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Technical Paper

Using Vegetable Oils and Animal Fats in Diesel Engines: Chemical Analyses and Engine Tests

There is a growing consensus that there will not be a single alternative to fossil fuels, but rather different fuels, fuel feedstocks, engine types and operating strategies. For stationary diesel engines, straight vegetable oils are an interesting alternative to fossil diesel, because of their potential for lower life cycle greenhouse gas emissions. Using animal fats is also compelling, as it does not imply the cultivation of oil-bearing seeds and related emissions, not to mention the ‘food versus fuel’ debate. The aim of the present work is to correlate engine performance and durability with the properties (composition) of these alternative fuels, to provide a basis from which standards can be formulated for the properties of oils and fats to be used as engine fuel. Tests on different oils and fats are reported.
Technical Paper

The Relevance of Different Fuel Indices to Describe Autoignition Behaviour of Gasoline in Light Duty DICI Engine under PPC Mode

Partially premixed combustion (PPC) with gasoline fuels is a new promising combustion concept for future internal combustion engines. However, many researchers have argued the capabilities of research octane number (RON) and Motor Octane Number (MON) to describe the autoignition behaviour of gasoline fuels in advanced combustion concepts like PPC. The objective of this study is to propose a new method, called PPC number, to characterize the auto ignition quality of gasoline fuels in a light-duty direct injected compression ignition engine under PPC conditions. The experimental investigations were performed on a 4-cylinder Volvo D4 2 litre engine. The ignition delay which was defined as the crank angle degrees between the start of injection (SOI) and start of combustion (SOC) was used to represent the auto ignition quality of a fuel.
Technical Paper

Spray Parameter Comparison between Diesel and Vegetable Oils for Non-Evaporating Conditions

The internal combustion engine with compression ignition is still the most important power plant for heavy duty transport, railway transport, marine applications and generator sets. Fuel cost and emission regulations drive manufacturers to switch to alternative fuels. The understanding and prediction of these fuels in the spray and combustion process will be very important for these issues. In the past, lot of research was done for conventional diesel fuel by optically analyzing both spray and combustion. However comparison between different groups is difficult since qualitative results and accuracies are depending in the used definitions and methods. The goal of present research is to verify the behavior pure oils compared to more standard fuels while paying lot of attention to the interpretation of the measurement results.
Technical Paper

Simulation Based Investigation of Achieving Low Temperature Combustion with Methanol in a Direct Injected Compression Ignition Engine

Low temperature combustion concepts used in compression ignition engines have shown to be able to produce simultaneous reduction of oxides of nitrogen and soot as well as generating higher gross indicated efficiencies compared to conventional diesel combustion. This is achieved by a combination of premixing, dilution and optimization of combustion phasing. Low temperature combustion can be complemented by moving away from fossil fuels in order to reduce the net output of CO2 emissions. Alternative fuels are preferably liquid and of sufficient energy density. As such methanol is proposed as a viable option. This paper reports the results from a simulation based investigation on a heavy-duty multi-cylinder direct injection compression ignition engine with standard compression ratio. The engine was simulated using two different fuels: methanol and gasoline with an octane number of 70.
Technical Paper

Reducing Engine-Out Emissions for Medium High Speed Diesel Engines: Influence of Injection Parameters

In 2004 the European Parliament ratified the Euro III and IV standards limiting the pollutant emission of, among others, rail and marine diesel engines. In these sectors, it is particularly important to keep any fuel consumption penalty, when reducing emissions, to a strict minimum. Furthermore, exhaust gas after treatment is mostly avoided for cost reasons. Thus, manufacturers are looking to pretreatment of fuels, alternative fuels, and limiting engine-out emissions as ways to attain the required emission levels. This paper discusses the experimental work done on a 1324 kW, 1000 rpm six cylinder marine diesel engine equipped with mechanical unit injectors. The aim was to determine the influence of compression ratio and fuel injection parameters on engine-out emissions, with emphasis on NOx emissions. A range of fuel injection parameters were examined, varying the start of injection, pump plunger diameter, injection pressure, and injector nozzle geometry.
Technical Paper

Performance and Emissions of a SI Engine using Methanol-Water Blends

Using liquid alcohols, such as methanol and ethanol, in spark-ignition engines is a promising approach to decarbonize transport and secure domestic energy supply. Methanol and ethanol are compatible with the existing fuelling and distribution infrastructure and are easily stored in a vehicle. They can be used in internal combustion engines with only minor adjustments and have the potential to increase the efficiency and decrease noxious emissions compared to gasoline engines. In addition, methanol can be synthesized from a wide variety of sources, including renewably produced hydrogen in combination with atmospheric CO₂. Presently, during the production of ethanol or methanol a dehydration step is always applied. This step accounts for a significant part of the entire production process' energy consumption and thus, from an economical point of view, methanol and ethanol could become more interesting alternative fuels if the costs related with dehydration could be reduced.
Technical Paper

Literature Review on Dual-Fuel Combustion Modelling

In the search for low greenhouse gas propulsion, the dual fuel engine provides a solution to use low carbon fuel at diesel-like high efficiency. Also a lower emission of NOx and particles can be achieved by replacing a substantial part of the diesel fuel by for example natural gas. Limitations can be found in excessively high heat release rate (combustion-knock), and high methane emissions. These limitations are strongly influenced by operating parameters and properties of the used (bio)-gas. To find the dominant relations between fuel properties, operating parameters and the heat release rate and methane emissions, a combustion model is beneficial. Such a model can be used for optimizing the process, or can even be used in real time control. As precursor for such a model, the current state of art of dual fuel combustion modelling is investigated in this work. The focus is on high speed dual fuel engines for heavy duty and marine applications, with a varying gas/diesel ratio.
Technical Paper

Laminar Burning Velocity Correlations for Methanol-Air and Ethanol-Air Mixtures Valid at SI Engine Conditions

The use of methanol and ethanol in spark-ignition (SI) engines forms a promising approach to decarbonizing transport and securing domestic energy supply. The physico-chemical properties of these fuels enable engines with increased performance and efficiency compared to their fossil fuel counterparts. An engine cycle code valid for alcohol-fuelled engines could help to unlock their full potential. However, the development of such a code is currently hampered by the lack of a suitable correlation for the laminar flame speed of alcohol-air-diluent mixtures. A literature survey showed that none of the existing correlations covers the entire temperature, pressure and mixture composition range as encountered in spark-ignition engines. For this reason, we started working on new correlations based on simulations with a one-dimensional chemical kinetics code. In this paper the properties of methanol and ethanol are first presented, together with their application in modern SI engines.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Supercharging Strategies for PFI Hydrogen Engines

Hydrogen-fueled internal combustion engines (H₂ICEs) are an affordable, practical and efficient technology to introduce the use of hydrogen as an energy carrier. They are practical as they offer fuel flexibility, furthermore the specific properties of hydrogen (wide flammability limits, high flame speeds) enable a dedicated H₂ICE to reach high efficiencies, bettering hydrocarbon-fueled ICEs and approaching fuel cell efficiencies. The easiest way to introduce H₂ICE vehicles is through converting engines to bi-fuel operation by mounting a port fuel injection (PFI) system for hydrogen. However, for naturally aspirated engines this implies a large power penalty due to loss in volumetric efficiency and occurrence of abnormal combustion. The present paper reports measurements on a single-cylinder hydrogen PFI engine equipped with an exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system and a supercharging set-up.
Technical Paper

Influence of Injection Strategies on Engine Efficiency for a Methanol PPC Engine

Partially premixed combustion (PPC) is one of several advanced combustion concepts for the conventional diesel engine. PPC uses a separation between end of fuel injection and start of combustion, also called ignition dwell, to increase the mixing of fuel and oxidizer. This has been shown to be beneficial for simultaneously reducing harmful emissions and fuel consumption. The ignition dwell can be increased by means of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) or lower intake temperature. However, the most effective means is to use a fuel with high research octane number (RON). Methanol has a RON of 109 and a recent study found that methanol can be used effectively in PPC mode, with multiple injections, to yield high brake efficiency. However, the early start of injection (SOI) timings in this study were noted as a potential issue due to increased combustion sensitivity. Therefore, the present study attempts to quantify the changes in engine performance for different injection strategies.
Technical Paper

Experimental Investigation of a DISI Production Engine Fuelled with Methanol, Ethanol, Butanol and ISO-Stoichiometric Alcohol Blends

Stricter CO2 and emissions regulations are pushing spark ignition engines more and more towards downsizing, enabled through direct injection and turbocharging. The advantages which come with direct injection, such as increased charge density and an elevated knock resistance, are even more pronounced when using low carbon number alcohols instead of gasoline. This is mainly due to the higher heat of vaporization and the lower air-to-fuel ratio of light alcohols such as methanol, ethanol and butanol. These alcohols are also attractive alternatives to gasoline because they can be produced from renewable resources. Because they are liquid, they can be easily stored in a vehicle. In this respect, the performance and engine-out emissions (NOx, CO, HC and PM) of methanol, ethanol and butanol were examined on a 4 cylinder 2.4 DI production engine and are compared with those on neat gasoline.
Technical Paper

Experimental Evaluation of Lean-burn and EGR as Load Control Strategies for Methanol Engines

The use of light alcohols as SI engine fuels can help to increase energy security and offer the prospect of carbon neutral transport. These fuels enable improvements in engine performance and efficiency as several investigations have demonstrated. Further improvements in efficiency can be expected when switching from throttled stoichiometric operation to strategies using mixture richness or exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) to control load while maintaining wide open throttle (WOT). In this work the viability of throttleless load control using EGR (WOT EGR) or mixture richness (WOT lean burn) as operating strategies for methanol engines was experimentally verified. Experiments performed on a single-cylinder engine confirmed that the EGR dilution and lean burn limit of methanol are significantly higher than for gasoline. On methanol, both alternative load control strategies enable relative indicated efficiency improvements of about 5% compared to throttled stoichiometric operation.
Journal Article

Effects of Supercharging, EGR and Variable Valve Timing on Power and Emissions of Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engines

Hydrogen-fueled internal combustion engines equipped with port fuel injection offer a cheap alternative to fuel cells and can be run in bi-fuel operation side-stepping the chicken and egg problem of availability of hydrogen fueling station versus hydrogen vehicle. Hydrogen engines with external mixture formation have a significantly lower power output than gasoline engines. The main causes are the lower volumetric energy density of the externally formed hydrogen-air mixture and the occurrence of abnormal combustion phenomena (mainly backfire). Two engine test benches were used to investigate different means of compensating for this power loss, while keeping oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions limited. A single cylinder research engine was used to study the effects of supercharging, combined with exhaust gas recirculation (EGR). Supercharging the engine results in an increase in power output.
Technical Paper

Drive Cycle Analysis of Load Control Strategies for Methanol Fuelled ICE Vehicle

The use of methanol as spark-ignition engine fuel can help to increase energy security and offers the prospect of carbon neutral transport. Methanol's properties enable considerable improvements in engine performance, efficiency and CO2 emissions compared to gasoline operation. SAE paper 2012-01-1283 showed that both flex-fuel and dedicated methanol engines can benefit from an operating strategy employing exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) to control the load while leaving the throttle wide open (WOT). Compared to throttled stoichiometric operation, this reduces pumping work, cooling losses, dissociation and engine-out NOx. The current paper presents follow-up work to determine to what extent these advantages still stand over an entire drive cycle. The average vehicle efficiency, overall CO2 and NOx emissions from a flexible fuel vehicle completing a drive cycle on gasoline and methanol were evaluated.
Technical Paper

Downsizing Potential of Methanol Fueled DISI Engine with Variable Valve Timing and Boost Control

Methanol is gaining traction in some regions, e.g. for road transportation in China and for marine transportation in Europe. In this research, the possibility for achieving higher power output and higher efficiency with methanol, compared to gasoline, is investigated and the influence of several engine settings, such as valve timing and intake boost control, is studied. At wide open throttle (WOT), engine speed of 1650 rpm, the brake mean effective pressure (BMEP) of the methanol-fueled engine is higher than on gasoline, by around 1.8 bar. The maximum BMEP is further increased when positive valve overlap and higher intake boost pressure are applied. Thanks to a lower residual gas fraction, and a richer in-cylinder mixture with positive valve overlap period, the engine BMEP improves by a further 2.6 bar. Because of higher volumetric efficiency with a boosted intake air, the engine BMEP enhances with 4.7 bar.
Technical Paper

Development of Laminar Burning Velocity Correlation for the Simulation of Methanol Fueled SI Engines Operated with Onboard Fuel Reformer

Methanol fueled spark ignition (SI) engines have the potential for very high efficiency using an advanced heat recovery system for fuel reforming. In order to allow simulation of such an engine system, several sub-models are needed. This paper reports the development of two laminar burning velocity correlations, corresponding to two reforming concepts, one in which the reformer uses water from an extra tank to produce hydrogen rich gas (syngas) and another that employs the water vapor in the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) stream to produce reformed-EGR (R-EGR). This work uses a one-dimensional (1D) flame simulation tool with a comprehensive chemical kinetic mechanism to predict the laminar burning velocities of methanol/syngas blends and correlate it. The syngas is a mixture of H2/CO/CO2 with a CO selectivity of 6.5% to simulate the methanol steam reforming products over a Cu-Mn/Al catalyst.
Technical Paper

Development and Validation of a Knock Prediction Model for Methanol-Fuelled SI Engines

Knock is one of the main factors limiting the efficiency of spark-ignition engines. The introduction of alternative fuels with elevated knock resistance could help to mitigate knock concerns. Alcohols are prime candidate fuels and a model that can accurately predict their autoignition behavior under varying engine operating conditions would be of great value to engine designers. The current work aims to develop such a model for neat methanol. First, an autoignition delay time correlation is developed based on chemical kinetics calculations. Subsequently, this correlation is used in a knock integral model that is implemented in a two-zone engine code. The predictive performance of the resulting model is validated through comparison against experimental measurements on a CFR engine for a range of compression ratios, loads, ignition timings and equivalence ratios.
Technical Paper

Development and Testing of an EGR System for Medium Speed Diesel Engines

Medium speed diesel engines are well established today as a power source for heavy transport and stationary applications and it appears that they will remain so in the future. However, emission legislation becomes stricter, reducing the emission limits of various pollutants to extremely low values. Currently, many techniques that are well established for automotive diesel engines (common rail, after treatment, exhaust gas recirculation - EGR, …) are being tested on these large engines. Application of these techniques is far from straightforward given the different requirements and boundary conditions (fuel quality, durability, …). This paper reports on the development and experimental results of cooled, high pressure loop EGR operation on a 1326kW four stroke turbocharged medium speed diesel engine, with the primary goal of reducing the emission of oxides of nitrogen (NOx). Measurements were performed at various loads and for several EGR rates.
Technical Paper

Design of a Fast Responding Start-Up Mechanism for Bi-Propellant Fueled Engine for Miniature UAV Applications

In this work a new design of a liquid fuelled combustion engine is proposed for small and light weight unmanned air vehicles (<10kg and 15-200N thrust). Ethanol and gasoline were selected as the potential fuels while pressurized air and hydrogen peroxide were used as the oxidizer. The engine combines features of both a common rocket and turbojet engine. The main features of the engine are the restart ability during flight, low cost, easy manufacturability, light weight, long operation time and high durability. The main difficulties that come along with this engine are the need for proper engine cooling (long term operation) and start-up ability at atmospheric conditions. The low temperatures and injection pressures are not favorable for the fuel atomization and ignition. The paper focuses on the design on low pressure injectors and a start-up mechanism for micro UAV's without the use of a large amount of additional fueling circuits or components.
Technical Paper

Cylinder to Cylinder Variation Related to Gas Injection Timing on a Dual-Fuel Engine

The natural gas/diesel dual-fuel engine is an interesting technique to reduce greenhouse gas emission. A limitation of this concept is the emission of un-combusted methane. In this study we analyzed the influence of PFI gas-injection timing on cylinder to cylinder gas-distribution, and the resulting methane emissions. This was done on a 6 cylinder HD engine test bench and in a GT-power simulation of the same engine. The main variable in all tests was the timing of the intake port gas injection, placed either before, after, or during the intake stroke. It showed that injecting outside of the intake window resulted in significant variation of the amount of trapped gaseous fuel over the 6 cylinders, having a strong impact on methane emissions. Injecting outside of the intake stroke results in gas awaiting in the intake port. Both testing and simulation made clear that as a result of this, cylinder 1 leans out and cylinder 6 enriches.