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Technical Paper

What Fuel Economy Improvement Technologies Could Aid the Competitiveness of Light-Duty Natural Gas Vehicles?

The question of whether increasing the fuel economy of light-duty natural gas fueled vehicles can improve their economic competitiveness in the U.S. market, and help the US Department of Energy meet stated goals for such vehicles is explored. Key trade-offs concerning costs, exhaust emissions and other issues are presented for a number of possible advanced engine designs. Projections of fuel economy improvements for a wide range of lean-burn engine technologies have been developed. It appears that compression ignition technologies can give the best potential fuel economy, but are less competitive for light-duty vehicles due to high engine cost. Lean-burn spark ignition technologies are more applicable to light-duty vehicles due to lower overall cost. Meeting Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle standards with efficient lean-burn natural gas engines is a key challenge.
Journal Article

Vehicle Efficiency and Tractive Work: Rate of Change for the Past Decade and Accelerated Progress Required for U.S. Fuel Economy and CO2 Regulations

A major driving force for change in light-duty vehicle design and technology is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) joint final rules concerning Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for model years 2017 (MY17) through 2025 (MY25) passenger cars and light trucks. The chief goal of this current study is to compare the already rapid pace of fuel economy improvement and technological change over the previous decade to the required rate of change to meet regulations over the next decade. EPA and NHTSA comparisons of the model year 2005 (MY05) US light-duty vehicle fleet to the model year 2015 (MY15) fleet shows improved fuel economy (FE) of approximately 26% using the same FE estimating method mandated for CAFE regulations. Future predictions by EPA and NHTSA concerning ensemble fleet fuel economy are examined as an indicator of required vehicle rate-of-change.
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.
Technical Paper

The Relationships of Diesel Fuel Properties, Chemistry, and HCCI Engine Performance as Determined by Principal Components Analysis

In order to meet common fuel specifications such as cetane number and volatility, a refinery must blend a number of refinery stocks derived from various process units in the refinery. Fuel chemistry can be significantly altered in meeting fuel specifications. Additionally, fuel specifications are seldom changed in isolation, and the drive to meet one specification may alter other specifications. Homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) engines depend on the kinetic behavior of a fuel to achieve reliable ignition and are expected to be more dependent on fuel specifications and chemistry than today's conventional engines. Regression analysis can help in determining the underlying relationships between fuel specifications, chemistry, and engine performance. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) is used as an adjunct to regression analysis in this work, because of its ability to deal with co-linear variables and potential to uncover ‘hidden’ relationships between the variables.
Journal Article

Simulations of the Fuel Economy and Emissions of Hybrid Transit Buses over Planned Local Routes

We present simulated fuel economy and emissions of city transit buses powered by conventional diesel engines and diesel-hybrid electric powertrains of varying size. Six representative city drive cycles were included in the study. In addition, we included previously published aftertreatment device models for control of CO, HC, NOx, and particulate matter (PM) emissions. Our results reveal that bus hybridization can significantly enhance fuel economy by reducing engine idling time, reducing demands for accessory loads, exploiting regenerative braking, and shifting engine operation to speeds and loads with higher fuel efficiency. Increased hybridization also tends to monotonically reduce engine-out emissions, but tailpipe (post-aftertreatment) emissions are affected by complex interactions between engine load and the transient catalyst temperatures, and the emissions results were found to depend significantly on motor size and details of each drive cycle.
Journal Article

Simulated Fuel Economy and Emissions Performance during City and Interstate Driving for a Heavy-Duty Hybrid Truck

We compare the simulated fuel economy and emissions for both conventional and hybrid class 8 heavy-duty diesel trucks operating over multiple urban and highway driving cycles. Both light and heavy freight loads were considered, and all simulations included full aftertreatment for NOx and particulate emissions controls. The aftertreatment components included a diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC), urea-selective catalytic NOx reduction (SCR), and a catalyzed diesel particulate filter (DPF). Our simulated hybrid powertrain was configured with a pre-transmission parallel drive, with a single electric motor between the clutch and gearbox. A conventional heavy duty (HD) truck with equivalent diesel engine and aftertreatment was also simulated for comparison. Our results indicate that hybridization can significantly increase HD fuel economy and improve emissions control in city driving. However, there is less potential benefit for HD hybrid vehicles during highway driving.
Technical Paper

Selective Catalytic Reduction of Oxides of Nitrogen with Ethanol/Gasoline Blends over a Silver/Alumina Catalyst in Lean Gasoline Engine Exhaust

Ethanol is a very effective reductant for nitrogen oxides (NOX) over silver/alumina (Ag/Al2O3) catalysts in lean exhaust environments. With the widespread availability of ethanol/gasoline-blended fuel in the U.S., lean gasoline engines equipped with Ag/Al2O3 catalysts have the potential to deliver higher fuel economy than stoichiometric gasoline engines and to increase biofuel utilization while meeting exhaust emissions regulations. In this work a pre-commercial 2 wt% Ag/Al2O3 catalyst was evaluated on a 2.0-liter BMW lean burn gasoline direct injection engine for the selective catalytic reduction (SCR) of NOX with ethanol/gasoline blends. The ethanol/gasoline blends were delivered via in-pipe injection upstream of the Ag/Al2O3 catalyst with the engine operating under lean conditions. A number of engine conditions were chosen to provide a range of temperatures and space velocities for evaluation of catalyst performance.
Technical Paper

SI Engine Trends: A Historical Analysis with Future Projections

It is well known that spark ignited engine performance and efficiency is closely coupled to fuel octane number. The present work combines historical and recent trends in spark ignition engines to build a database of engine design, performance, and fuel octane requirements over the past 80 years. The database consists of engine compression ratio, required fuel octane number, peak mean effective pressure, specific output, and combined unadjusted fuel economy for passenger vehicles and light trucks. Recent trends in engine performance, efficiency, and fuel octane number requirement were used to develop correlations of fuel octane number utilization, performance, specific output. The results show that historically, engine compression ratio and specific output have been strongly coupled to fuel octane number.
Technical Paper

Residual Stress Distribution in a Hydroformed Advanced High Strength Steel Component: Neutron Diffraction Measurements and Finite Element Simulations

Today’s automotive industry is witnessing increasing applications of advanced high strength steels (AHSS) combined with innovative manufacturing techniques to satisfy fuel economy requirements of stringent environmental regulations. The integration of AHSS in novel automotive structure design has introduced huge advantages in mass reduction while maintaining their structural performances, yet several concerns have been raised for this relatively new family of steels. One of those concerns is their potentially high springback after forming, which can lead to geometrical deviation of the final product from its designed geometry and cause difficulties during assembly. From the perspective of accurate prediction, control and compensation of springback, further understanding on the effect of residual stress in AHSS parts is urged. In this work, the residual stress distribution in a 980GEN3 steel part after hydroforming is investigated via experimental and numerical approaches.
Technical Paper

Reasons for changes in MPG Estimates, Model Year 1978 to the Present

In model year 1983, new car MPG declined for the first time in ten years. Accompanying this decline in MPG, the size of the average car increased, car weights and engine sizes increased and diesel sales declined - all reversing their movements over the previous ten years. Using carline MPG estimates and sales figures, it is estimated that new car MPG declined 0.29 in 1983 after rising 6.70 MPG over the previous four years. Furthermore, it is estimated that actions by new car buyers would have lowered the 1983 MPG 0.40 MPG through the purchase of larger cars, cars with larger engines and fewer diesel engines if the manufacturers had not made some fuel economy improvements and introduced some new high-MPG cars. A simple model of future fuel use increases as a function of MPG levels below a specified level consistent with the CAFE standards shows that the costs of lower fuel economy will only gradually be felt, but that these costs will increase over time and persist for over a decade.
Journal Article

Predicting Light-Duty Vehicle Fuel Economy as a Function of Highway Speed

The website provides information such as “window label” fuel economy for city, highway, and combined driving for all U.S.-legal light-duty vehicles from 1984 to present. The site is jointly maintained by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and also offers a considerable amount of consumer information and advice pertaining to vehicle fuel economy and energy-related issues. Included with advice pertaining to driving styles and habits is information concerning the trend that as highway cruising speed is increased, fuel economy will degrade. An effort was undertaken to quantify this “conventional wisdom” through analysis of dynamometer testing results for 74 vehicles at steady-state speeds from 50 to 80 mph. Using this experimental data, several simple models were developed to predict individual vehicle fuel economy and its rate of change over the 50-80 mph speed range interval.
Journal Article

Predicting Individual Fuel Economy

To make informed decisions about travel and vehicle purchase, consumers need unbiased and accurate information of the fuel economy they will actually obtain. In the past, the EPA fuel economy estimates based on its 1984 rules have been widely criticized for overestimating on-road fuel economy. In 2008, EPA adopted a new estimation rule. This study compares the usefulness of the EPA's 1984 and 2008 estimates based on their prediction bias and accuracy and attempts to improve the prediction of on-road fuel economies based on consumer and vehicle attributes. We examine the usefulness of the EPA fuel economy estimates using a large sample of self-reported on-road fuel economy data and develop an Individualized Model for more accurately predicting an individual driver's on-road fuel economy based on easily determined vehicle and driver attributes. Accuracy rather than bias appears to have limited the usefulness of the EPA 1984 estimates in predicting on-road MPG.
Technical Paper

Performance of a NOX Adsorber and Catalyzed Particle Filter System on a Light-Duty Diesel Vehicle

A prototype emissions control system consisting of a close-coupled lightoff catalyst, catalyzed diesel particle filter (CDPF), and a NOX adsorber was evaluated on a Mercedes A170 CDI. This laboratory experiment aimed to determine whether the benefits of these technologies could be utilized simultaneously to allow a light-duty diesel vehicle to achieve levels called out by U.S. Tier 2 emissions legislation. This research was carried out by driving the A170 through the U.S. Federal Test Procedure (FTP), US06, and highway fuel economy test (HFET) dynamometer driving schedules. The vehicle was fueled with a 3-ppm ultra-low sulfur fuel. Regeneration of the NOX adsorber/CDPF system was accomplished by using a laboratory in-pipe synthesis gas injection system to simulate the capabilities of advanced engine controls to produce suitable exhaust conditions. The results show that these technologies can be combined to provide high pollutant reduction efficiencies in excess of 90% for NOX and PM.
Technical Paper

Performance of Biodiesel Blends of Different FAME Distributions in HCCI Combustion

As the world market develops for biodiesel fuels, it is likely that a wider variety of biodiesels will become available, both locally and globally, and require engines to operate on a wider variety of fuels than experienced today. At the same time, tighter emissions regulations and a drive for improved fuel economy have focused interest on advanced combustion modes such as HCCI or PCCI, which are known to be more sensitive to fuel properties. This research covers two series of biodiesel fuels. In the first, B20 blends of natural methyl esters derived from palm, coconut, rape, soy, and mustard were evaluated at light load in an HCCI research engine to determine combustion and performance characteristics. These fuels showed performance differences between the biodiesels and the base #2 ULSD fuel, but did not allow separation of chemical effects due to the small number of fuels and correlation of various properties.
Technical Paper

Performance Evaluation and Optimization of Diesel Fuel Properties and Chemistry in an HCCI Engine

The nine CRC fuels for advanced combustion engines (FACE fuels) have been evaluated in a simple, premixed HCCI engine under varying conditions of fuel rate, air-fuel ratio, and intake temperature. Engine performance was found to vary mainly as a function of combustion phasing as affected by fuel cetane and engine control variables. The data was modeled using statistical techniques involving eigenvector representation of the fuel properties and engine control variables, to define engine response and allow optimization across the fuels for best fuel efficiency. In general, the independent manipulation of intake temperature and air-fuel ratio provided some opportunity for improving combustion efficiency of a specific fuel beyond the direct effect of targeting the optimum combustion phasing of the engine (near 5 CAD ATDC).
Journal Article

Novel Characterization of GDI Engine Exhaust for Gasoline and Mid-Level Gasoline-Alcohol Blends

Gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines can offer improved fuel economy and higher performance over their port fuel-injected (PFI) counterparts, and are now appearing in increasingly more U.S. and European vehicles. Small displacement, turbocharged GDI engines are replacing large displacement engines, particularly in light-duty trucks and sport utility vehicles, in order for manufacturers to meet more stringent fuel economy standards. GDI engines typically emit the most particulate matter (PM) during periods of rich operation such as start-up and acceleration, and emissions of air toxics are also more likely during this condition. A 2.0 L GDI engine was operated at lambda of 0.91 at typical loads for acceleration (2600 rpm, 8 bar BMEP) on three different fuels; an 87 anti-knock index (AKI) gasoline (E0), 30% ethanol blended with the 87 AKI fuel (E30), and 48% isobutanol blended with the 87 AKI fuel.
Journal Article

NMOG Emissions Characterizations and Estimation for Vehicles Using Ethanol-Blended Fuels

Ethanol is a biofuel commonly used in gasoline blends to displace petroleum consumption; its utilization is on the rise in the United States, spurred by the biofuel utilization mandates put in place by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the statutory responsibility to implement the EISA mandates through the promulgation of the Renewable Fuel Standard. EPA has historically mandated an emissions certification fuel specification that calls for ethanol-free fuel, except for the certification of flex-fuel vehicles. However, since the U.S. gasoline marketplace is now virtually saturated with E10, some organizations have suggested that inclusion of ethanol in emissions certification fuels would be appropriate.
Technical Paper

Low Cost Carbon Fiber for the Next Generation of Vehicles:Novel Technologies

Automobiles of the future will be forced to travel further on a tank of fuel while discharging lower levels of pollutants. Currently, the United States uses in excess of 18 million barrels of petroleum per day. Sixty-six percent is used in the transportation of people and goods. Highway vehicles currently account for just under two-thirds of the nation's gasoline consumption, and about one-third of the total United States energy usage [1] while contributing a significant amount to the annual U.S. air pollutant burden. In 1997, 57.5% of the carbon monoxide, 29.8% of the nitrogen oxides, 27.2% of the volatile organic compounds, and 23.8% of the carbon dioxide came from highway vehicles [2] The U.S. government has supported R&D pertinent to highway vehicles since the early 1960's, to mitigate these problems.
Technical Paper

Loading and Regeneration Analysis of a Diesel Particulate Filter with a Radio Frequency-Based Sensor

Accurate knowledge of diesel particulate filter (DPF) particulate matter (PM) loading is critical for robust and efficient operation of the combined engine-exhaust aftertreatment system. Furthermore, upcoming on-board diagnostics regulations require on-board technologies to evaluate the status of the DPF. This work describes the application of radio frequency (RF) - based sensing techniques to accurately measure DPF particulate matter levels. A 1.9L GM turbo diesel engine and a DPF with an RF-sensor were studied. Direct comparisons between the RF measurement and conventional pressure-based methods were made. Further analysis of the particulate matter loading rates was obtained with a mass-based total PM emission measurement instrument (TEOM) and DPF gravimetric measurements.
Journal Article

Lignin-Derived Carbon Fiber as a Co-Product of Refining Cellulosic Biomass

Lignin by-products from biorefineries has the potential to provide a low-cost alternative to petroleum-based precursors to manufacture carbon fiber, which can be combined with a binding matrix to produce a structural material with much greater specific strength and specific stiffness than conventional materials such as steel and aluminum. The market for carbon fiber is universally projected to grow exponentially to fill the needs of clean energy technologies such as wind turbines and to improve the fuel economies in vehicles through lightweighting. In addition to cellulosic biofuel production, lignin-based carbon fiber production coupled with biorefineries may provide $2,400 to $3,600 added value dry Mg−1 of biomass for vehicle applications. Compared to producing ethanol alone, the addition of lignin-derived carbon fiber could increase biorefinery gross revenue by 30% to 300%.