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Technical Paper

Combustion Optimization in a Hydrogen-Enhanced Lean-Burn SI Engine

As part of ongoing research on hydrogen-enhanced lean burn SI engines, this paper details an experimental combustion system optimization program. Experiments focused on three key areas: the ignition system, in-cylinder charge motion produced by changes in the inlet ports, and uniformity of fuel-air mixture preparation. Hydrogen enhancement is obtained with a H2, CO, N2 mixture produced by a fuel reformer such as the plasmatron. The ignition system tests compared a standard inductive coil scheme against high-energy discharge systems. Charge motion experiments focused on the impact of different flow and turbulence patterns generated within the cylinder by restrictor plates at the intake port entrance, as well as novel inlet flow modification cones. The in-cylinder fluid motion generated by each configuration was characterized using swirl and tumble flow benches. Mixture preparation tests compared a standard single-hole pintle port fuel injector against a fine atomizing 12-hole injector.
Technical Paper

Knock Behavior of a Lean-Burn, H2 and CO Enhanced, SI Gasoline Engine Concept

Experiments were performed to identify the knock trends of lean hydrocarbon-air mixtures, and such mixtures enhanced with hydrogen (H2) and carbon monoxide (CO). These enhanced mixtures simulated 15% and 30% of the engine's gasoline being reformed in a plasmatron fuel reformer [1]. Knock trends were determined by measuring the octane number (ON) of the primary reference fuel (mixture of isooctane and n-heptane) supplied to the engine that just produced audible knock. Experimental results show that leaner operation does not decrease the knock tendency of an engine under conditions where a fixed output torque is maintained; rather it slightly increases the octane requirement. The knock tendency does decrease with lean operation when the intake pressure is held constant, but engine torque is then reduced.
Technical Paper

Predicting the Behavior of a Hydrogen-Enhanced Lean-Burn SI Engine Concept

This paper explores the modeling of a lean boosted engine concept. Modeling provides a useful tool for investigating different parameters and comparing resultant emissions and fuel economy performance. An existing architectural concept has been tailored to a boosted hydrogen-enhanced lean-burn SI engine. The simulation consists of a set of Matlab models, part physical and part empirical, which has been developed to simulate a working engine. The model was calibrated with production engine data and experimental data taken at MIT. Combustion and emissions data come from a single cylinder research engine and include changes in air/fuel ratio, load and speed, and different fractions of the gasoline fuel reformed to H2 and CO. The outputs of the model are brake specific NOx emissions and brake specific fuel consumption maps along with cumulative NOx emissions and fuel economy for urban and highway drive cycles.