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Journal Article

Bio-Ketones: Autoignition Characteristics and Their Potential as Fuels for HCCI Engines

This paper studies autoignition characteristics and HCCI engine combustion of ketone fuels, which are important constituents of recently discovered fungi-derived biofuels. Two ketone compounds, 2,4-dimethyl-3-pentanone (DMPN) and cyclopentanone (CPN), are systematically investigated in the Sandia HCCI engine, and the results are compared with conventional gasoline and neat ethanol. It is found that CPN has the lowest autoignition reactivity of all the biofuels and gasoline blends tested in this HCCI engine. The combustion timing of CPN is also the most sensitive to intake-temperature (Tin) variations, and it is almost insensitive to intake-pressure (Pin) variations. These characteristics and the overall HCCI performance of CPN are similar to those of ethanol. In contrast, DMPN shows multi-faceted autoignition characteristics. On the one hand, DMPN has strong temperature-sensitivity, even at boosted Pin, which is similar to the low-reactivity ethanol and CPN.
Journal Article

Characteristics of Isopentanol as a Fuel for HCCI Engines

Long chain alcohols possess major advantages over the currently used ethanol as bio-components for gasoline, including higher energy content, better engine compatibility, and less water solubility. The rapid developments in biofuel technology have made it possible to produce C 4 -C 5 alcohols cost effectively. These higher alcohols could significantly expand the biofuel content and potentially substitute ethanol in future gasoline mixtures. This study characterizes some fundamental properties of a C 5 alcohol, isopentanol, as a fuel for HCCI engines. Wide ranges of engine speed, intake temperature, intake pressure, and equivalence ratio are investigated. Results are presented in comparison with gasoline or ethanol data previously reported. For a given combustion phasing, isopentanol requires lower intake temperatures than gasoline or ethanol at all tested speeds, indicating a higher HCCI reactivity.
Journal Article

Detailed Kinetic Modeling of HCCI Combustion with Isopentanol

Isopentanol is an advanced biofuel that can be produced by micro-organisms through genetically engineered metabolic pathways. Compared to the more frequently studied ethanol, isopentanol's molecular structure has a longer carbon chain and includes a methyl branch. Its volumetric energy density is over 30% higher than ethanol, and it is less hygroscopic. Some fundamental combustion properties of isopentanol in an HCCI engine have been characterized in a recent study by Yang and Dec (SAE 2010-01-2164). They found that for typical HCCI operating conditions, isopentanol lacks two-stage ignition properties, yet it has a higher HCCI reactivity than gasoline. The amount of intermediate temperature heat release (ITHR) is an important fuel property, and having sufficient ITHR is critical for HCCI operation without knock at high loads using intake-pressure boosting. Isopentanol shows considerable ITHR, and the amount of ITHR increases with boost, similar to gasoline.
Journal Article

Effects of Gasoline Reactivity and Ethanol Content on Boosted, Premixed and Partially Stratified Low-Temperature Gasoline Combustion (LTGC)

Low-temperature gasoline combustion (LTGC), based on the compression ignition of a premixed or partially premixed dilute charge, can provide thermal efficiencies (TE) and maximum loads comparable to those of turbo-charged diesel engines, and ultra-low NOx and particulate emissions. Intake boosting is key to achieving high loads with dilute combustion, and it also enhances the fuel's autoignition reactivity, reducing the required intake heating or hot residuals. These effects have the advantages of increasing TE and charge density, allowing greater timing retard with good stability, and making the fuel ϕ- sensitive so that partial fuel stratification (PFS) can be applied for higher loads and further TE improvements. However, at high boost the autoignition reactivity enhancement can become excessive, and substantial amounts of EGR are required to prevent overly advanced combustion.
Journal Article

Improving Efficiency and Using E10 for Higher Loads in Boosted HCCI Engines

This study systematically investigates the effects of various engine operating parameters on the thermal efficiency of a boosted HCCI engine, and the potential of E10 to extend the high-load limit beyond that obtained with conventional gasoline. Understanding how these parameters can be adjusted and the trade-offs involved is critical for optimizing engine operation and for determining the highest efficiencies for a given engine geometry. Data were acquired in a 0.98 liter, single-cylinder HCCI research engine with a compression-ratio of 14:1, and the engine facility was configured to allow precise control over the relevant operating parameters. The study focuses on boosted operation with intake pressures (Pin) ≥ 2 bar, but some data for Pin < 2 bar are also presented. Two fuels are considered: 1) an 87-octane gasoline, and 2) E10 (10% ethanol in this same gasoline) which has a lower autoignition reactivity for boosted operation.
Technical Paper

Modeling of Trace Knock in a Modern SI Engine Fuelled by Ethanol/Gasoline Blends

This paper presents a numerical study of trace knocking combustion of ethanol/gasoline blends in a modern, single cylinder SI engine. Results are compared to experimental data from a prior, published work [1]. The engine is modeled using GT-Power and a two-zone combustion model containing detailed kinetic models. The two zone model uses a gasoline surrogate model [2] combined with a sub-model for nitric oxide (NO) [3] to simulate end-gas autoignition. Upstream, pre-vaporized fuel injection (UFI) and direct injection (DI) are modeled and compared to characterize ethanol's low autoignition reactivity and high charge cooling effects. Three ethanol/gasoline blends are studied: E0, E20, and E50. The modeled and experimental results demonstrate some systematic differences in the spark timing for trace knock across all three fuels, but the relative trends with engine load and ethanol content are consistent. Possible reasons causing the differences are discussed.
Journal Article

The Effect of Charge Cooling on the RON of Ethanol/Gasoline Blends

This paper examines the effect of charge cooling on the Research Octane Number (RON) of ethanol/gasoline blends. While gasoline is fully vaporized prior to entry into the engine in a standard RON test, significant charge cooling is observed for blends with high ethanol content, with the presence of a near-saturated and potentially two-phase air-fuel mixture during induction. Thus, the relative significance of the charge cooling and the autoignition chemistry cannot be determined from the standard RON test. In order to better delineate the effects of charge cooling and autoignition chemistry, a so-called ‘modified RON’ test is therefore devised in which the temperature of the air-fuel mixture entering the engine is fixed and representative of that observed for primary reference fuels (PRFs).