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Technical Paper

Transmission Electron Microscopy of Soot Particles sampled directly from a Biodiesel Spray Flame

For better understanding of soot formation and oxidation processes in a biodiesel spray flame, the morphology, microstructure and sizes of soot particles directly sampled in a spray flame fuelled with soy-methyl ester were investigated using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The soot samples were taken at different axial locations in the spray flame, 40, 50 and 70 mm from injector nozzle, which correspond to soot formation, peak, and oxidation zones, respectively. The biodiesel spray flame was generated in a constant-volume combustion chamber under a diesel-like high pressure and temperature condition (6.7 MPa, 1000K). Density, diameter of primary particles and radius of gyration of soot aggregates reached a peak at 50 mm from the injector nozzle and was lower or smaller in the formation or oxidation zones of the spray.
Journal Article

Diesel Spray Ignition Detection and Spatial/Temporal Correction

Methods for detection of the spatial position and timing of diesel ignition with improved accuracy are demonstrated in an optically accessible constant-volume chamber at engine-like pressure and temperature conditions. High-speed pressure measurement using multiple transducers, followed by triangulation correction for the speed of the pressure wave, permits identification of the autoignition spatial location and timing. Simultaneously, high-speed Schlieren and broadband chemiluminescence imaging provides validation of the pressure-based triangulation technique. The combined optical imaging and corrected pressure measurement techniques offer improved understanding of diesel ignition phenomenon. Schlieren imaging shows the onset of low-temperature (first-stage) heat release prior to high-temperature (second-stage) ignition. High-temperature ignition is marked by more rapid pressure rise and broadband chemiluminescence.
Journal Article

Soot Volume Fraction and Morphology of Conventional, Fischer-Tropsch, Coal-Derived, and Surrogate Fuel at Diesel Conditions

Future fuels will come from a variety of feed stocks and refinement processes. Understanding the fundamentals of combustion and pollutants formation of these fuels will help clear hurdles in developing flex-fuel combustors. To this end, we investigated the combustion, soot formation, and soot oxidation processes for various classes of fuels, each with distinct physical properties and molecular structures. The fuels considered include: conventional No. 2 diesel (D2), low-aromatics jet fuel (JC), world-average jet fuel (JW), Fischer-Tropsch synthetic fuel (JS), coal-derived fuel (JP), and a two-component surrogate fuel (SR). Fuel sprays were injected into high-temperature, high-pressure ambient conditions that were representative of a practical diesel engine. Simultaneous laser extinction measurement and planar laser-induced incandescence imaging were performed to derive the in-situ soot volume fraction.
Journal Article

Effect of Fuel Volatility and Ignition Quality on Combustion and Soot Formation at Fixed Premixing Conditions

This paper presents experimental results for two fuel-related topics in a diesel engine: (1) how fuel volatility affects the premixed burn and heat release rate, and (2) how ignition quality influences the soot formation. Fast evaporation of fuel may lead to more intense heat release if a higher percentage of the fuel is mixed with air to form a combustible mixture. However, if the evaporation of fuel is driven by mixing with high-temperature gases from the ambient, a high-volatility fuel will require less oxygen entrainment and mixing for complete vaporization and, consequently, may not have potential for significant heat release simply because it has vaporized. Fuel cetane number changes also cause uncertainty regarding soot formation because variable ignition delay will change levels of fuel-air mixing prior to combustion.
Technical Paper

End-of-Injection Over-Mixing and Unburned Hydrocarbon Emissions in Low-Temperature-Combustion Diesel Engines

Although low-temperature combustion (LTC) strategies for compression-ignition engines can achieve very low emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) at high efficiency, they typically have increased emissions of other pollutants, including unburned hydrocarbons (UHC). In the current study, the equivalence ratio of mixtures near the injector are quantified under non-combusting conditions by planar laser-Rayleigh scattering (PLRS) in a constant-volume combustion chamber and by planar laser-induced fluorescence (PLIF) of a fuel tracer (toluene) in a single-cylinder direct-injection heavy-duty diesel engine at typical LTC conditions. The optical diagnostic images show that the transient ramp-down at the end of fuel injection produces a low-momentum, fuel-lean mixture in the upstream region of the jet, which persists late in the cycle.
Journal Article

Fundamental Spray and Combustion Measurements of JP-8 at Diesel Conditions

For logistical reasons, the military requires that jet fuel (JP-8, F-34) be used in both jet engines and diesel engines. While JP-8-fueled diesel engines appear to operate successfully in many cases, negative impacts, including engine failures, are occasionally reported. As diesel combustion with JP-8 has not been explored in great detail, fundamental information about JP-8 fuel spray combustion is needed. In this study, we report measurements of liquid-phase penetration length, vapor penetration, and ignition delay made in an optically-accessible combustion vessel over a range of high-temperature, high-pressure operating conditions applicable to a diesel engine. Results show that the liquid-phase penetration of JP-8 is less than that of diesel, owing to the lower boiling point temperatures of JP-8. Despite the more rapid vaporization, the vapor penetration rate of JP-8 matches that of diesel and ignition does not advance.
Technical Paper

Jet-Wall Interaction Effects on Diesel Combustion and Soot Formation

The effects of wall interaction on combustion and soot formation processes of a diesel fuel jet were investigated in an optically-accessible constant-volume combustion vessel at experimental conditions typical of a diesel engine. At identical ambient and injector conditions, soot processes were studied in free jets, plane wall jets, and “confined” wall jets (a box-shaped geometry simulating secondary interaction with adjacent walls and jets in an engine). The investigation showed that soot levels are significantly lower in a plane wall jet compared to a free jet. At some operating conditions, sooting free jets become soot-free as plane wall jets. Possible mechanisms to explain the reduced or delayed soot formation upon wall interaction include an increased fuel-air mixing rate and a wall-jet-cooling effect. However, in a confined-jet configuration, there is an opposite trend in soot formation.
Journal Article

Automated Detection of Primary Particles from Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) Images of Soot Aggregates in Diesel Engine Environments

The major challenge of the post-processing of soot aggregates in transmission electron microscope (TEM) images is the detection of soot primary particles that have no clear boundaries, vary in size within the fractal aggregates, and often overlap with each other. In this study, we propose an automated detection code for primary particles implementing the Canny Edge Detection (CED) and Circular Hough Transform (CHT) on pre-processed TEM images for particle edge enhancement using unsharp filtering as well as image inversion and self-subtraction. The particle detection code is tested for soot TEM images obtained at various ambient and injection conditions, and from five different combustion facilities including three constant-volume combustion chambers and two diesel engines.
Technical Paper

Assessment of the Ignition and Lift-off Characteristics of a Diesel Spray with a Transient Spreading Angle

Multi-hole diesel fuel injectors have shown significant transients in spreading angle during injections, different than past fundamental research using single-hole injectors. We investigated the effect of a this transient spreading angle on combustion parameters such as ignition delay and lift-off length by comparing a three-hole nozzle (Spray B) and single-hole nozzle (Spray A) with holes of the same size and shape as targets for the Engine Combustion Network (ECN). With the temperature distribution for a target plume of Spray B characterized extensively in a constant-volume combustion chamber, the ignition delay and lift-off length were measured and compared. Results show that the lift-off length of Spray B increases and grows by approximately 1.5 mm after the initial stages of ignition, in an opposite trend compared to Spray A where the lift-off length decreases with time.
Journal Article

Relationship Between Diesel Fuel Spray Vapor Penetration/Dispersion and Local Fuel Mixture Fraction

The fuel-ambient mixture in vaporized fuel jets produced by liquid sprays is fundamental to the performance and operation of engines. Unfortunately, experimental difficulties limit the direct measurement of local fuel-ambient mixture, inhibiting quantitative assessment of mixing. On the other hand, measurement of global quantities, such as the jet penetration rate, is relatively straightforward. Simplified models to predict local fuel-ambient mixture have also been developed, based on these global parameters. However, experimental data to validate these models over a range of conditions is needed. In the current work, we perform measurements of jet global quantities such as vapor-phase penetration, liquid-phase penetration, spreading angle, and nozzle flow coefficients over a range of conditions in a high-temperature, high-pressure vessel.
Technical Paper

Combined Experimental/Numerical Study of the Soot Formation Process in a Gasoline Direct-Injection Spray in the Presence of Laser-Induced Plasma Ignition

Combustion issued from an eight-hole, direct-injection spray was experimentally studied in a constant-volume pre-burn combustion vessel using simultaneous high-speed diffused back-illumination extinction imaging (DBIEI) and OH* chemiluminescence. DBIEI has been employed to observe the liquid-phase of the spray and to quantitatively investigate the soot formation and oxidation taking place during combustion. The fuel-air mixture was ignited with a plasma induced by a single-shot Nd:YAG laser, permitting precise control of the ignition location in space and time. OH* chemiluminescence was used to track the high-temperature ignition and flame. The study showed that increasing the delay between the end of injection and ignition drastically reduces soot formation without necessarily compromising combustion efficiency. For long delays between the end of injection and ignition (1.9 ms) soot formation was eliminated in the main downstream charge of the fuel spray.
Technical Paper

Transient Internal Nozzle Flow in Transparent Multi-Hole Diesel Injector

An accurate prediction of internal nozzle flow in fuel injector offers the potential to improve predictions of spray computational fluid dynamics (CFD) in an engine, providing a coupled internal-external calculation or by defining better rate of injection (ROI) profile and spray angle information for Lagrangian parcel computations. Previous research has addressed experiments and computations in transparent nozzles, but less is known about realistic multi-hole diesel injectors compared to single axial-hole fuel injectors. In this study, the transient injector opening and closing is characterized using a transparent multi-hole diesel injector, and compared to that of a single axial hole nozzle (ECN Spray D shape). A real-size five-hole acrylic transparent nozzle was mounted in a high-pressure, constant-flow chamber. Internal nozzle phenomena such as cavitation and gas exchange were visualized by high-speed long-distance microscopy.
Technical Paper

Identifying the Driving Processes of Diesel Spray Injection through Mixture Fraction and Velocity Field Measurements at ECN Spray A

Diesel spray mixture formation is investigated at target conditions using multiple diagnostics and laboratories. High-speed Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) is used to measure the velocity field inside and outside the jet simultaneously with a new frame straddling synchronization scheme. The PIV measurements are carried out in the Engine Combustion Network Spray A target conditions, enabling direct comparisons with mixture fraction measurements previously performed in the same conditions, and forming a unique database at diesel conditions. A 1D spray model, based upon mass and momentum exchange between axial control volumes and near-Gaussian velocity and mixture fraction profiles is evaluated against the data.
Technical Paper

Numerical Investigation of Near Nozzle Flash-Boiling Spray in an Axial-Hole Transparent Nozzle

Understanding and prediction of flash-boiling spray behavior in gasoline direct-injection (GDI) engines remains a challenge. In this study, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations using the homogeneous relaxation model (HRM) for not only internal nozzle flow but also external spray were evaluated using CONVERGE software and compared to experimental data. High-speed extinction imaging experiments were carried out in a real-size axial-hole transparent nozzle installed at the tip of machined GDI injector fueled with n-pentane under various ambient pressure conditions (Pa/Ps = 0.07 - 1.39). The width of the spray during injection was assessed by means of projected liquid volume, but the structure and timing for boil-off of liquid within the sac of the injector were also assessed after the end of injection, including cases with different designed sac volumes.