented had 0% exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), used a dual injection strategy a -137 deg ATDC pilot SOI and a -6 deg ATDC main start-of-injection (SOI) timing with a 30/70% pilot/main fuel split for a total of 5.3 kg/h fueling (equating to approximately 50% load). Combustion and emissions characteristics were explored relative to the baseline case by sweeping main and pilot SOI timings, injection split fuel percentage, intake pressure, load and EGR levels.
Technical Paper

Determination of Diesel Injector Nozzle Characteristics Using Two-Color Optical Pyrometry

An investigation of several diesel injector nozzles that produced different engine emissions performance was performed. The nozzle styles used were two VCO type nozzles that were manufactured using two different techniques, and two mini-sac nozzles that provided comparison. Fired experiments were conducted on a Detroit Diesel Series 50 engine. Optical access was obtained by substituting a sapphire window for one exhaust valve. Under high speed, high load, retarded injection timing conditions, it was discovered that each nozzle produced different specific soot and NOx emissions. High-speed film images were obtained. It was discovered that the temperature and KL factor results from the 2-color optical pyrometry showed significant differences between the nozzles. The authors propose the possibility that differences in air entrainment, caused by potential differences in CD due to surface finish, may contribute to the variance in emissions performance.
Technical Paper

Compression Ratio Influence on Maximum Load of a Natural Gas Fueled HCCI Engine

This paper discusses the compression ratio influence on maximum load of a Natural Gas HCCI engine. A modified Volvo TD100 truck engine is controlled in a closed-loop fashion by enriching the Natural Gas mixture with Hydrogen. The first section of the paper illustrates and discusses the potential of using hydrogen enrichment of natural gas to control combustion timing. Cylinder pressure is used as the feedback and the 50 percent burn angle is the controlled parameter. Full-cycle simulation is compared to some of the experimental data and then used to enhance some of the experimental observations dealing with ignition timing, thermal boundary conditions, emissions and how they affect engine stability and performance. High load issues common to HCCI are discussed in light of the inherent performance and emissions tradeoff and the disappearance of feasible operating space at high engine loads.
Technical Paper

Using Pilot Diesel Injection in a Natural Gas Fueled HCCI Engine

Previous research has shown that the homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) combustion concept holds promise for reducing pollutants (i.e. NOx, soot) while maintaining high thermal efficiency. However, it can be difficult to control the operation of the HCCI engines even under steady state running conditions. Power density may also be limited if high inlet air temperatures are used for achieving ignition. A methodology using a small pilot quantity of diesel fuel injected during the compression stroke to improve the power density and operation control is considered in this paper. Multidimensional computations were carried out for an HCCI engine based on a CAT3401 engine. The computations show that the required initial temperature for ignition is reduced by about 70 K for the cases of the diesel pilot charge and a 25∼35% percent increase in power density was found for those cases without adversely impacting the NOx emissions.
Technical Paper

Multivariate Regression and Generalized Linear Model Optimization in Diesel Transient Performance Calibration

With stringent emission regulations, aftertreatment systems with a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) and a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) are required for diesel engines to meet PM and NOx emissions. The adoption of aftertreatment increases the back pressure on a typical diesel engine and makes engine calibration a complicated process, requiring thousands of steady state testing points to optimize engine performance. When configuring an engine to meet Tier IV final emission regulations in the USA or corresponding Stage IV emission regulations in Europe, this high back pressure dramatically impacts transient performance. The peak NOx, smoke and exhaust temperature during a diesel engine transient cycle, such as the Non-Road Transient Cycle (NRTC) defined by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), will in turn affect the performance of the aftertreatment system and the tailpipe emissions level.
Technical Paper

Computational Chemistry Consortium: Surrogate Fuel Mechanism Development, Pollutants Sub-Mechanisms and Components Library

The Computational Chemistry Consortium (C3) is dedicated to leading the advancement of combustion and emissions modeling. The C3 cluster combines the expertise of different groups involved in combustion research aiming to refine existing chemistry models and to develop more efficient tools for the generation of surrogate and multi-fuel mechanisms, and suitable mechanisms for CFD applications. In addition to the development of more accurate kinetic models for different components of interest in real fuel surrogates and for pollutants formation (NOx, PAH, soot), the core activity of C3 is to develop a tool capable of merging high-fidelity kinetics from different partners, resulting in a high-fidelity model for a specific application. A core mechanism forms the basis of a gasoline surrogate model containing larger components including n-heptane, iso-octane, n-dodecane, toluene and other larger hydrocarbons.
Technical Paper

Effects of Oxygen Enhancement on the Emissions from a DI Diesel via Manipulation of Fuels and Combustion Chamber Gas Composition

Oxygen enhancement in a direct injection (DI) diesel engine was studied to investigate the potential for particulate matter and NOx emissions control. The local oxygen concentration within the fuel plume was modified by oxygen enrichment of the intake air and by oxygenating the base fuel with 20% methyl t-butyl ether (MTBE). The study collected overall engine performance and engine-out emissions data as well as in-cylinder two-color measurements at 25% and 75% loads over a range of injection timings. The study found oxygen enhancement, whether it be from intake air enrichment or via oxygenated fuels, reduces particulate matter, the effectiveness depending on the local concentration of oxygen in the fuel plume. Since NOx emissions depend strongly on the temperature and oxygen concentration throughout the bulk cylinder gas, the global thermal and dilution effects from oxygen enrichment were greater than that from operation on oxygenated fuel.
Technical Paper

Modeling the Effect of Engine Speed on the Combustion Process and Emissions in a DI Diesel Engine

Previous studies have shown that air motion affects the combustion process and therefore also the emissions in a DI diesel engine. Experimental studies indicate that higher engine speeds enhance the turbulence and this improves air and fuel mixing. However, there are few studies that address fundamental combustion related factors and possible limitations associated with very high speed engine operation. In this study, operation over a large range of engine speeds was simulated by using a multi-dimensional computer code to study the effect of speed on emissions, engine power, engine and exhaust temperatures. The results indicate that at higher engine speeds fuel is consumed in a much shorter time period by the enhanced air and fuel mixing. The shorter combustion duration provides much less available time for soot and NOx formations. In addition, the enhanced air/fuel mixing decreases soot and NOx by reducing the extent of the fuel rich regions.
Technical Paper

Effect of Injector Nozzle Hole Size and Number on Spray Characteristics and the Performance of a Heavy Duty D.I. Diesel Engine

An engine emissions and performance study was conducted in conjunction with a series of experiments using a constant volume cold spray chamber. The purpose of the study was to explore the effects of number of holes and hole size on the emissions and performance of a direct injection heavy duty diesel engine. The spray experiments provide insight into the spray parameters and their role in the engine's combustion processes. The fuel system used for both the engine and spray chamber experiments was an electronically controlled, common rail injector. The injector nozzle hole size and number combinations used in the experiments included 225X8 (225 gm diameter holes with 8 holes in the nozzle), 260X6, 260X8, and 30OX6. The engine tests were conducted on an instrumented single cylinder version of the Caterpillar 3400 series heavy duty diesel engine. Data were taken with the engine running at 1600 RPM, 75% load.
Technical Paper

Modeling of NOx Emissions with Comparison to Exhaust Measurements for a Gas Fuel Converted Heavy-Duty Diesel Engine

In previous work the KIVA-II code has been modified to model modem DI diesel engines and their emissions of particulate soot and oxides of nitrogen (NOx). This work presents results from a program to further validate the NOx emissions models against engine experiments with a well characterized modern engine. To facilitate a simplified comparison with experiments, a single cylinder research version of the Caterpillar 3406 heavy duty DI diesel engine was retrofitted to run as a naturally-aspirated, propane-fueled, spark-ignited engine. The retrofit includes installing a low compression ratio piston with bowl, adding a gas mixer, replacing the fuel injector assembly with a spark plug assembly and adding spark and fuel stoichiometry control hardware. Cylinder pressure and engine-out NOx emissions were measured for a range of speeds, exhaust gas residual (EGR) fractions, and spark timing settings.
Technical Paper

Cycle to Cycle Variation Study in a Dual Fuel Operated Engine

The standard capability of engine experimental studies is that ensemble averaged quantities like in-cylinder pressure from multiple cycles and emissions are reported and the cycle to cycle variation (CCV) of indicated mean effective pressure (IMEP) is captured from many consecutive combustion cycles for each test condition. However, obtaining 3D spatial distribution of all the relevant quantities such as fuel-air mixing, temperature, turbulence levels and emissions from such experiments is a challenging task. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations of engine flow and combustion can be used effectively to visualize such 3D spatial distributions. A dual fuel engine is considered in the current study, with manifold injected natural gas (NG) and direct injected diesel pilot for ignition.
Journal Article

Heavy-Duty RCCI Operation Using Natural Gas and Diesel

Many recent studies have shown that the Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition (RCCI) combustion strategy can achieve high efficiency with low emissions. However, it has also been revealed that RCCI combustion is difficult at high loads due to its premixed nature. To operate at moderate to high loads with gasoline/diesel dual fuel, high amounts of EGR or an ultra low compression ratio have shown to be required. Considering that both of these approaches inherently lower thermodynamic efficiency, in this study natural gas was utilized as a replacement for gasoline as the low-reactivity fuel. Due to the lower reactivity (i.e., higher octane number) of natural gas compared to gasoline, it was hypothesized to be a better fuel for RCCI combustion, in which a large reactivity gradient between the two fuels is beneficial in controlling the maximum pressure rise rate.
Journal Article

Impact of Biodiesel Impurities on the Performance and Durability of DOC, DPF and SCR Technologies

It is estimated that operating continuously on a B20 fuel containing the current allowable ASTM specification limits for metal impurities in biodiesel could result in a doubling of ash exposure relative to lube-oil-derived ash. The purpose of this study was to determine if a fuel containing metals at the ASTM limits could cause adverse impacts on the performance and durability of diesel emission control systems. An accelerated durability test method was developed to determine the potential impact of these biodiesel impurities. The test program included engine testing with multiple DPF substrate types as well as DOC and SCR catalysts. The results showed no significant degradation in the thermo-mechanical properties of cordierite, aluminum titanate, or silicon carbide DPFs after exposure to 150,000 mile equivalent biodiesel ash and thermal aging. However, exposure of a cordierite DPF to 435,000 mile equivalent aging resulted in a 69% decrease in the thermal shock resistance parameter.
Journal Article

Development and Implementation of a Mapless, Model Based SCR Control System

Various engine platforms employ Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology to reduce the tail pipe emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) from diesel engines as part of an overall strategy to comply with the emission regulations in place in various countries. High levels of NOx conversion (greater than 98%) in SCR aftertreatment may provide operating margin to increase overall fuel efficiency. However, to realize the potential fuel efficiency gains, the SCR technology employed should achieve high NOx conversion with limited reductant slip over transient application cycles in addition to steady state operation. A new approach to SCR controls was developed and implemented. This approach does not rely on any maps to determine the amount of urea solution to be dosed, thus significantly reducing calibration and development time and effort when implementing the SCR technology on multiple engine platforms and applications.
Technical Paper

Investigating Limitations of a Two-Zone NOx Model Applied to DI Diesel Combustion Using 3-D Modeling

A two-zone NOx model intended for 1-D engine simulations was developed and used to model NOx emissions from a 2.5 L single-cylinder engine. The intent of the present work is to understand key aspects of a simple NOx model that are needed for predictive accuracy, including NOx formation and destruction phenomena in a DI Diesel combustion system. The presented two-zone model is fundamentally based on the heat release rate and thermodynamic incylinder data, and uses the Extended Zeldovich mechanism to model NO. Results show that the model responded very well to changes in speed, load, injection timing, and EGR level. It matched measured tail pipe NOx levels within 20%, using a single tuning setup. When the model was applied to varied injection rate shapes, it showed correct sensitivity to speed, load, injection timing, and EGR level, but the absolute level was well outside the target accuracy. The same limitation was seen when applying the Plee NOx model.
Technical Paper

Application of High Performance Computing for Simulating Cycle-to-Cycle Variation in Dual-Fuel Combustion Engines

Interest in operational cost reduction is driving engine manufacturers to consider low-cost fuel substitution in heavy-duty diesel engines. These dual-fuel (DF) engines could be operated either in diesel-only mode or operated with premixed natural gas (NG) ignited by a pilot flame of compression-ignited direct-injected diesel fuel. Under certain conditions, dual-fuel operation can result in increased cycle-to-cycle variability (CCV) during combustion. CFD can greatly help in understanding and identifying critical parameters influencing CCV. Innovative modelling techniques and large computing resources are needed to investigate the factors affecting CCV in dual-fuel engines. This paper discusses the use of the High Performance Computing resource Titan, at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, to investigate CCV of a dual-fuel engine.