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Technical Paper

Soybean and Coconut Biodiesel Fuel Effects on Combustion Characteristics in a Light-Duty Diesel Engine

This study investigated the effects of soybean- and coconut-derived biodiesel fuels on combustion characteristics in a 1.7-liter direct injection, common rail diesel engine. Five sets of fuels were studied: 2007 ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD), 5% and 20% volumetric blends of soybean biodiesel with ULSD (soybean B5 and B20), and 5% and 20% volumetric blends of coconut biodiesel with ULSD (coconut B5 and B20). In conventional diesel combustion mode, particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions were similar for all fuels studied except soybean B20. Soybean B20 produced the lowest PM but the highest NOx emissions. Compared with conventional diesel combustion mode, high efficiency clean combustion (HECC) mode, achieved by increased EGR and combustion phasing, significantly reduced both PM and NOx emissions for all fuels studied at the expense of higher hydrocarbon (HC) and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions and an increase in fuel consumption (less than 4%).
Technical Paper

Simultaneous Low Engine-Out NOx and Particulate Matter with Highly Diluted Diesel Combustion

This paper describes the simultaneous reduction of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) in a modern light-duty diesel engine under high exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) levels. Simultaneous reduction of NOx and PM emissions was observed under lean conditions at several low to moderate load conditions using two different approaches. The first approach utilizes a throttle to increase EGR rate beyond the maximum rate possible with sole use of the EGR valve for a particular engine condition. The second approach does not use a throttle, but rather uses a combination of EGR and manipulation of injection parameters. A significant reduction in particulate matter size and concentration was observed corresponding to the reduction in particulate mass. This PM reduction was accompanied by a significant shift in the heat release profile. In addition, there were significant cylinder-to-cylinder variations in particulate matter characteristics, gaseous emissions, and heat release.
Technical Paper

On the Nature of Cyclic Dispersion in Spark Assisted HCCI Combustion

We report experimental observations of cyclic combustion variability during the transition between propagating flame combustion and homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) in a single-cylinder, stoichiometrically fueled, spark-assisted gasoline engine. The level of internal EGR was controlled with variable valve actuation (VVA), and HCCI combustion was achieved at high levels of internal EGR using the VVA system. Spark-ignition was used for conventional combustion and was optionally available during HCCI. The transition region between purely propagating combustion and HCCI was mapped at multiple engine speeds and loads by incrementally adjusting the internal EGR level and capturing data for 2800 sequential cycles. These measurements revealed a complex sequence of high COV, cyclic combustion variations when operating between the propagating flame and HCCI limits.
Journal Article

Mixed-Source EGR for Enabling High Efficiency Clean Combustion Modes in a Light-Duty Diesel Engine

The source of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), and consequently composition and temperature, has a significant effect on advanced combustion modes including stability, efficiency, and emissions. The effects of high-pressure loop EGR (HPL EGR) and low-pressure loop EGR (LPL EGR) on achieving high efficiency clean combustion (HECC) modes in a light-duty diesel engine were characterized in this study. High dilution operation is complicated in real-world situations due to inadequate control of mixture temperature and the slow response of LPL EGR systems. Mixed-source EGR (combination of HPL EGR and LPL EGR) was investigated as a reasonable approach for controlling mixture temperature. The potential of mixed-source EGR has been explored using LPL EGR as a ‘base’ for dilution rather than as a sole source. HPL EGR provides the ‘trim’ for controlling mixture temperature and has the potential for enabling precise control of dilution targets.
Technical Paper

Identification of Potential Efficiency Opportunities in Internal Combustion Engines Using a Detailed Thermodynamic Analysis of Engine Simulation Results

Current political and environmental concerns are driving renewed efforts to develop techniques for improving the efficiency of internal combustion engines. A detailed thermodynamic analysis of an engine and its components from a 1st and 2nd Law perspective is necessary to characterize system losses and to identify efficiency opportunities. We have developed a method for performing this analysis using simulation results from commercially available engine-modeling software packages such as WAVE® from Ricardo, Inc., and GT-Power™ from Gamma Technologies, Inc. Results from the simulation are post-processed to compute thermodynamic properties such as internal energy, enthalpy, entropy, and availability (or exergy) which are required to perform energy and availability balances for the system. This analysis is performed for all major engine components (turbocharger, intercooler, EGR cooler, etc.) and for the engine as a whole as a function of crank angle over an entire engine cycle.
Technical Paper

Fuel Property Effects on Emissions from High Efficiency Clean Combustion in a Diesel Engine

High-efficiency clean combustion (HECC) modes provide simultaneous reductions in diesel particulate matter and nitrogen-oxides emissions while retaining efficiencies characteristic of normal diesel engines. Fuel parameters may have significant impacts on the ability to operate in HECC modes and on the emissions produced in HECC modes. In this study, 3 diesel-range fuels and 2 oxygenated blends are burned in both normal and HECC modes at 3 different engine conditions. The results show that fuel effects play an important role in the emissions of hydrocarbons, particulate matter, and carbon monoxide but do not significantly impact NOx emissions in HECC modes. HECC modes are achievable with 5% biodiesel blends in addition to petroleum-based and oil-sands derived fuels. Soot precursor and oxygenated compound concentrations in the exhaust were observed to generally increase with the sooting tendency of the fuel in HECC modes.
Technical Paper

Experimental Investigation of the Effects of Fuel Characteristics on High Efficiency Clean Combustion in a Light-Duty Diesel Engine

An experimental study was performed to understand fuel property effects on low temperature combustion (LTC) processes in a light-duty diesel engine. These types of combustion modes are often collectively referred to as high efficiency clean combustion (HECC). A statistically designed set of research fuels, the Fuels for Advanced Combustion Engines (FACE), were used for this study. Engine conditions of 1500rpm, 2.6bar BMEP was chosen for investigating fuel property effects on HECC operation in a GM 1.9-L common rail diesel engine. The FACE fuel matrix includes nine combinations of fuel properties including cetane number (30 to 55), aromatic content (20 to 45%), and 90% distillation temperature (270 to 340°C). HECC operation was achieved with high levels of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and adjusting injection parameters, such as higher fuel rail pressure and single injection event, which is also known as premixed charge compression ignition (PCCI) combustion.
Journal Article

Emission Characteristics of a Diesel Engine Operating with In-Cylinder Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Blending

Advanced combustion regimes such as homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) and premixed charge compression ignition (PCCI) offer benefits of reduced nitrogen oxides (NOX) and particulate matter (PM) emissions. However, these combustion strategies often generate higher carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrocarbon (HC) emissions. In addition, aldehydes and ketone emissions can increase in these modes. In this study, the engine-out emissions of a compression-ignition engine operating in a fuel reactivity-controlled PCCI combustion mode using in-cylinder blending of gasoline and diesel fuel have been characterized. The work was performed on a 1.9-liter, 4-cylinder diesel engine outfitted with a port fuel injection system to deliver gasoline to the engine. The engine was operated at 2300 rpm and 4.2 bar brake mean effective pressure (BMEP) with the ratio of gasoline-to-diesel fuel that gave the highest engine efficiency and lowest emissions.
Technical Paper

Effects of Ignition and Injection Perturbation under Lean and Dilute GDI Engine Operation

Turbocharged gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines are quickly becoming more prominent in light-duty automotive applications because of their potential improvements in efficiency and fuel economy. While EGR dilute and lean operation serve as potential pathways to further improve efficiencies and emissions in GDI engines, they also pose challenges for stable engine operation. Tests were performed on a single-cylinder research engine that is representative of current automotive-style GDI engines. Baseline cases were performed under steady-state operating conditions where combustion phasing and dilution were varied to determine the effects on indicated efficiency and combustion stability. Sensitivity studies were then carried out by introducing binary low-high perturbation of spark timing and injection duration on a cycle-by-cycle basis under EGR dilute and lean operation to determine dominant feedback mechanisms.
Journal Article

Effectiveness of Diesel Oxidation Catalyst in Reducing HC and CO Emissions from Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition

Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition (RCCI) has demonstrated diesel-like or better brake thermal efficiency with significant reductions in nitrogen oxide (NOX) and particulate matter (PM) emissions. Hydrocarbon (HC) and carbon monoxide (CO) emission levels, on the other hand, are higher and similar to those of port-fuel-injected (PFI) gasoline engines. The higher HC and CO emissions combined with the lower exhaust temperatures during RCCI operation present a challenge for current exhaust aftertreatment technologies. The reduction of HC and CO emissions in a lean environment is typically achieved with an oxidation catalyst. In this work, several diesel oxidation catalysts (DOC) with different precious metal loadings were evaluated for effectiveness to control HC and CO emissions from RCCI combustion in a light-duty multi-cylinder engine operating on gasoline and diesel fuels.
Journal Article

Combustion Studies with FACE Diesel Fuels: A Literature Review

The CRC Fuels for Advanced Combustion Engines (FACE) Working Group has provided a matrix of experimental diesel fuels for use in studies on the effects of three parameters, Cetane number (CN), aromatics content, and 90 vol% distillation temperature (T90), on combustion and emissions characteristics of advanced combustion strategies. Various types of fuel analyses and engine experiments were performed in well-known research institutes. This paper reviews a collection of research findings obtained with these nine fuels. An extensive collection of analyses were performed by members of the FACE working group on the FACE diesel fuels as a means of aiding in understanding the linkage between fuel properties and combustion and emissions performance. These analyses included non-traditional chemical techniques as well as established ASTM tests. In a few cases, both ASTM tests and advanced analyses agreed that some design variables differed from their target values when the fuels were produced.
Technical Paper

A Thermal Conductivity Approach for Measuring Hydrogen in Engine Exhaust

Thermal conductivity detection has long been used in gas chromatography to detect hydrogen and other diatomic gases in a gas sample. Thermal conductivity instruments that are not coupled to gas chromatographs are useful for detecting hydrogen in binary gas mixtures, but suffer from significant cross-interference from other gas species that are separated when the detector is used with a gas chromatograph. This study reports a method for using a commercially-available thermal conductivity instrument to detect and quantify hydrogen in a diesel exhaust stream. The instrument time response of approximately 40 seconds is sufficient for steady-state applications. Cross-interference from relevant gas species are quantified and discussed. Measurement uncertainty associated with the corrections for the various species is estimated and practical implications for use of the instrument and method are discussed.
Technical Paper

A Hybrid 2-Zone/WAVE Engine Combustion Model for Simulating Combustion Instabilities During Dilute Operation

Internal combustion engines are operated under conditions of high exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) to reduce NOx emissions and promote enhanced combustion modes such as HCCI. However, high EGR under certain conditions also promotes nonlinear feedback between cycles, leading to the development of combustion instabilities and cyclic variability. We employ a two-zone phenomenological combustion model to simulate the onset of combustion instabilities under highly dilute conditions and to illustrate the impact of these instabilities on emissions and fuel efficiency. The two-zone in-cylinder combustion model is coupled to a WAVE engine-simulation code through a Simulink interface, allowing rapid simulation of several hundred successive engine cycles with many external engine parametric effects included.