Effects of Pre-spark Heat Release of Ethanol-Blended Gasoline Surrogate Fuels on Engine Combustion Behavior

Authors Abstract
Regulations limiting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the transport sector have become more restrictive in recent years, drawing interest to synthetic fuels such as e-fuels and biofuels that could “decarbonize” existing vehicles. This study focuses on the potential to increase the thermal efficiency of spark-ignition (SI) engines using ethanol as a renewable fuel, which requires a deep understanding of the effects of ethanol on combustion behavior with high compression ratios (CRs). An important phenomenon in this condition is pre-spark heat release (PSHR), which occurs in engines with high CRs in boosted conditions and changes the fuel reactivity, leading to changes in the burning velocity. Fuel blends containing ethanol display high octane sensitivity (OS) and limited low-temperature heat release (LTHR). Consequently, their burning velocities with PSHR may differ from that of gasoline. This study therefore aimed to clarify the effects of ethanol on SI combustion behavior under PSHR conditions. Combustion behavior was studied by performing single-cylinder engine experiments and chemical kinetics simulations. The experimental measurements were performed to characterize the relationship between the occurrence of PSHR and the main combustion duration. Analysis of this relationship showed that the ethanol-blended fuel has a lesser PSHR and a longer combustion duration than the non-ethanol fuel by approximately 5% in high engine load conditions. Simulations using input data from the experiments revealed that the ethanol-blended fuel has a lower laminar burning velocity due to the lower temperature in the unburned mixture caused by its PSHR. Additional simulations examining the chemical effect of partially oxidized reactants caused by PSHR on the laminar burning velocity showed that partially oxidized reactants increase the laminar burning velocity of the ethanol-blended fuel but decrease that of a reference fuel without ethanol. A large number of fuel radicals and oxides of the ethanol-blended fuel enhances chain-branching reactions in the pre-flame zone and possibly increases its laminar burning velocity. However, the thermodynamic effect of PSHR on laminar burning velocity exceeds the chemical effect, and thus the ethanol-blended fuel has a lower turbulent burning velocity in the PSHR conditions.
Meta TagsDetails
Yoshimura, K., Isobe, K., Kawashima, M., Yamaguchi, K. et al., "Effects of Pre-spark Heat Release of Ethanol-Blended Gasoline Surrogate Fuels on Engine Combustion Behavior," SAE Int. J. Fuels Lubr. 17(1):37-50, 2024, https://doi.org/10.4271/04-17-01-0003.
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May 2, 2023
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Journal Article