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Technical Paper

The Use of Fuel Chemistry and Property Variations to Evaluate the Robustness of Variable Compression Ratio as a Control Method for Gasoline HCCI

On a gasoline engine platform, homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) holds the promise of improved fuel economy and greatly reduced engine-out NOx emissions, without an increase in particulate matter emissions. In this investigation, a variable compression ratio (CR) engine equipped with a throttle and intake air heating was used to test the robustness of these control parameters to accommodate a series of fuels blended from reference gasoline, straight run refinery naphtha, and ethanol. Higher compression ratios allowed for operation with higher octane fuels, but operation could not be achieved with the reference gasoline, even at the highest compression ratio. Compression ratio and intake heat could be used separately or together to modulate combustion. A lambda of 2 provided optimum fuel efficiency, even though some throttling was necessary to achieve this condition. Ethanol did not appear to assist combustion, although only two ethanol-containing fuels were evaluated.
Journal Article

The Impact of Low Octane Hydrocarbon Blending Streams on the Knock Limit of “E85”

Ethanol is a very attractive fuel from an end-use perspective because it has a high chemical octane number and a high latent heat of vaporization. When an engine is optimized to take advantage of these fuel properties, both efficiency and power can be increased through higher compression ratio, direct fuel injection, higher levels of boost, and a reduced need for enrichment to mitigate knock or protect the engine and aftertreatment system from overheating. The ASTM D5798 specification for high level ethanol blends, commonly called “E85,” underwent a major revision in 2011. The minimum ethanol content was revised downward from 68 vol% to 51 vol%, which combined with the use of low octane blending streams such as natural gasoline introduces the possibility of a lower octane “E85” fuel.
Technical Paper

Partial Oxidation Products and other Hydrocarbon Species in Diesel HCCI Exhaust

A single cylinder engine was operated in HCCI mode with diesel-range fuels, spanning a range in cetane number (CN) from 34 to 62. In addition to measurements of standard gaseous emissions (CO, HC, and NOx), multiple sampling and analysis techniques were used to identify and measure the individual exhaust HC species including an array of oxygenated compounds. A new analytical method, using liquid chromatography (LC) with electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) in tandem with ultraviolet (UV) detection, was developed to analyze the longer chain aldehydes as well as carboxylic acids. Results showed an abundance of formic and butyric acid formation at or near the same concentration levels as formaldehyde and other aldehydes.
Journal Article

Mobile Source Air Toxics (MSATs) from High Efficiency Clean Combustion: Catalytic Exhaust Treatment Effects

High Efficiency Clean Combustion (HECC) strategies such as homogenous charge compression ignition (HCCI) and pre-mixed charge compression ignition (PCCI) offer much promise for the reduction of NOx and PM from diesel engines. While delivering low PM and low NOx, these combustion modes often produce much higher levels of CO and HC than conventional diesel combustion modes. In addition, partially oxygenated species such as formaldehyde (an MSAT) and other aldehydes increase with HECC modes. The higher levels of CO and HCs have the potential to compromise the performance of the catalytic aftertreatment, specifically at low load operating points. As HECC strategies become incorporated into vehicle calibrations, manufacturers need to avoid producing MSATs in higher quantities than found in conventional combustion modes. This paper describes research on two different HECC strategies, HCCI and PCCI.
Journal Article

Load Expansion of Stoichiometric HCCI Using Spark Assist and Hydraulic Valve Actuation

A spark-assist homogeneous charge compression ignition (SA-HCCI) operating strategy is presented here that allows for stoichiometric combustion from 1000-3000 rpm, and at loads as high as 750 kPa net IMEP. A single cylinder gasoline engine equipped with direct fuel injection and fully variable hydraulic valve actuation (HVA) is used for this experimental study. The HVA system enables negative valve overlap (NVO) valve timing for hot internal EGR. Spark-assist stabilizes combustion over a wide range of engine speeds and loads, and allows for stoichiometric operation at all conditions. Characteristics of both spark-ignited combustion and HCCI are present during the SA-HCCI operating mode, with combustion analysis showing a distinctive spark ignited phase of combustion, followed by a much more rapid HCCI combustion phase. At high load, the maximum cylinder pressure rise rate is controlled by a combination of spark timing and retarding the intake valve closing angle.
Journal Article

Exploring the Relationship Between Octane Sensitivity and Heat-of-Vaporization

The latent heat-of-vaporization (HoV) of blends of biofuel and hydrocarbon components into gasolines has recently experienced expanded interest because of the potential for increased HoV to increase fuel knock resistance in direct-injection (DI) engines. Several studies have been conducted, with some studies identifying an additional anti-knock benefit from HoV and others failing to arrive at the same conclusion. Consideration of these studies holistically shows that they can be grouped according to the level of fuel octane sensitivity variation within their fuel matrices. When comparing fuels of different octane sensitivity significant additional anti-knock benefits associated with HoV are sometimes observed. Studies that fix the octane sensitivity find that HoV does not produce additional anti-knock benefit. New studies were performed at ORNL and NREL to further investigate the relationship between HoV and octane sensitivity.
Technical Paper

Cetane Number and Engine Speed Effects on Diesel HCCI Performance and Emissions

The effects of cetane number (CN) on homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) performance and emissions were investigated in a single cylinder engine using intake air temperature for control. Blends of the diesel secondary reference fuels for cetane rating were used to obtain a CN range from 19 to 76. Sweeps of intake air temperature at a constant fueling were performed. Low CN fuels needed to be operated at higher intake temperatures than high CN fuels to achieve ignition. As the intake air temperature was reduced for a given fuel, the combustion phasing was retarded, and each fuel passed through a phasing point of maximum indicated mean effective pressure (IMEP). Early combustion phasing was required for the high CN fuels to prevent misfire, whereas the maximum IMEP for the lowest CN fuel occurred at a phasing 10 crank angle degrees (CAD) later.