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Technical Paper

Air-to-Fuel Ratio Calculation Methods for Oxygenated Fuels in Two-Stroke Engines

In 1990, Roy Douglas developed an analytical method to calculate the global air-to-fuel ratio of a two-stroke engine from exhaust gas emissions. While this method has considerable application to two-stroke engines, it does not permit the calculation of air-to-fuel ratios for oxygenated fuels. This study proposed modifications to the Roy Douglas method such that it can be applied to oxygenated fuels. The ISO #16183 standard, the modified Spindt method, and the Brettschneider method were used to evaluate the modifications to the Roy Douglas method. In addition, a trapped air-to-fuel ratio, appropriate for two-stroke engines, was also modified to incorporate oxygenated fuels. To validate the modified calculation method, tests were performed using a two-stroke carbureted and two-stroke direct injected marine outboard engine over a five-mode marine test cycle running indolene and low level blends of ethanol and iso-butanol fuels.
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.
Journal Article

Influence of Injector Location on Part-Load Performance Characteristics of Natural Gas Direct-Injection in a Spark Ignition Engine

Interest in natural gas as an alternative fuel source to petroleum fuels for light-duty vehicle applications has increased due to its domestic availability and stable price compared to gasoline. With its higher hydrogen-to-carbon ratio, natural gas has the potential to reduce engine out carbon dioxide emissions, which has shown to be a strong greenhouse gas contributor. For part-load conditions, the lower flame speeds of natural gas can lead to an increased duration in the inflammation process with traditional port-injection. Direct-injection of natural gas can increase in-cylinder turbulence and has the potential to reduce problems typically associated with port-injection of natural gas, such as lower flame speeds and poor dilution tolerance. A study was designed and executed to investigate the effects of direct-injection of natural gas at part-load conditions.
Journal Article

Meeting RFS2 Targets with an E10/E15-like Fuel - Experimental and Analytical Assessment of Higher Alcohols in Multi-component Blends with Gasoline

This paper evaluates the potential of adding higher alcohols to gasoline blendstock in an attempt to improve overall fuel performance. The alcohols considered include ethanol, normal- and iso-structures of propanol, butanol and pentanol as well as normal-hexanol (C2-C6). Fuel performance is quantified based on energy content, knock resistance as well as petroleum displacement and promising multi-component blends are systematically identified based on property prediction methods. These promising multi-component blends, as well as their respective reference fuels, are subsequently tested for efficiency and emissions performance utilizing a gasoline direct injection, spark ignition engine. The engine test results confirm that combustion and efficiency of tailored multi-component blends closely match those of the reference fuels. Regulated emissions stemming from combustion of these blends are equal or lower compared to the reference fuels across the tested engine speed and load regime.
Technical Paper

Performance and Efficiency Assessment of a Production CNG Vehicle Compared to Its Gasoline Counterpart

Two modern light-duty passenger vehicles were selected for chassis dynamometer testing to evaluate differences in performance end efficiency resulting from CNG and gasoline combustion in a vehicle-based context. The vehicles were chosen to be as similar as possible apart from fuel type, sharing similar test weights and identical driveline configurations. Both vehicles were tested over several chassis dynamometer driving cycles, where it was found that the CNG vehicle exhibited 3-9% lower fuel economy than the gasoline-fueled subject. Performance tests were also conducted, where the CNG vehicle's lower tractive effort capability and longer acceleration times were consistent with the lower rated torque and power of its engine as compared to the gasoline model. The vehicles were also tested using quasi-steady-state chassis dynamometer techniques, wherein a series of engine operating points were studied.
Journal Article

Performance, Efficiency and Emissions Assessment of Natural Gas Direct Injection compared to Gasoline and Natural Gas Port-Fuel Injection in an Automotive Engine

Interest in natural gas as a fuel for light-duty transportation has increased due to its domestic availability and lower cost relative to gasoline. Natural gas, comprised mainly of methane, has a higher knock resistance than gasoline making it advantageous for high load operation. However, the lower flame speeds of natural gas can cause ignitability issues at part-load operation leading to an increase in the initial flame development process. While port-fuel injection of natural gas can lead to a loss in power density due to the displacement of intake air, injecting natural gas directly into the cylinder can reduce such losses. A study was designed and performed to evaluate the potential of natural gas for use as a light-duty fuel. Steady-state baseline tests were performed on a single-cylinder research engine equipped for port-fuel injection of gasoline and natural gas, as well as centrally mounted direct injection of natural gas.