Experimental Study of the Role of Intermediate-Temperature Heat Release on Octane Sensitivity



Increasing the efficiency of the spark-ignition engine can help to reduce the environmental impact of the transportation sector. Engine knock obstructs the increased efficiency that could be gained by increasing the compression ratio in a spark-ignition (SI) engine. A fuel’s propensity to knock is measured by the research octane number (RON) and the motor octane number (MON) in a co-operative fuel research (CFR) engine. A fuel’s octane sensitivity (OS) is the difference between the RON and MON. Modern downsized and turbocharged engines operate at what is considered to be beyond-RON conditions. Studies have shown that having a fuel with higher OS improves knock resistance at beyond-RON conditions. This study aims to gain a better understanding of the role of intermediate-temperature heat release (ITHR) in defining OS and its subsequent impact on SI operation through the experimental framework. The ITHR of toluene primary reference fuels (TPRFs) fuels with matching RON and varying OS was studied at RON-like and MON-like homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) conditions for two different matching criteria. The first criterion was to control the combustion phasing by matching half of the heat release (CA50) to 3 crank angle degrees after top dead center. The second criterion was to match the compression ratios. Results showed that at RON-like HCCI conditions, TPRF fuels display decreasing ITHR with increasing OS. Furthermore, it was shown that TPRF fuels with low sensitivity displayed a greater increase in ITHR from MON-like conditions to RON-like conditions. Thus, the sensitivity of ITHR to changes in operating conditions was found to be a contributing factor to OS. In the beyond-RON conditions (relevant to current modern engines), there is a potential for improved engine efficiency by using fuels with high OS to allow for higher compression ratios. The experimental results of this work show that OS is negatively correlated with ITHR. Thus, high-sensitivity fuels can be designed by choosing components and additives that reduce the amount of ITHR.
Date made available2022
PublisherKAUST Research Repository

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