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Journal Article

Vehicle Demonstration of Naphtha Fuel Achieving Both High Efficiency and Drivability with EURO6 Engine-Out NOx Emission

Demand for transport energy is growing but this growth is skewed heavily toward commercial transport, such as, heavy road, aviation, marine and rail which uses heavier fuels like diesel and kerosene. This is likely to lead to an abundance and easy availability of lighter fractions like naphtha, which is the product of the initial distillation of crude oil. Naphtha will also require lower energy to produce and hence will have a lower CO₂ impact compared to diesel or gasoline. It would be desirable to develop engine combustion systems that could run on naphtha. Many recent studies have shown that running compression ignition engines on very low Cetane fuels, which are very similar to naphtha in their auto-ignition behavior, offers the prospect of developing very efficient, clean, simple and cheap engine combustion systems. Significant development work would be required before such systems could power practical vehicles.
Technical Paper

Study on the Pre-Chamber Fueling Ratio Effect on the Main Chamber Combustion Using Simultaneous PLIF and OH* Chemiluminescence Imaging

Pre-chamber combustion (PCC) enables leaner air-fuel ratio operation by improving its ignitability and extending flammability limit, and consequently, offers better thermal efficiency than conventional spark ignition operation. The geometry and fuel concentration of the pre-chamber (PC) is one of the major parameters that affect overall performance. To understand the dynamics of the PCC in practical engine conditions, this study focused on (i) correlation of the events in the main chamber (MC) with the measured in-cylinder pressure traces and, (ii) the effect of fuel concentration on the MC combustion characteristics using laser diagnostics. We performed simultaneous acetone planar laser-induced fluorescence (PLIF) from the side, and OH* chemiluminescence imaging from the bottom in a heavy-duty optical engine. Two different PC Fueling Ratios (PCFR, the ratio of PC fuel to the total fuel), 7%, and 13%, were investigated.
Technical Paper

Standardized Gasoline Compression Ignition Fuels Matrix

Direct injection compression ignition engines running on gasoline-like fuels have been considered an attractive alternative to traditional spark ignition and diesel engines. The compression and lean combustion mode eliminates throttle losses yielding higher thermodynamic efficiencies and the better mixing of fuel/air due to the longer ignition delay times of the gasoline-like fuels allows better emission performance such as nitric oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM). These gasoline-like fuels which usually have lower octane compared to market gasoline have been identified as a viable option for the gasoline compression ignition (GCI) engine applications due to its lower reactivity and lighter evaporation compared to diesel. The properties, specifications and sources of these GCI fuels are not fully understood yet because this technology is relatively new.
Technical Paper

Simultaneous Negative PLIF and OH* Chemiluminescence Imaging of the Gas Exchange and Flame Jet from a Narrow Throat Pre-Chamber

Pre-chamber combustion (PCC) is a promising engine combustion concept capable of extending the lean limit at part load. The engine experiments in the literature showed that the PCC could achieve higher engine thermal efficiency and much lower NOx emission than the spark-ignition engine. Improved understanding of the detailed flow and combustion physics of PCC is important for optimizing the PCC combustion. In this study, we investigated the gas exchange and flame jet from a narrow throat pre-chamber (PC) by only fueling the PC with methane in an optical engine. Simultaneous negative acetone planar laser-induced fluorescence (PLIF) imaging and OH* chemiluminescence imaging were applied to visualize the PC jet and flame jet from the PC, respectively. Results indicate a delay of the PC gas exchange relative to the built-up of the pressure difference (△ P) between PC and the main chamber (MC). This should be due to the gas inertia inside the PC and the resistance of the PC nozzle.
Technical Paper

Reduced Gasoline Surrogate (Toluene/n-Heptane/iso-Octane) Chemical Kinetic Model for Compression Ignition Simulations

Toluene primary reference fuel (TPRF) (mixture of toluene, iso-octane and heptane) is a suitable surrogate to represent a wide spectrum of real fuels with varying octane sensitivity. Investigating different surrogates in engine simulations is a prerequisite to identify the best matching mixture. However, running 3D engine simulations using detailed models is currently impossible and reduction of detailed models is essential. This work presents an AramcoMech reduced kinetic model developed at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) for simulating complex TPRF surrogate blends. A semi-decoupling approach was used together with species and reaction lumping to obtain a reduced kinetic model. The model was widely validated against experimental data including shock tube ignition delay times and premixed laminar flame speeds. Finally, the model was utilized to simulate the combustion of a low reactivity gasoline fuel under partially premixed combustion conditions.
Technical Paper

Partially Premixed Combustion of Gasoline Type Fuels Using Larger Size Nozzle and Higher Compression Ratio in a Diesel Engine

If fuels that are more resistant to auto-ignition are injected near TDC in compression ignition engines, they ignite much later than diesel fuel and combustion occurs when the fuel and air have had more chance to mix. This helps to reduce NOX and smoke emissions at much lower injection pressures compared to a diesel fuel. However, PPCI (Partially Premixed Compression Ignition) operation also leads to higher CO and HC at low loads and higher heat release rates at high loads. These problems can be significantly alleviated by managing the mixing through injector design (e.g. nozzle size and centreline spray angle) and changing CR (Compression Ratio). This work describes results of running a single-cylinder diesel engine on fuel blends by using three different nozzle design (nozzle size: 0.13 mm and 0.17 mm, centreline spray angle: 153° and 120°) and two different CRs (15.9:1 and 18:1).
Technical Paper

Optical Study on the Fuel Spray Characteristics of the Four-Consecutive-Injections Strategy Used in High-Pressure Isobaric Combustion

High-pressure isobaric combustion used in the double compression expansion engine (DCEE) concept was proposed to obtain higher engine brake thermal efficiency than the conventional diesel engine. Experiments on the metal engines showed that four consecutive injections delivered by a single injector can achieve isobaric combustion. Improved understanding of the detailed fuel-air mixing with multiple consecutive injections is needed to optimize the isobaric combustion and reduce engine emissions. In this study, we explored the fuel spray characteristics of the four-consecutive-injections strategy using high-speed imaging with background illumination and fuel-tracer planar laser-induced fluorescence (PLIF) imaging in a heavy-duty optical engine under non-reactive conditions. Toluene of 2% by volume was added to the n-heptane and served as the tracer. The fourth harmonic of a 10 Hz Nd:YAG laser was applied for the excitation of toluene.
Technical Paper

Octane-on-Demand as an Enabler for Highly Efficient Spark Ignition Engines and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Improvement

This paper explores the potential for reducing transport-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by introducing high-efficiency spark-ignition engines with a dual-fuel injection system to customize the octane of the fuels based on real-time engine requirements. It is assumed that a vehicle was equipped with two fuel tanks and two injection systems; one port fuel injection and one direct injection line separately. Each tank carried low octane and high octane fuel so that real-time octane blending was occurred in the combustion chamber when needed (Octane On-Demand: OOD). A refinery naphtha was selected for low octane fuel (RON=61), because of its similarity to gasoline properties but a less processed, easier to produce without changing a refinery configuration. Three oxygenates were used for high octane knock-resistant fuels in a direct injection line: methanol, MTBE, and ETBE.
Technical Paper

Numerical Simulations of High Reactivity Gasoline Fuel Sprays under Vaporizing and Reactive Conditions

Gasoline compression ignition (GCI) engines are becoming more popular alternative for conventional spark engines to harvest the advantage of high volatility. Recent experimental study demonstrated that high reactivity gasoline fuel can be operated in a conventional mixing controlled combustion mode producing lower soot emissions than that of diesel fuel under similar efficiency and NOx level [1]. Therefore, there is much interest in using gasoline-like fuels in compression ignition engines. In order to improve the fidelity of simulation-based GCI combustion system development, it is mandatory to enhance the prediction of spray combustion of gasoline-like fuels. The purpose of this study is to model the spray characteristics of high reactivity gasoline fuels and validate the models with experimental results obtained through an optically accessible constant volume vessel under vaporizing [2] and reactive conditions [3].
Technical Paper

Multi-Objective Optimization of a Kinetics-Based HCCI Model Using Engine Data

A multi-objective optimization scheme based on stochastic global search is developed and used to examine the performance of an HCCI model containing a reduced chemical kinetic mechanism, and to study interrelations among different model responses. A stochastic reactor model of an HCCI engine is used in this study, and dedicated HCCI engine experiments are performed to provide reference for the optimization. The results revealed conflicting trends among objectives normally used in mechanism optimization, such as ignition delay and engine cylinder pressure history, indicating that a single best combination of optimization variables for these objectives did not exist. This implies that optimizing chemical mechanisms to maintain universal predictivity across such conflicting responses will only yield a predictivity tradeoff. It also implies that careful selection of optimization objectives increases the likelihood of better predictivity for these objectives.
Technical Paper

Modeling of Heating and Evaporation of FACE I Gasoline Fuel and its Surrogates

The US Department of Energy has formulated different gasoline fuels called ''Fuels for Advanced Combustion Engines (FACE)'' to standardize their compositions. FACE I is a low octane number gasoline fuel with research octane number (RON) of approximately 70. The detailed hydrocarbon analysis (DHA) of FACE I shows that it contains 33 components. This large number of components cannot be handled in fuel spray simulation where thousands of droplets are directly injected in combustion chamber. These droplets are to be heated, broken-up, collided and evaporated simultaneously. Heating and evaporation of single droplet FACE I fuel was investigated. The heating and evaporation model accounts for the effects of finite thermal conductivity, finite liquid diffusivity and recirculation inside the droplet, referred to as the effective thermal conductivity/effective diffusivity (ETC/ED) model.
Technical Paper

Low RON Gasoline Calibration on a Multi-Cylinder Compression Ignition Engine to Fulfill the Euro 6d Regulation

Reducing the CO2 footprint, limiting the pollutant emissions and rebalancing the ongoing shift demand toward middle-distillate fuels are major concerns for vehicle manufacturers and oil refiners. In this context, gasoline-like fuels have been recently identified as good candidates. Straight run naphtha, a refinery stream derived from the atmospheric crude oil distillation process, allows for a reduction of both NOx and particulate emissions when used in compression-ignition engines. CO2 benefits are also expected thanks to naphtha’s higher H/C ratio and energy content compared to diesel. In previous studies, wide ranges of Cetane Number (CN) naphtha fuels have been evaluated and CN 35 naphtha fuel has been selected. The assessment and the choice of the required engine hardware adapted to this fuel, such as the compression ratio, bowl pattern, nozzle design and air-path technology, have been performed on a light-duty single cylinder compression-ignition engine.
Technical Paper

Isobaric Combustion for High Efficiency in an Optical Diesel Engine

Isobaric combustion has been proven a promising strategy for high efficiency as well as low nitrogen oxides emissions, particularly in heavy-duty Diesel engines. Previous single-cylinder research engine experiments have, however, shown high soot levels when operating isobaric combustion. The combustion itself and the emissions formation with this combustion mode are not well understood due to the complexity of multiple injections strategy. Therefore, experiments with an equivalent heavy-duty Diesel optical engine were performed in this study. Three different cases were compared, an isochoric heat release case and two isobaric heat release cases. One of the isobaric cases was boosted to reach the maximum in-cylinder pressure of the isochoric one. The second isobaric case kept the same boost levels as the isochoric case. Results showed that in the isobaric cases, liquid fuel was injected into burning gases. This resulted in shorter ignition delays and thus a poor mixing level.
Journal Article

Investigation into Light Duty Dieseline Fuelled Partially-Premixed Compression Ignition Engine

Conventional diesel-fuelled Partially Premixed Compression Ignition (PPCI) engines have been investigated by many researchers previously. However, the ease of ignition and difficulty of vaporization of diesel fuel make it imperfect for PPCI combustion. In this study, dieseline (blending of diesel and gasoline) was looked into as the Partially Premixed Compression Ignition fuel for its combination of two fuel properties, ignition-delay-increasing characteristics and higher volatility, which make it more suitable for PPCI combustion compared to neat diesel. A series of tests were carried out on a Euro IV light-duty common-rail diesel engine, and different engine modes, from low speed/load to middle speed/load were all tested, under which fuel blend ratios, EGR rates, injection timings and quantities were varied. The emissions, fuel consumption and combustion stability of this dieseline-fuelled PPCI combustion were all investigated.
Technical Paper

High-Speed Imaging of Main-Chamber Combustion of a Narrow Throat Pre-Chamber under Lean Conditions

Pre-chamber combustion (PCC) allows an extension on the lean limit of an internal combustion engine (ICE). This combustion mode provides lower NOx emissions and shorter combustion durations that lead to a higher indicated efficiency. In the present work, a narrow throat pre-chamber was tested, which has a unique nozzle area distribution in two rows of six nozzle holes each. Tests were carried out in a modified heavy-duty engine for optical visualization. Methane was used as fuel for both the pre-chamber and the main chamber. Seven operating points were tested, including passive pre-chamber mode as a limit condition, to study the effect of pre- and main-chamber fuel addition on the pre-chamber jets and the main chamber combustion via chemiluminescence imaging. A typical cycle of one of the tested conditions is explained through the captured images. Observations of the typical cycle reveal a predominant presence of only six jets (from the lower row), with well-defined jet structures.

Fuel/Engine Interactions

Conventional fossil fuels will constitute the majority of automotive fuels for the foreseeable future but will have to adapt to changes in engine technology. Unconventional transport fuels such as biofuels, gas-to-liquid fuels, compressed natural gas, and liquid petroleum gas will also play a role. Hydrogen might be a viable transport fuel if it overcomes barriers in production, transport, storage, and safety and/or if fuel cells become viable. This book opens by considering these issues and then introduces practical transport fuels. A chapter on engine deposits follows, which is an important practical topic about how fuels affect engines that is not usually considered in other books. The next three chapters discuss auto-ignition phenomena in engines. The auto-ignition resistance of fuels is the most important fuel property since it limits the efficiency of spark ignition engines and determines the performance of compression ignition engines.
Technical Paper

Fuel Economy Potential of Partially Premixed Compression Ignition (PPCI) Combustion with Naphtha Fuel

Recent research [21] has shown that the compression ignition concept where very low cetane fuels (RON between 70 and 85) are run in compression ignition (CI) mode has several advantages. The engine will be at least as efficient and clean as the current diesel engines but will have a less complicated after-treatment system. The optimum fuel will be less processed and therefore simpler to make compared to current gasoline or diesel fuels. Naphtha, which is a product of the initial distillation of petroleum, is one such fuel. It provides a path to mitigate the global demand imbalance between heavier and lighter fuels that is otherwise projected. Since naphtha requires much less processing in the refinery than either gasoline or diesel [23], there is an additional benefit in terms of well-to-wheel CO2 emissions and overall energy consumed. Partially premixed charge compression ignition combustion with such a low cetane fuel has usually been investigated with a diesel engine base.
Technical Paper

Experimental Investigation of the Compression Ignition Process of High Reactivity Gasoline Fuels and E10 Certification Gasoline using a High-Pressure Direct Injection Gasoline Injector

Gasoline compression ignition (GCI) technology shows the potential to obtain high thermal efficiencies while maintaining low soot and NOx emissions in light-duty engine applications. Recent experimental studies and numerical simulations have indicated that high reactivity gasoline-like fuels can further enable the benefits of GCI combustion. However, there is limited empirical data in the literature studying the gasoline compression ignition process at relevant in-cylinder conditions, which are required for further optimizing combustion system designs. This study investigates the temporal and spatial evolution of the compression ignition process of various high reactivity gasoline fuels with research octane numbers (RON) of 71, 74 and 82, as well as a conventional RON 97 E10 gasoline fuel. A ten-hole prototype gasoline injector specifically designed for GCI applications capable of injection pressures up to 450 bar was used.
Technical Paper

Enabling High Efficiency Direct Injection Engine with Naphtha Fuel through Partially Premixed Charge Compression Ignition Combustion

More stringent emissions standards along with higher fuel economy demands have obliged auto makers to develop technical solutions that exploit synergistic features from gasoline and diesel engines. To minimize NOx and soot trade-off, diesel powertrain has been developed to adopt increasingly complex and expensive technology such as extremely high pressure fuel injection systems, low pressure EGR, and variable valve timing. These attempts are associated with promoting Partially Premixed Charge Compression Ignition (PPC-CI) combustion via increasing mixing time and ignition delay. Alternatively, PPC-CI combustion can be achieved easier by using fuels with higher resistance to auto-ignition than conventional diesel fuel. Previous work has demonstrated the possibility of reducing the cost of future diesel after-treatment systems by using gasoline-like fuels.
Technical Paper

Effect of Mixture Formation and Injection Strategies on Stochastic Pre-Ignition

Stochastic pre-ignition remains one of the major barriers limiting further engine downsizing and down-speeding; two widely used strategies for improving the efficiency of spark-ignited engines. One of the most cited mechanisms thought to be responsible for pre-ignition is the ignition of a rogue droplet composed of lubricant oil and fuel. This originates during mixture formation from interactions between the fuel spray and oil on the cylinder liner. In the present study, this hypothesis is further examined using a single cylinder supercharged engine which employs a range of air-fuel mixture formation strategies. These strategies include port-fuel injection (PFI) along with side and central direct injection (DI) of an E5 gasoline (RON 97.5) using single and multiple injection events. Computational fluid dynamic (CFD) calculations are then used to explain the observed trends.