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Technical Paper

An Investigation of Gasoline Engine Knock Limited Performance and the Effects of Hydrogen Enhancement

A set of experiments was performed to investigate the effects of relative air-fuel ratio, inlet boost pressure, and compression ratio on engine knock behavior. Selected operating conditions were also examined with simulated hydrogen rich fuel reformate added to the gasoline-air intake mixture. For each operating condition knock limited spark advance was found for a range of octane numbers (ON) for two fuel types: primary reference fuels (PRFs), and toluene reference fuels (TRFs). A smaller set of experiments was also performed with unleaded test gasolines. A combustion phasing parameter based on the timing of 50% mass fraction burned, termed “combustion retard”, was used as it correlates well to engine performance. The combustion retard required to just avoid knock increases with relative air-fuel ratio for PRFs and decreases with air-fuel ratio for TRFs.
Technical Paper

Future Light-Duty Vehicles: Predicting their Fuel Consumption and Carbon-Reduction Potential

The transportation sector in the United States is a major contributor to global energy consumption and carbon dioxide emission. To assess the future potentials of different technologies in addressing these two issues, we used a family of simulation programs to predict fuel consumption for passenger cars in 2020. The selected technology combinations that have good market potential and could be in mass production include: advanced gasoline and diesel internal combustion engine vehicles with automatically-shifting clutched transmissions, gasoline, diesel, and compressed natural gas hybrid electric vehicles with continuously variable transmissions, direct hydrogen, gasoline and methanol reformer fuel cell hybrid electric vehicles with direct ratio drive, and battery electric vehicle with direct ratio drive.
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

Lean-Burn Characteristics of a Gasoline Engine Enriched with Hydrogen Plasmatron Fuel Reformer

When hydrogen is added to a gasoline fueled spark ignition engine the lean limit of the engine can be extended. Lean running engines are inherently more efficient and have the potential for significantly lower NOx emissions. In the engine concept examined here, supplemental hydrogen is generated on-board the vehicle by diverting a fraction of the gasoline to a plasmatron where a partial oxidation reaction is initiated with an electrical discharge, producing a plasmatron gas containing primarily hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen. Two different gas mixtures were used to simulate the plasmatron output. An ideal plasmatron gas (H2, CO, and N2) was used to represent the output of the theoretically best plasmatron. A typical plasmatron gas (H2, CO, N2, and CO2) was used to represent the current output of the plasmatron. A series of hydrogen addition experiments were also performed to quantify the impact of the non-hydrogen components in the plasmatron gas.
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.