Wolk, B., Ekoto, I., and Northrop, W., "Investigation of Fuel Effects on In-Cylinder Reforming Chemistry Using Gas Chromatography," SAE Int. J. Engines 9(2):964-978, 2016, doi:10.4271/2016-01-0753.
Negative Valve Overlap (NVO) is a potential control strategy for enabling Low-Temperature Gasoline Combustion (LTGC) at low loads. While the thermal effects of NVO fueling on main combustion are well-understood, the chemical effects of NVO in-cylinder fuel reforming have not been extensively studied. The objective of this work is to examine the effects of fuel molecular structure on NVO fuel reforming using gas sampling and detailed speciation by gas chromatography. Engine gas samples were collected from a single-cylinder research engine at the end of the NVO period using a custom dump-valve apparatus. Six fuel components were studied at two injection timings: (1) iso-octane, (2) n-heptane, (3) ethanol, (4) 1-hexene, (5) cyclohexane, and (6) toluene. All fuel components were studied neat except for toluene - toluene was blended with 18.9% nheptane by liquid volume to increase the fuel reactivity. Additionally, a gasoline surrogate matching the broad molecular composition of RD587 gasoline was formulated using the chosen fuel palette and tested. The energy content of the injected fuel mass was kept constant for the sampled NVO cycle and the excess oxygen was relatively low (2.4%) compared to previous studies by the authors. The later injection timing studied resulted in useable recovered fuel energy near 70% and improved reformate yield of hydrogen and C1-C4 hydrocarbons compared to the earlier injection timing for all fuels except toluene/n-heptane. Analysis of the RD587 surrogate reformate compared to the individual component reformates suggests that fuel component interactions depend on injection timing, potentially through the in-cylinder equivalence ratio distribution.