Effects of Substantial Spark Retard on SI Engine Combustion and Hydrocarbon Emissions
Experiments were conducted to determine the effects of substantial spark retard on combustion, hydrocarbon (HC) emissions, and exhaust temperature, under cold engine conditions. A single-cylinder research engine was operated at 20° C fluid temperatures for various spark timings and relative air/fuel ratios. Combustion stability was observed to decrease as the phasing of the 50% mass fraction burned (MFB) occurred later in the expansion stroke. A thermodynamic burn rate analysis indicated combustion was complete at exhaust valve opening with -20° before top dead center (BTDC) spark timings. Chemical and thermal energy of the exhaust gas was tracked from cylinder-exit to the exhaust runner. Time-resolved HC concentrations measured in the port and runner were mass weighted to obtain an exhaust HC mass flow rate. Results were compared to time averaged well downstream HC levels.