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Technical Paper

Blend Ratio Optimization of Fuels Containing Gasoline Blendstock, Ethanol, and Higher Alcohols (C3-C6): Part I - Methodology and Scenario Definition

The U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) requires an increase in the use of advanced biofuels up to 36 billion gallons by 2022. Longer chain alcohols, in addition to cellulosic ethanol and synthetic biofuels, could be used to meet this demand while adhering to the RFS2 corn-based ethanol limitation. Higher carbon number alcohols can be utilized to improve the energy content, knock resistance, and/or petroleum displacement of gasoline-alcohol blends compared to traditional ethanol blends such as E10 while maintaining desired and regulated fuel properties. Part I of this paper focuses on the development of scenarios by which to compare higher alcohol fuel blends to traditional ethanol blends. It also details the implementation of fuel property prediction methods adapted from literature. Possible combinations of eight alcohols mixed with a gasoline blendstock were calculated and the properties of the theoretical fuel blends were predicted.
Technical Paper

Blend Ratio Optimization of Fuels Containing Gasoline Blendstock, Ethanol, and Higher Alcohols (C3-C6): Part II - Blend Properties and Target Value Sensitivity

Higher carbon number alcohols offer an opportunity to meet the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) and improve the energy content, petroleum displacement, and/or knock resistance of gasoline-alcohol blends from traditional ethanol blends such as E10 while maintaining desired and regulated fuel properties. Part II of this paper builds upon the alcohol selection, fuel implementation scenarios, criteria target values, and property prediction methodologies detailed in Part I. For each scenario, optimization schemes include maximizing energy content, knock resistance, or petroleum displacement. Optimum blend composition is very sensitive to energy content, knock resistance, vapor pressure, and oxygen content criteria target values. Iso-propanol is favored in both scenarios' suitable blends because of its high RON value.
Technical Paper

Comparison of RCCI Operation with and without EGR over the Full Operating Map of a Heavy-Duty Diesel Engine

Dual-fuel combustion using port-injection of low reactivity fuel combined with direct injection of a higher reactivity fuel, otherwise known as Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition (RCCI), has been shown as a method to achieve high efficiency combustion with moderate peak pressure rise rates, low engine-out soot and NOx emissions. A key requirement for extending to high-load operation is reduce the reactivity of the premixed charge prior to the diesel injection. One way to accomplish this is to use a very low reactivity fuel such as natural gas. In this work, experimental testing was conducted on a 13L multi-cylinder heavy-duty diesel engine modified to operate using RCCI combustion with port injection of natural gas and direct injection of diesel fuel. Natural gas/diesel RCCI engine operation is compared over the EPA Heavy-Duty 13 mode supplemental emissions test with and without EGR.
Journal Article

Cylinder-to-Cylinder Variations in Power Production in a Dual Fuel Internal Combustion Engine Leveraging Late Intake Valve Closings

Advanced internal combustion engines, although generally more efficient than conventional combustion engines, often encounter limitations in multi-cylinder applications due to variations in the combustion process. This study leverages experimental data from an inline 6-cylinder heavy-duty dual fuel engine equipped with a fully-flexible variable intake valve actuation system to study cylinder-to-cylinder variations in power production. The engine is operated with late intake valve closure timings in a dual-fuel combustion mode featuring a port-injection and a direct-injection fueling system in order to improve fuel efficiency and engine performance. Experimental results show increased cylinder-to-cylinder variation in IMEP as IVC timing moves from 570°ATDC to 610°ATDC, indicating an increasingly uneven fuel distribution between cylinders.
Journal Article

Development of Dual-Fuel Low Temperature Combustion Strategy in a Multi-Cylinder Heavy-Duty Compression Ignition Engine Using Conventional and Alternative Fuels

Low temperature combustion through in-cylinder blending of fuels with different reactivity offers the potential to improve engine efficiency while yielding low engine-out NOx and soot emissions. A Navistar MaxxForce 13 heavy-duty compression ignition engine was modified to run with two separate fuel systems, aiming to utilize fuel reactivity to demonstrate a technical path towards high engine efficiency. The dual-fuel engine has a geometric compression ratio of 14 and uses sequential, multi-port-injection of a low reactivity fuel in combination with in-cylinder direct injection of diesel. Through control of in-cylinder charge reactivity and reactivity stratification, the engine combustion process can be tailored towards high efficiency and low engine-out emissions. Engine testing was conducted at 1200 rpm over a load sweep.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of Ethanol Blends for Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles Using Engine in the Loop

Their easy availability, lower well-to-wheel emissions, and relative ease of use with existing engine technologies have made ethanol and ethanol-gasoline blends a viable alternative to gasoline for use in spark-ignition (SI) engines. The lower energy density of ethanol and ethanol-gasoline blends, however, results in higher volumetric fuel consumption compared with gasoline. Also, the higher latent heat of vaporization can result in cold-start issues with higher-level ethanol blends. On the other hand, a higher octane number, which indicates resistance to knock and potentially enables more optimal combustion phasing, results in better engine efficiency, especially at higher loads. This paper compares the fuel consumption and emissions of two ethanol blends (E50 and E85) with those for gasoline when used in conventional (non-hybrid) and power-split-type plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).
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

Feedforward Control of Fuel Distribution on Advanced Dual-Fuel Engines with Varying Intake Valve Closing Timings

This study examines the dynamics and control of an engine operated with late intake valve closure (LIVC) timings in a dual-fuel combustion mode. The engine features a fuel delivery system in which diesel is direct-injected and natural gas is port-injected. Despite the benefits of LIVC and dual-fuel strategy, combining these two techniques resulted in efficiency losses due to the variability of the combustion process across cylinders. The difference in power production across cylinders ranges from 9% at an IVC of 570°ATDC* to 38% at an IVC of 620 °ATDC and indicates an increasingly uneven fuel distribution as the intake valve remains open longer in the compression stroke. This paper describes an approach for controlling the amount of fuel injected into each cylinders’ port of an inline six- cylinder heavy-duty dual-fuel engine to minimize the variations in fuel distribution across cylinder.