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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Autoignition and emission characteristics of gaseous fuel direct-injection compression-ignition combustion Wu, Ning


Heavy-duty natural gas engines offer air pollution and energy diversity benefits. However, current homogeneous-charge lean-burn engines suffer from impaired efficiency and high unburned fuel emissions. Natural gas direct-injection engines offer the potential of diesel-like efficiencies, but require further research. To improve understanding of the autoignition and emission characteristics of natural gas direct-injection compression-ignition combustion, the effects of key operating parameters (including injection pressure, injection duration, and pre-combustion temperature) and gaseous fuel composition(including the effects of ethane, hydrogen and nitrogen addition) were studied. An experimental investigation was carried out on a shock tube facility. Ignition delay, ignition kernel location, and NOx emissions were measured. The results indicated that the addition of ethane to the fuel resulted in a decrease in ignition delay and a significant increase in NOx emissions. The addition of hydrogen to the fuel resulted in a decrease in ignition delay and a significant decrease in NOx emissions. Diluting the fuel with nitrogen resulted in an increase in ignition delay and a significant decrease in NOx emissions. Increasing pre-combustion temperature resulted in a significant reduction in ignition delay, and a significant increase in NOx emissions. Modest increase in injection pressure reduced the ignition delay; increasing injection pressure resulted in higher NOx emissions. The effects of ethane, hydrogen, and nitrogen addition on the ignition delay of methane were also successfully predicted by FlameMaster simulation. OH radical distribution in the flame was visualized utilizing Planar Laser Induced Fluorescence (PLIF). Single-shot OH-PLIF images revealed the stochastic nature of the autoignition process of non-premixed methane jets. Examination of the convergence of the ensemble-averaged OH-PLIF images showed that increasing the number of repeat experiments was the most effective way to achieve a more converged result. A combustion model, which incorporated the Conditional Source-term Estimation(CSE) method for the closure of the chemical source term and the Trajectory Generated Low-Dimensional Manifold (TGLDM) method for the reduction of detailed chemistry, was applied to predict the OH distribution in a combusting non-premixed methane jet. The model failed to predict the OH distribution as indicated by the ensemble-averaged OH-PLIF images, since it cannot account for fluctuations in either turbulence or chemistry.

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