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Technical Paper

Physical Properties of Bio-Diesel and Implications for Use of Bio-Diesel in Diesel Engines

In this study we identify components of a typical biodiesel fuel and estimate both their individual and mixed thermo-physical and transport properties. We then use the estimated mixture properties in computational simulations to gauge the extent to which combustion is modified when biodiesel is substituted for conventional diesel fuel. Our simulation studies included both conventional diesel combustion (DI) and premixed charge compression ignition (PCCI). Preliminary results indicate that biodiesel ignition is significantly delayed due to slower liquid evaporation, with the effects being more pronounced for DI than PCCI. The lower vapor pressure and higher liquid heat capacity of biodiesel are two key contributors to this slower rate of evaporation. Other physical properties are more similar between the two fuels, and their impacts are not clearly evident in the present study.
Journal Article

Effects of Fuel Physical Properties on Diesel Engine Combustion using Diesel and Bio-diesel Fuels

A computational study using multi-dimensional CFD modeling was performed to investigate the effects of physical properties on diesel engine combustion characteristics with bio-diesel fuels. Properties of typical bio-diesel fuels that were either calculated or measured are used in the study and the simulation results are compared with those of conventional diesel fuels. The sensitivity of the computational results to individual physical properties is also investigated, and the results provide information about the desirable characteristics of the blended fuels. The properties considered in the study include liquid density, vapor pressure, surface tension, liquid viscosity, liquid thermal conductivity, liquid specific heat, latent heat, vapor specific heat, vapor diffusion coefficient, vapor viscosity and vapor thermal conductivity. The results show significant effects of the fuel physical properties on ignition delay and burning rates at various engine operating conditions.
Journal Article

Development and Validation of a Reduced Reaction Mechanism for Biodiesel-Fueled Engine Simulations

In the present study a reduced chemical reaction mechanism for biodiesel surrogate fuel was developed and validated for multi-dimensional engine combustion simulations. An existing detailed methyl butanoate mechanism that contained 264 species and 1219 reactions was chosen to represent the oxygenated portion of the fuel. The reduction process included flux analysis, ignition sensitivity analysis, and optimization of reaction rate constants under constant volume conditions. The current reduced mechanism consists of 41 species and 150 reactions and gives predictions in excellent agreement with those of the comprehensive mechanism. In order to validate the mechanism under biodiesel-fueled engine conditions, it was combined with another skeletal mechanism for n-heptane oxidation. This combined reaction mechanism can be used to adjust the energy content of the fuel, and account for diesel/biodiesel blend engine simulations.