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Journal Article

Water Injection: a Technology to Improve Performance and Emissions of Downsized Turbocharged Spark Ignited Engines

Knock occurrence and fuel enrichment, which is required at high engine speed and load to limit the turbine inlet temperature, are the major obstacles to further increase performance and efficiency of down-sized turbocharged spark ignited engines. A technique that has the potential to overcome these restrictions is based on the injection of a precise amount of water within the mixture charge that can allow to achieve important benefits on knock mitigation, engine efficiency, gaseous and noise emissions. One of the main objectives of this investigation is to demonstrate that water injection (WI) could be a reliable solution to advance the spark timing and make the engine run at leaner mixture ratios with strong benefits on knock tendency and important improvement on fuel efficiency.
Journal Article

UV-visible Optical Characterization of the Early Combustion Stage in a DISI Engine Fuelled with Butanol-Gasoline Blend

Detailed experimental information on the early stages of spark ignition process represent a substantial part for guiding the development of engines with higher efficiencies and reduced pollutant emissions. Flame kernel formation influences strongly combustion development inside the cylinder, especially for a direct injection spark ignition engine. This study presents the analysis of the evolution of spark-ignited flame kernels with detailed view upon cycle-to-cycle variations. Experiments are performed in a SI optical engine equipped with the cylinder head and injection system of a commercial turbocharged engine. Blend of commercial gasoline and butanol (40% by volume) is tested at stoichiometric and lean mixture conditions. Experiments are carried out at 2000 rpm through conventional tests (based on in-cylinder pressure measurements and exhaust emission analysis) and through optical diagnostics. In particular, UV-visible digital imaging and natural emission spectroscopy are applied.
Technical Paper

UV-Visible Imaging and Natural Emission Spectroscopy of Premixed Combustion in High Swirl Multi-Jets Compression Ignition Engine Fuelled with Diesel-Gasoline Blend

One promising approach to reduce pollutants from compression ignition engines is the Partially-Premixed- Combustion in which engine out emissions can be reduced by promoting mixing of fuel and air prior to auto-ignition. A great interest for a premixed combustion regime is the investigation on fuels with different reactivity by blending diesel with lower cetane number and higher volatility fuels. In fact, fuels more resistant to auto-ignition give longer ignition delay that may enhance the fuel/air mixing prior to combustion. During the ignition delay period, the fuel spray atomizes into small droplets, vaporizes and mixes with air. As the piston moves towards TDC, as soon as the mixture temperature reaches the ignition point, instantaneously some pre-mixed amount of fuel and air ignites. The balance of fuel that does not burn in premixed combustion is consumed in the rate-controlled combustion phase, also known as diffusion combustion.
Technical Paper

The Full Cycle HD Diesel Engine Simulations Using KIVA-4 Code

With the advent of the KIVA-4 code which employs an unstructured mesh to represent the engine geometry, the gap in flexibility between commercial and research modeling software becomes more narrow. In this study, we tried to perform a full cycle simulation of a 4-stroke HD diesel engine represented by a highly boosted research IF (Isotta Fraschini) engine using the KIVA-4 code. The engine mesh including the combustion chamber, intake and exhaust valves and helical manifolds was constructed using optional O-Grids catching a complex geometry of the engine parts with the help of the ANSYS ICEM CFD software. The KIVA-4 mesh input was obtained by a homemade mesh converter which can read STAR-CD and CFX outputs. The simulations were performed on a full 360 deg mesh consisting of 300,000 unstructured hexahedral cells at BDC. The physical properties of the liquid fuel were taken corresponding to those of real diesel #2 oil.
Technical Paper

Spectroscopic Investigation of Post-Injection Strategy Impact on Fuel Vapor within the Exhaust Line of a Light Duty Diesel Engine Supplied with Diesel/Butanol and Gasoline Blends

In this paper, a high temporal resolution optical technique, based on the multi-wavelength UV-visible-near IR extinction spectroscopy, was applied at the exhaust of an automotive diesel engine to investigate the post-injection strategy impact on the fuel vapor. Experimental investigations were carried out using three fuels: commercial diesel (B5), a blend of 80% diesel with 20% by vol. of gasoline (G20) and a blend of 80% diesel with 20% by vol. of n-butanol (BU20). Experiments were performed at the engine speed of 2500rpm and 0.8MPa of brake mean effective pressure exploring two post-injection timings and two EGR rates. The optical diagnostic allowed evaluating, during the post-injection activation, the evolution of the fuel vapor in the engine exhaust line. The investigation was focused on the impact of post-injection strategy and fuel properties on the aptitude to produce hydrocarbon rich gaseous exhaust for the regeneration of diesel particulate trap (DPF).
Technical Paper

Plasma Assisted Ignition Effects on a DISI Engine Fueled with Gasoline and Butanol under Lean Conditions and with EGR

Considering the generalized diversification of the energy mix, the use of alcohols as gasoline replacement is proposed as a viable option. Also, alternative control strategies for spark ignition engines (SI) such as lean operation and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) are used on an ever wider scale for improving fuel economy and reducing the environmental impact of automotive engines. In order to increase the stability of these operating points, alternative ignition systems are currently investigated. Within this context, the present work deals about the use of plasma assisted ignition (PAI) in a direct injection (DI) SI engine under lean conditions and cooled EGR, with gasoline and n-butanol fueling. The PAI system was tested in an optically accessible single-cylinder DISI engine equipped with the head of a commercial turbocharged power unit with similar geometrical specifications (bore, stroke, compression ratio).
Technical Paper

Optical Properties Investigation of Alternative Fuels Containing Carbon-Based Nanostructures

Liquids with stable suspensions of nanoscale materials are defined as nanofluids. As reported in recent scientific literature, a very small amount of suspended nanostructures has the potential to enhance the thermo physical, transport and radiative properties of the base fluid. One of the main applications of this technology is in the field of combustion and fuels. In fact, adding nanomaterials (such as metals, oxides, carbides, nitrides, or carbon-based nanostructures) to liquid fuels is able to enhance ignition and combustion. The focus of this research is to gain a fundamental understanding of the characteristics of a nanofluid fuel prepared using carbon nanoparticles (CNPs) and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) dispersed in butanol. This study starts with the investigation of the optical properties of the mixtures. The transmission spectra of the nanofluids are measured in a wide wavelength range from UV (250 nm) to near IR (800 nm).
Technical Paper

Optical Investigation of the Effect on the Combustion Process of Butanol-Gasoline Blend in a PFI SI Boosted Engine

The addition of alcohol to conventional hydrocarbon fuels for a spark-ignition engine can increase the fuel octane rating and the power for a given engine displacement and compression ratio. In this work, the influence of butanol addition to gasoline was investigated. The experiments were performed in an optical ported fuel injection single-cylinder SI engine with an external boosting device. The engine was equipped with the head of a commercial SI turbocharged engine having the same geometrical specifications (bore, stroke and compression ratio). The effect of a blend of 20% of n-butanol and 80% of gasoline (BU20) on in-cylinder combustion process was investigated by cycle-resolved visualization. The engine worked at low speed, medium boosting and wide open throttle. Changes in spark timing and fuel injection phasing were considered. Comparisons between the flame luminosity and the combustion pressure data were performed.
Technical Paper

Optical Investigation of Premixed Low-Temperature Combustion of Lighter Fuel Blends in Compression Ignition Engines

Optical imaging and UV-visible detection of in-cylinder combustion phenomena were made in a single cylinder optically accessed high swirl multi-jets compression ignition engine operating with two different fuels and two EGR levels. A commercial diesel fuel and a lighter fuel blend of diesel (80%) and gasoline (20%), named G20, were tested for two injection pressures (70 and 140 MPa) and injection timings in the range 11 CAD BTDC to 5 CAD ATDC. The blend G20 has a lower cetane number, is more volatile and more resistant to the auto-ignition than diesel yielding an effect on the ignition delay and on the combustion performance. Instantaneous fuel injection rate, in-cylinder combustion pressure, NOx and smoke engine out emissions were measured. Taking into account the particular configuration of the engine, the efficiency was estimated by determining the area under the working engine cycle.
Technical Paper

Optical Investigation of Post-injection Strategy Impact on the Fuel Vapor within the Exhaust Line of a Light Duty Diesel Engine Supplied with Biodiesel Blends

Multi-wavelength ultraviolet-visible extinction spectroscopy was applied to follow the evolution of fuel vapor injected by post-injection along the exhaust line of a common-rail turbocharged direct-injection diesel engine at moderate speed and load. The exhaust line was specifically designed and customized to allow the insertion of the optical access upstream of the Diesel Oxidation Catalyst. During the experimental campaign, the engine was fuelled with commercial B5 fuel and a B30 v/v blend of RME and ultra low sulfur diesel, monitoring emissions upstream of the catalyst and exhaust gas temperature across the catalyst. Tests were performed at different engine operating conditions with particular attention to moderate speed and load.
Journal Article

Optical Diagnostics of the Pollutant Formation in a CI Engine Operating with Diesel Fuel Blends

To meet the future stringent emission standards, innovative diesel engine technology, exhaust gas after-treatment, and clean alternative fuels are required. Oxygenated fuels have showed a tendency to decrease internal combustion engine emissions. In the same time, advanced fuel injection modes can promote a further reduction of the pollutants at the exhaust without penalty for the combustion efficiency. One of the more interesting solutions is provided by the premixed low temperature combustion (LTC) mechanism jointly to lower-cetane, higher-volatility fuels. In this paper, to understand the role played by these factors on soot formation, cycle resolved visualization, UV-visible optical imaging and visible chemiluminescence were applied in an optically accessed high swirl multi-jets compression ignition engine. Combustion tests were carried out using three fuels: commercial diesel, a blend of 80% diesel with 20% gasoline (G20) and a blend of 80% diesel with 20% n-butanol (BU20).
Technical Paper

Multi-Wavelength Spectroscopic Investigations of the Post-Injection Strategy Effect on the Fuel Vapor within the Exhaust Line of a Light Duty Diesel Engine Fuelled with B5 and B30

Optical diagnostic was applied to undiluted engine exhaust to supply a low cost and real time evaluation of the oil dilution tendency of selected fuels. Specifically, UV-visible-near IR extinction spectroscopy was applied in the exhaust line of a Euro 5 turbocharged, water cooled, DI diesel engine, equipped with a common rail injection system. The engine was fuelled with commercial B5 fuel and a B30 v/v blend of RME and ultra low sulfur diesel. The proposed experimental methodology allowed to identify the contribution to the multi-wavelength extinction of soot, fuel vapor, hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxide. Further, the evolution of each species for different post-injection interval settings was followed. On-line optical results were correlated with off-line liquid fuel absorption values. Moreover, spectroscopic measurements were linked to in-cylinder pressure related data and with HC and smoke exhaust emissions.
Technical Paper

Investigation of the Effect of Boost Pressure and Exhaust Gas Recirculation Rate on Nitrogen Oxide and Particulate Matter Emissions in Diesel Engines

In recent years, due to the growing problem of environmental pollution and climate change internal combustion engine stroke volume size has been reduced. The use of down-sized engines provides benefit for reducing emissions and fuel consumption especially at the inner city driving conditions. However, when the engine demands additional power, utilizing a turbocharging system is required. This study is a joint work of Istituto Motori CNR with Automotive Laboratory of Mechanical Engineering Faculty of Istanbul Technical University (ITU) and the objective of this study was devoted to increase the understanding of various engine operating conditions on emissions, especially at low load. The trade-off between Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) and Particulate Matter (PM) emissions in a Diesel engine has been examined depending on turbocharging rates and the rate of Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) applied.
Technical Paper

Impact of Cooled EGR on Performance and Emissions of a Turbocharged Spark-Ignition Engine under Low-Full Load Conditions

The stringent worldwide exhaust emission legislations for CO2 and pollutants require significant efforts to increase both the combustion efficiency and the emission quality of internal combustion engines. With this aim, several solutions are continuously developed to improve the combustion efficiency of spark ignition engines. Among the various solutions, EGR represents a well-established technology to improve the gasoline engine performance and the nitrogen-oxides emissions. This work presents the results of an experimental investigation on the effects of the EGR technique on combustion evolution, knock tendency, performance and emissions of a small-size turbocharged PFI SI engine, equipped with an external cooled EGR system. Measurements are carried out at different engine speeds, on a wide range of loads and EGR levels. The standard engine calibration is applied at the reference test conditions.
Technical Paper

Flame Contour Analysis through UV-Visible Imaging during Regular and Abnormal Combustion in a DISI Engine

Crank angle resolved imaging in the UV-visible spectral range was used to investigate flame front characteristics during normal combustion, surface ignition and light knock conditions. ‘Line of sight’ measurements provided information on local wrinkling: the evaluation was based on a statistical approach, with multiple frames taken at the same crank angle during consecutive cycles. This allowed the results during normal combustion to be representative for the specific operational conditions and to a good degree independent from the effects of cyclic variation. Abnormal combustion on the other hand, was investigated on a cycle-to-cycle basis, given the stochastic nature of such phenomena. The experimental trials were performed at fixed engine speed on an optically accessible direct injection spark ignition (DISI) engine equipped with the cylinder head of a four cylinder 16-valves commercial power unit.
Technical Paper

Experimental and 1D Numerical investigations on the exhaust emissions of a small Spark Ignition engine considering the cylinder-by-cylinder variability

The stringent legislations on pollutant and CO2 emissions require relevant efforts to improve both the combustion efficiency and the exhaust emissions of internal combustion engines. In the case of spark ignition (SI) engines, various techniques have been tested and implemented in the last generation SI engine architectures. On the other hand, a reduced emphasis has been posed on the analysis of individual cylinder behavior, since a systematic sub-optimal operation may occur, due to cylinder-by-cylinder non-uniformities. The main purpose of this work is to accurately forecast the combustion and the exhaust emissions of a twin-cylinder turbocharged SI engine, taking into account the overall performance and individual cylinder-by-cylinder operation, with particular attention to volumetric efficiency, injected fuel quantity, and residuals content. To this aim, a dedicated experimental activity is performed on the engine under investigation.
Technical Paper

Experimental Investigation on the Combustion and Emissions of a Light Duty Diesel Engine Fuelled with Butanol-Diesel Blend

In the present paper, results of an experimental investigation carried out in a modern Diesel engine running at different operating conditions and fuelled with commercial diesel and n-butanol-diesel blend are reported. The investigation was focused on the management of injection strategy and combustion timing (CA50) exploring the effect of intake oxygen concentration and boost pressure on engine out emissions. The aim of the paper was to compare, with respect to commercial diesel, the effects of a fuel blend with a lower cetane number and higher volatility on performance and engine out emissions. Engine tests, with baseline diesel and a blend made by the baseline low sulphur diesel with 20% in volume of n-butanol (B20), were performed comparing engine out gaseous, smoke emissions and combustion efficiency. The investigation was performed on a turbocharged, water cooled, DI diesel engine, equipped with a common rail injection system.
Technical Paper

Effects of Premixed Low Temperature Combustion of Fuel Blends with High Resistance to Auto-ignition on Performances and Emissions in a High Speed Diesel Engine

This paper reports results of an experimental investigation to demonstrate the potential to employ blends of fuels having low cetane numbers that can provide high resistance to auto-ignition to reduce simultaneously NOx and smoke. Because of the higher resistance to auto-ignition, blends of diesel and gasoline at different volume fraction may provide more time for the mixture preparation by increasing the ignition delay. The result produces the potential to operate under partially premixed low temperature combustion with lower levels of EGR without excessive penalties on fuel efficiency. In addition to the diesel fuel, the tested blends were mixed by the baseline diesel with 20% and 40% of commercial EURO IV 98 octane gasoline by volume, denoted G20 and G40. The experimental activity has been performed on a turbocharged, water cooled, DI diesel engine, equipped with a common rail injection system.
Technical Paper

Effects of Low Temperature Premixed Combustion (LTPC) on Emissions of a Modern Diesel Engine for Passenger Cars

In this paper, a Low Temperature Premixed Combustion (LTPC) was investigated employing a four cylinder D.I. common rail Diesel engine, used for passenger cars on the European market. Experiments were carried out setting the engine speed at 2500 rpm with a fuel amount of 26 mg/str to realize an operating condition close to the point of NEDC at 0.8 MPa of BMEP. The experimental approach was the management of the start of injection, injection pressure and EGR rates as a method to control NOx and soot production. The investigation was first carried out testing engine performances and emissions as set from the commercial engine map. Afterward, engine tests were carried out exploring performances, gaseous and smoke emissions at late start of combustion [10 to 17.5 cad ATDC], injection pressures from 80 to 120 MPa and EGR rates up to 50%.
Journal Article

CFD Analysis of Combustion and Knock in an Optically Accessible GDI Engine

The occurrence of knock is the most limiting hindrance for modern Spark-Ignition (SI) engines. In order to understand its origin and move the operating condition as close as possible to onset of this potentially harmful phenomenon, a joint experimental and numerical investigation is the most recommended approach. A preliminary experimental activity was carried out at IM-CNR on a 0.4 liter GDI unit, equipped with a flat transparent piston. The analysis of flame front morphology allowed to correlate high levels of flame front wrinkling and negative curvature to knock prone operating conditions, such as increased spark timings or high levels of exhaust back-pressure. In this study a detailed CFD analysis is carried out for the same engine and operating point as the experiments. The aim of this activity is to deeper investigate the reasons behind the main outcomes of the experimental campaign.