Eindhoven Thesis

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Efficient fuels for future engines


  • Efficient Fuels for Future Engines


    ter verkrijging van de graad van doctor aan de Technische Universiteit Eindhoven,

    op gezag van de rector magnificus, prof.dr.ir. C.J. van Duijn,

    voor een commissie aangewezen door het College voor Promoties,

    in het openbaar te verdedigen op dinsdag 25 februari 2014 om 16.00 uur


    Cornelis Antonius Johannes Leermakers

    geboren te Vessem, Wintelre en Knegsel

  • 2Dit proefschrift is goedgekeurd door de promotoren en de samenstelling van de promotiecommissie is als volgt:

    Voorzitter: prof.dr. L.P.H. de GoeyPromotor: prof.dr. B.H. JohanssonCopromotoren: dr. ir. L.M.T. Somers dr. N.J. DamLeden: prof.dr. R.W. Dibble (University of California, Berkeley) prof.dr.ir. S. Verhelst (Universiteit Gent) prof.dr.ir. E.J.M. HensenAdviseur: dr. M.P.B. Musculus (Sandia National Laboratories)

  • 3Copyright 2014 by C.A.J. LeermakersAll rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means, without the prior permission of the author. Chapter cover images are the artists, reproduced with permission of the artists and/or their representatives.

    This dissertation was typeset in Adobe InDesign CS5 using the Adobe Garamond Pro typeface. Cover design by the author, using Wordle.

    A catalogue record is available from the Eindhoven University of Technology LibraryISBN: 978-90-386-3554-5Printed by Off Page, Amsterdam

    efficient [ih-fish-uhnt] - adjective performing or functioning in the best possible manner with the least waste of time and effort;

    having and using requisite knowledge, skill, and industry; competent; capable: a reliable, efficient assistant.

    utilizing a particular commodity or product with the least waste of resources or effort (usually used in combination): a fuel-efficient engine.

    Late 14c., making, from Latin efficientem (nom. efficiens), prp. of efficere work out, accomplish

    PhD dissertation

    Efficient Fuels for Future Engines

    C.A.J. Leermakers

    This research is supported by the Dutch Technology Foundation STW, which is part of the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) and partly funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs under project number 10417: Crossing the Combustion Modes in Diesel Engines (XCiDE).

  • 41 BackgroundInternal combustion engines

    are crucial for the transport of both people and goods, and as

    such an essential part of todays society. However, some obstacles will have to be overcome to keep the use of engines possible for the

    decades to come. - page 6

    2 Thermodynamic test setupFor the thermodynamic engine tests described

    in this dissertation an advanced single-cylinder engine concept is used. This engine (CYCLOPS), the procedures followed, and definitions used have been described many

    times by the author and his colleagues. This chapter is a combination of these

    descriptions. - page 14

    3 Impact of operating conditions on PCCI combustionCombustion in an engine is affected by a large number of parameters, many of which can be controlled by a test bed operator. Operation of a test engine is much like controlling the engines of the Queen Elisabeth 2, the operating room of which is shown in this picture. - page 20

    4 Using diesel-like fuels for PCCIIn a short term scenario, application of any new combustion concept would be the easiest if readily available fuels can be used. Therefore in this chapter the performance of different types of diesel fuels are compared. - page 30

    5 Using low reactive diesels for PCCIThe usage of fuels other than regular diesel or gasoline, enables a choice of reactivity, and therewith allows to phase combustion as desired. A low-reactive aromatic solvent is added to diesel to tune its reactivity. - page 38

    6 Direct injection of butane-diesel blendsApart from using alternative combustion concepts to achieve

    high efficiency and low emissions, CO2- and cost-effective fuels can also be used. In this chapter the direct injection

    of butane-diesel blends is investigated. - page 427 Initial tests with RCCI

    Combining the properties of two conventional fuels

    can yield the chemical and physical properties desired for advanced compression

    ignition engines. Using two fuel systems allows to adjust these fuel properties in real

    time. - page 48

  • 58 Testing the controllability of RCCIUsing two fuel systems opens up an extra degree of freedom to control combustion phasing. In this chapter the control space is explored using four different injection strategies. - page 56

    9 Commercial Naphtha blends for

    PPCNaphtha streams, from a

    refinery such as the Pernis one of this image could

    provide easily applicable fuels for Partially-Premixed

    Combustion - page 66

    10 Butanol for PPCThe use of diesel blended with a promising second-generation bio-fuel can provide a

    viable approach for PPC. In this chapter n-butanol is used, which can

    be produced from switch grass. - page 76

    11 Fuel composition effects on PPCGiven an optimum reactivity, effects of the chemical composition of fuels on Partially-Premixed Combustion are explored, with the focus on load range capacity. - page 86 12 Cinematographic imaging

    of methylidine radicals using LIFA laser diagnostic technique, imaging the

    CH radical, is developed which may help in providing further understanding of processes in

    Low-Temperature Combustion. - page 100

    13 Cinematographic imaging of hydroxyl radicals in an optically accessible engineBecause high-speed CH-LIF was shown to have a very limited applicability under engine conditions, the same setup was used for more feasible imaging of the OH radical. - page 110

    14 Laser diagnostics of early soot formation (PAH)

    A third laser diagnostic technique to study early stages of soot formation

    is developed. This technique uses simultaneous laser-induced

    incandescence of soot and fluorescence of poly-cyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

    (PAH). - page 120

    15 Summarizing discussion and conclusion

    In this thesis the fuel effects on new combustion concepts have been investigated.

    Furthermore, laser diagnostic techniques have been developed to gain further

    understanding of the underlying processes. To conclude, in this last chapter the results are summarized and discussed. - page 136

    AppendicesList of publications - page 140

    From the author - page 142Dissertation summary - page 143

    Authors Curriculum Vitae - page 144

  • Background


    1 Background

    Internal combustion engines are crucial for the transport of both people and goods,

    and as such an essential part of todays society. However, some obstacles will have to be overcome to keep the use of engines

    possible for the decades to come.

    Photo courtesy of Kevin Dooley under Creative Commons license

  • Background


    and maintain, so that they have been widely de-ployed in a large range of appliances.

    But, alas, every rose has its thorn. For the combustion engine two major complications, emerged from its success, became evident during the second half of the twentieth century. In late 1970 the United States oil production peaked and could not keep up with further growing de-mand in the years after that [3]. As with similar markets, this imbalance increases the product prizes up to a level where the balance is restored.

    It has been shown that the demand is only marginally influenced by price levels. However, the production rates are influenced as increas-ingly difficult and expensive methods can be employed to extract the oil, such as from oil sands and shales nowadays. Herewith, the trade-off between demand and production will be re-stored, as long as technology can keep up and users can afford the associated price.

    By the mid of the last century, a second disad-vantage of combustion engines became evident. Local emissions, like Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) and Particulate Matter (PM) have been shown to be particularly harmful for ground-level air quality and the environment in general. Nitro-gen oxides may in the air convert to nitric acid which has been implicated in acid rain. Further-more, NOx participates in ozone layer depletion and the formation of smog [4]. Particulate mat-ter has been associated with climate effects, im-pact on vegetation, and most importantly with adverse health effects for humans and animals. Inhalation of particulate matter has up to now been shown to increase the risk of asthma, lung cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, birth defects, and premature death [5]. It is for these reasons that the European Union has in-troduced emission limits for different types of road transport vehicles (Figure 11).

    Apart from the problems regarding such lo-cal emissions, combustion engines using conven-tional fuels emit carbon dioxide (CO2), which is generally thought to have a global impact as a greenhouse gas [6] Although the discussions on these issues have not yet settled [7], automotive

    Combustion engines: their past and future

    Worldwide, people rely on the use of motor-ized transport. Over the last century, both in-dividual and mass transport systems have made the world a lot smaller or bigger, depending on how you look at it. People have been increas-ingly more able to travel from one village to another, but also around the world. Not only people transport has evolved significantly, a very important place in todays society is held by the transport of goods around the world. Heavy-duty road transport as well as sea freight take an indispensabl