Henkel, S., Hardalupas, Y., Taylor, A., Conifer, C. et al., "Injector Fouling and Its Impact on Engine Emissions and Spray Characteristics in Gasoline Direct Injection Engines," SAE Int. J. Fuels Lubr. 10(2):2017, doi:10.4271/2017-01-0808.
In Gasoline Direct Injection engines, direct exposure of the injector to the flame can cause combustion products to accumulate on the nozzle, which can result in increased particulate emissions. This research observes the impact of injector fouling on particulate emissions and the associated injector spray pattern and shows how both can be reversed by utilising fuel detergency. For this purpose multi-hole injectors were deliberately fouled in a four-cylinder test engine with two different base fuels. During a four hour injector fouling cycle particulate numbers (PN) increased by up to two orders of magnitude. The drift could be reversed by switching to a fuel blend that contained a detergent additive. In addition, it was possible to completely avoid any PN increase, when the detergent containing fuel was used from the beginning of the test. Microscopy showed that increased injector fouling coincided with increased particulate emissions. Based on these results a selection of the injectors was installed in a laboratory injection chamber and the spray patterns were investigated with a high speed camera. Injectors corresponding to the largest PN drift produced the thinnest spray jets with the deepest penetration. These factors amplify the risk of wall wetting and provide an explanation for the increase of PN. The positive effect of the detergent was also reflected in the spray pattern analysis, which illustrates the potential benefits of such fuel additives.