Gehmlich, R., Dumitrescu, C., Wang, Y., and Mueller, C., "Leaner Lifted-Flame Combustion Enabled by the Use of an Oxygenated Fuel in an Optical CI Engine," SAE Int. J. Engines 9(3):1526-1543, 2016, doi:10.4271/2016-01-0730.
Leaner lifted-flame combustion (LLFC) is a mixing-controlled combustion strategy for compression-ignition (CI) engines that does not produce soot because the equivalence ratio at the lift-off length is less than or equal to approximately two. In addition to completely preventing soot formation, LLFC can simultaneously control emissions of nitrogen oxides because it is tolerant to the use of exhaust-gas recirculation for lowering in-cylinder temperatures. Experiments were conducted in a heavy-duty CI engine that has been modified to provide optical access to the combustion chamber, to study whether LLFC is facilitated by an oxygenated fuel blend (T50) comprising a 1:1 mixture by volume of tri-propylene glycol mono-methyl ether with an ultra-low-sulfur #2 diesel emissions-certification fuel (CFA). Results from the T50 experiments are compared against baseline results using the CFA fuel without the oxygenate. Experimental measurements include crank-angle-resolved natural luminosity and chemiluminescence imaging. Dilution effects were studied by adding nitrogen and carbon dioxide to the intake charge. Initial experiments with a 2-hole fuel-injector tip achieved LLFC at low loads with the T50 fuel, and elucidated the most important operating parameters necessary to achieve LLFC. The strategy was then extended to more moderate loads by employing a 6-hole injector tip, where lowering the intake-manifold temperature, reducing the coolant temperature, and retarding the start-ofcombustion timing resulted in sustained LLFC at both 21% and 16% intake-oxygen mole fractions at loads greater than 5 bar gross indicated mean effective pressure. In contrast to the results with T50, LLFC was not achieved under any of the test conditions with CFA.