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Fuel 87 (2008) 34973503

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Study of performance, combustion and emission characteristics of diesel

homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) combustion with external
mixture formation
D. Ganesh *, G. Nagarajan, M. Mohamed Ibrahim
Internal Combustion Engineering Division, Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, Guindy, Anna University, Chennai 600 025, India

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: The present investigation was to study the performance, combustion and emission characteristics of
Received 10 April 2008 homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) combustion of diesel fuel with external mixture for-
Received in revised form 5 June 2008 mation technique. A stationary four stroke, single cylinder, direct injection diesel engine capable of devel-
Accepted 6 June 2008
oping 4.4 kW at 1500 rpm was modied to operate in HCCI mode. To achieve homogeneous mixture,
Available online 3 July 2008
diesel fuel was inducted in vapour form by using a diesel fuel vaporizer. The fuel vaporizer was mounted
in the intake system to provide diesel vapour, which is mixed with air and inducted into the cylinder. To
control the early ignition of diesel vapourair mixture, cooled EGR technique was adopted. Experiments
Fuel vaporiser
Homogeneous charge
were conducted with diesel vapour induction without EGR and diesel vapour induction with 10% EGR and
Combustion results are compared with conventional diesel fuel operation (DI @ 23 deg bTDC and 200 bar injection
Emissions pressure). From the experimental results, it is found that, the ignition delay is reduced considerably
Performance for diesel vapour induction due to better mixture preparation and results in low emissions. A reduction
of about 55% and 80% in NOx emissions and 20% and 30% reduction in smoke emissions are obtained for
diesel vapour induction without EGR and Diesel vapour induction with 10% EGR compared to conven-
tional mode of operation.
2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction known drawbacks of mixing controlled combustion that lead to

soot formation in DI Diesel engines. Moreover, since the combus-
Homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) is a combus- tion occurs without ame propagation, it leads to lower gas tem-
tion concept that constitutes a valid approach to achieve high ef- peratures, thus reducing NOx emissions [4].
ciencies and low nitrogen oxides and particulate emissions in Great efforts are nowadays devoted to the study of dual mode
comparison with traditional compression ignition (CI) direct injec- [57] combustion system in which traditional SI or CI combustion
tion (DI) engines [1]. Although HCCI combustion was demon- is used for the operating conditions where HCCI operation is more
strated about 20 years ago [2], only the recent advances made in difcult. Typically, the engine is cold-started as an SI or CIDI en-
airow, fuel and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) electronic control gine, then switched to HCCI mode for idle and low to mid-load
have made it feasible. HCCI has been successfully applied both to operation to obtain the benets of HCCI combustion in this regime,
spark ignition (SI) and compression ignition (CI) engines, and which constitutes a large portion of typical automotive driving cy-
proved to be fuel exible. Since it has been achieved with gaseous cles. For load operation, the engine is switched to SI or CIDI oper-
fuels such as propane or natural gas, as well as liquid fuels like tra- ation. To realize a dual combustion system on production
ditional gasoline or diesel fuels. engines, either with internal or external mixture formation, many
The HCCI process operates on the principle of having a lean, pre- challenging design problems have to be solved. As regards to the
mixed, homogeneous charge that reacts and burns volumetrically rst technique, the current effort is focused on arriving at an opti-
throughout the cylinder as it is compressed by the piston [3]. The mal combustion chamber design and injector nozzle conguration
mixture can be prepared either internally or externally. The pre- that allows operation in HCCI at mid-load and efcient DI
mixed charge minimizes particulate emissions because the com- operation at high loads. Unfortunately the nozzle requirements
bustion occurs simultaneously throughout the cylinder volume for homogeneous operation are contradictory to conventional,
rather than in the form of a ame front. This avoids the well- heterogeneous operation. Homogeneous injections have to be
low penetrating and highly dispersing, which leads to high hole
* Corresponding author. Tel.: +91 44 22203269; fax: +91 44 22203255. numbers with low ow rates. Conventional, heterogeneous opera-
E-mail address: (D. Ganesh). tion at high loads demands high penetration and high ow rates.

0016-2361/$ - see front matter 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
3498 D. Ganesh et al. / Fuel 87 (2008) 34973503

This compromise leads to reduced performance in both homoge- measuring the exhaust gas temperature. An orice meter was
neous and heterogeneous combustion modes. On the other hand used to measure air consumption of the engine with the help of
the major problem that occurs in external mixture formation is re- a U tube manometer. The surge tank xed on the inlet side of
lated to the temperature and pressure conditions required for fuel an engine maintains a constant airow through the orice meter.
vapourisation. Intake temperatures from 100 C to 200 C are typ- Exhaust emission from the engine was measured with the help of
ically required to aid the evaporation of the port or manifold in- a QROTECH, QEO-402 gas analyzer. Smoke intensity was mea-
jected diesel fuel. High EGR ratios, around 50%, are also sured with the help of a Bosch Smoke meter. Bosch Smoke meter
necessary to reduce the rate of heat release and therefore control usually consists of a piston type sampling pump and a smoke
knock [8]. The requirement of intake heating is also an obvious level measuring unit. Two separate sampling probes were used
problem in a practical engine for both implementation reasons to receive sample exhaust gases from the engine for measuring
and the lower power density due to the low-density air charge. emission and smoke intensity. A lter paper of diameter 50 mm
Further affecting the power density is the requirement of high was used to collect smoke samples from the engine, through
EGR rates, which limit the amount of fresh air in a cycle and, by smoke sampling pump for measuring Bosch Smoke Number.
consequence, the amount of fuel that can be burned. Water cooled piezoelectric pressure transducer of range 0250 bar
One of the major problems in achieving stable HCCI combustion (Kistler) was used for cylinder pressure measurement. A crankan-
is to obtain direct control of autoignition process over different en- gle encoder was used to sense the position of top dead center
gine operating conditions (especially at medium and high loads, as (TDC). Output from the crank angle encoder and pressure trans-
well as in cold-start conditions). Combustion phasing is dominated ducer were connected to a charge amplier. From charge ampli-
by chemical kinetics, which depends mainly on the composition of er the output signal was transferred to DL750 Scopecorder and
the mixture, the in-cylinder temperature and to a lesser extent, the then it was transferred to the computer to analyse the data to
pressure. Several potential control methods have been proposed so obtain pressure crankangle diagram and heat release rate
far, the most effective including EGR [9], variable compression ra- diagram. The diesel fuel vaporizer was mounted in the intake
tio (VCR) mechanisms or variable valve actuation (VVT) to change manifold system to supply the diesel fuel in vapour form in the
the effective compression ratio and the amount of hot residual gas intake manifold and it was mixed with the air. Fig. 2 show the
respectively. schematic of diesel fuel vaporizer.
The present work deals with the study of performance, combus- During experimentation, rst, the engine was operated in a die-
tion and emission characteristics of HCCI combustion process in a sel mode through a warm-up procedure, and then it was switched
DI diesel engine with external mixture formation [1012]. In this to HCCI operation. The diesel fuel vaporizer was maintained at
investigation a stationary four stroke, single cylinder, direct injec- 90 C to obtain the diesel fuel in vapour form. The fuel was sup-
tion diesel engine was modied to operate in HCCI mode with plied continuously through the vaporizer to attain the engine rated
external mixture formation technique. A diesel fuel vaporizer speed. The governor cuts the fuel supply to the diesel fuel injector,
was mounted in the intake system to prepare the homogenous die- there on it was run completely in diesel vapour induction mode
sel vapour- air mixture. The experiments were conducted with die- and readings were taken up to 75% load condition. At full load con-
sel vapour induction without EGR and diesel vapour induction with dition the engine was switched back into conventional operation
10% EGR. Experimental results obtained are compared with the because of the difculty observed in controlling the combustion.
base line readings. The EGR technique [13,14] was used to control the rate of combus-
tion. The exhaust gas were cooled in an EGR cooler before they
2. Experimental set-up and procedure were mixed with fresh intake air. And the charge temperature,
which was measured at the entry of the intake manifold, was about
Experiments were conducted on a modied single-cylinder, 3942 C. The EGR fraction is dened as the ratio between the mass
air-cooled, direct injection diesel engine. The test engine used ow of recirculated exhaust and the total mass ow entering the
was a single cylinder four-stroke air-cooled diesel engine devel- engine through the intake. The accurate measurement of EGR rate
oping 4.4 kW at 1500 rpm. The engine specications are shown is the premise to control EGR [15,16], but it is difcult by the
in Table 1. The schematic of experimental set-up is shown in present-days technology. There are two common measurements
Fig. 1. Time taken for fuel consumption was measured with the of EGR rate: 1) concentrations of CO2 in intake and output gas
help of a digital stopwatch. Chromel alumel thermocouple in and (2) air/fuel ratio. The rst method was used in this investiga-
conjunction with a digital temperature indicator was used for tion, and the formula used was as follows:
EGR % CO2 %intake =CO2 %exhaust  100%
Table 1
Engine specications
3. Instrumentation
S. Parameters Specications
Table 2 provides the range, accuracy, and percentage uncertain-
1 General Single cylinder, four stroke, compression ignition, Constant ties of various instruments used in this experiment for observing
details speed, vertical, air cooled, direct injection
various parameters.
2 Bore 87.5 mm
3 Stroke 110 mm
4 Swept 662 cm3 3.1. Error analysis
5 Injection 23 deg bTDC Errors and uncertainties in the experiments can arise from
instrument selection, condition, calibration, environment, observa-
6 Compression 17.5:1
ratio tion, reading and test planning. Uncertainty analysis is needed to
7 Rated output 4.4 kW at 1500 rpm prove the accuracy of the experiments. An uncertainty analysis
8 Rated speed 1500 rpm was performed using the method described in [17]. Percentage
9 Injection 200 bar
uncertainties of various parameters like Total fuel consumption,
brake power; specic fuel consumption and brake thermal
D. Ganesh et al. / Fuel 87 (2008) 34973503 3499

Water outlet


Water inlet
18 10


14 5
8 3
16 15

20 6

13 12

1 Air surge tank 11 Flywheel

2 Diesel fuel tank 12 Dynamometer
3 Flow meter 13Crank angle encoder
4 Fuel control valve 14 Fuel injection pump
5 Charge amplifier 15 Flow meter for Diesel HCCI mode
6 Dat
Data acquisition 16 Diesel fuel tank
7 Relay and temperature controller 17 EGR control valve
8 Pressure sensor 18 Exhaust gas analyser
9 Diesel fuel vaporizer 19 EGR Cooler
10 Fuel tube 20 Engine
21 Diesel DI injector

Fig. 1. Schematic diagram of experimental set-up.







Fig. 2. Schematic diagram of fuel vapouriser.

3500 D. Ganesh et al. / Fuel 87 (2008) 34973503

Table 2
List of instruments and its range, accuracy, and uncertainties

SNo Instruments Range Accuracy Percentage uncertainties

1 Gas analyzer CO 010% .02% 0.2
CO2 020% .03% 0.15
UBHC 010,000 ppm 10 ppm 0.2
NOx 05000 ppm 20 ppm 0.2
3 Smoke level measuring instrument BSN 010 0.1 1
4 EGT indicator (K-type chromel alumel thermocouples) 01000 C 1 C 0.15

5 Speed measuring unit 010,000 rpm 10 rpm 0.1

6 Burette for fuel measurement 0.1 cm3 1
7 Digital stop watch 0.6 s 0.2
8 Manometer 1 mm 1
9 Pressure pickup 0250 bar 0.1 0.1
10 Crankangle encoder 1 0.2

efciency were calculated using the percentage uncertainties of and diesel vapour induction with 10% EGR is shown in Fig. 3.
various instruments given in the Table 2. The gure show that the brake thermal efciency decreases with
The total percentage uncertainty of this experiment is the vaporized diesel fuel induction. From the gure it is observed
that at 75% load the brake thermal efciency decreases by 3.8%
Square root of funcertainty of TFC2 and 2.8% for both diesel vapour induction without EGR and with
uncertainty of specific fuel consumption2 10% EGR, respectively. The decrease in brake thermal efciency
is due to continuous supply of fuel to the fuel vaporizer resulting
uncertainty of brake thermal efficiency2
in an increase in fuel consumption. This problem can be elimi-
uncertainty of CO2 uncertainty of CO2 2 nated by proper fuel metering through electronic control unit
uncertainty of UBHC2 uncertainty of NOx 2 (ECU).

uncertainty of BSN2 uncertainty of EGT indicator2

4.2. Oxides of nitrogen emissions
uncertainty of Pressure pick up2 g
Square root of f12 0:22 12 0:22 0:152 Low NOx emission is one primary advantage of HCCI combus-
2 2 2 2 2
tion. Since the homogenous mixture auto ignites, HCCI combustion
0:2 0:2 1 0:15 0:1 g starts more or less simultaneously in the entire cylinder. So the
1:8: high temperature region and high concentration region in conven-
tional engine are eliminated, and the combustion temperature is
fairly low compared with that of conventional engines, which re-
4. Results and discussion sults in low NOx level. When cooled EGR is applied, NOx emissions
further decrease due to lower combustion temperature. Fig. 4 show
In this investigation, the combustion, performance and emis- the variation of oxides of nitrogen with load for diesel fuel (con-
sion characteristics of a DI diesel engine were studied by using die- ventional mode), diesel vapour induction without EGR and diesel
sel vapourair mixture (External mixture formation) without EGR vapour induction with 10% EGR. From the gure it is observed that
and with 10% EGR. the oxides of nitrogen decreases when compared to conventional
diesel fuel operation. The reduction in oxides of nitrogen is due
4.1. Brake thermal efciency

The variation of brake thermal efciency with load for diesel

fuel (conventional mode), diesel vapour induction without EGR
Brake specific Oxides of Nitrogen

30 10
Brake thermal efficiency (%)

25 8


5 2

0 0
0 25 50 75 100 0 20 40 60 80 100 120
Load (%) Load (%)
Diesel fuel Diesel fuel
Diesel vapour induction without EGR Diesel vapour induction without EGR

Diesel vapour induction with 10% EGR Diesel vapour induction with 10% EGR

Fig. 3. Variation of brake thermal efciency with load. Fig. 4. Variation of brake specic oxides of nitrogen with load.
D. Ganesh et al. / Fuel 87 (2008) 34973503 3501

to homogenous charge obtained through external mixture forma- 3

tion. For diesel vapour induction, without EGR, the NOx reduces

Brake specific Hydrocarbon

by 51% and 56% at 50% and 75% load compared to conventional die- 2.5
sel operation (23 deg bTDC and 200 bar DI). For diesel vapour
induction, with 10%EGR, NOx reduces by 76% and 80% at 50% and 2
75% load compared to conventional diesel operation. This is due

to shorter ignition delay and thereby lower combustion tempera- 1.5
ture when compared to the conventional combustion mode. Induc-
tion of EGR with premixed diesel vapourair mixture results in 1
further reduction in oxides of nitrogen due to reduction in combus-
tion temperature and pressure. 0.5

4.3. Smoke emissions 0

0 20 40 60 80 100 120
The variation of smoke with load for diesel fuel (conventional
Diesel fuel
mode), diesel vapour induction without EGR and diesel vapour
Diesel vapour induction without EGR
induction with 10% EGR is shown in Fig. 5. The smoke level is re-
Diesel vapour induction with 10% EGR
duced by 20% and 30% when the engine is operated with diesel va-
pour induction without EGR and with 10% EGR at 75% load
Fig. 6. Variation of brake specic hydrocarbons with load.
condition. The smoke level decreases at all loads when compared
to conventional diesel fuel operation. The reason for the reduction
in smoke intensity might be due to the disappearance of rich re- because at higher power outputs increasing the quantity of diesel
gions of mixture inside the combustion chamber. vapour induction results in higher concentration of diesel va-
pourair mixture in the combustion chamber.
4.4. Hydrocarbon emissions
4.5. Carbon monoxide emissions
HCCI engines have inherently low emissions of NOx and partic-
ulate matter, but relatively high hydrocarbons (HC) and carbon The formation of CO is much more complex. Unlike HC, CO is
monoxide (CO). For HCCI combustion, the whole cylinder volume one of the intermediate products of combustion reaction and its
is full of homogeneous mixture of fuel and air, the combustion formation is controlled by the chemical kinetics. CO emissions de-
temperature is low, and so more HC may be generated. And the crease due to increase in in-cylinder combustion temperature.
low exhaust temperature inhibiting from oxidation of HC in ex- With an increase in EGR rate, the combustion reaction rate is re-
haust process also makes the measured HC higher. EGR has two duced, the mean temperature in cylinder is decreased and the
primary effects on HC emission: one is that the intake of some un- combustion reaction becomes more incomplete, the reason is that
burnt HC with exhaust gas into the next cycle leads to the decrease more and more mid product CO cannot be oxidized completely
of HC emissions, the other is that the decrease of combustion tem- into CO2 because of the decrease in temperature. Fig. 7 show the
perature in cylinder leads to an increase in HC emissions. Fig. 6 variation of carbon monoxide emission at various loads. The car-
show the variation of hydrocarbon emission at various loads. The bon monoxide emissions are 0.22 g/kW h and 0.13 g/kW h, at
hydrocarbon emissions are 0.565 g/kW h and 0.676 g/kW h at 75% load for diesel vapour induction without EGR and with 10%
75% load for diesel vapour induction without and with 10% EGR, EGR, compared to base line diesel fuel of 0.013 g/kW h. The carbon
compared to base line diesel fuel of 0.262 g/kW h at 75% load. monoxide emission increases in diesel vapour induction without
The increase in hydrocarbon emission is due to the low tempera- EGR and diesel vapour induction with 10% EGR. The increase in car-
ture combustion of lean mixture and recycling of exhaust gases bon monoxide emission is due to the low temperature combustion
which is necessary for HCCI operation. However, the hydrocarbon
emission gradually decreases with increase in engine load. This is

Brake specific Carbon monoxide (g/kWh)

1.6 0.3

Smoke (BSU)

0.8 0.15
0 0
0 20 40 60 80 100 0 20 40 60 80 100 120
Load (%)
Diesel fuel
Diesel fuel
Diesel vapour induction without EGR Diesel vapour induction without EGR
Diesel vapour induction with 10% EGR Diesel vapour induction with 10% EGR

Fig. 5. Variation of smoke with load. Fig. 7. Variation of brake specic carbon monoxide with load.
3502 D. Ganesh et al. / Fuel 87 (2008) 34973503

of lean mixture and use of EGR which is necessary for HCCI 70

Engine Speed: 1500 rpm

Rate of Heat Release(J/degCA)

60 Load: 75%

4.6. Exhaust gas temperature
The variation of exhaust gas temperature at various loads for 30
diesel vapour induction without EGR and with 10% EGR is shown
in Fig. 8. It is observed that in the external mixture formation
method, the exhaust gas temperature is found to be lower by 10
26% without EGR and 31% with 10% EGR. The reason for reduction 0
in exhaust gas temperature is that the overall air-fuel mixture is 300 320 340 360 380 400 420
lean; which results in lower combustion temperature.
-20 Crankangle(degree)
4.7. Combustion characteristics Diesel fuel Diesel vapour induction without EGR Diesel vapour induction with10% EGR

The pressure-crankangle diagram for conventional mode of die- Fig. 10. Variation of heat release rate with crankangle.
sel operation and diesel vapour induction without EGR and with
10% EGR at 75% load condition is shown in Fig. 9. It is noticed that
the ignition delay is reduced considerably in case of diesel vapour der pressure obtained at 360 CA for diesel vapour induction with-
induction without EGR and with 10% EGR compared to diesel out EGR is around 62 bar and with 10% EGR it is 60 bar. Fig. 10
operation. It clearly shows that the mixture formation is better show the heat release characteristics of the diesel operation and
than the conventional mode of mixture formation. The peak cylin- diesel vapour induction without EGR and with 10% EGR at 75% load
condition. Many numerical [18,19] and experimental results have
conrmed that HCCI exhibits a two-stage combustion consisting
of cool ame region and the high temperature HCCI combustion re-
400 gion [20,21]. This kind of feature can be observed clearly in the
heat release rate (HRR) curves of Fig. 10. It is worth noting low
Exhaust gas temperature (degree

temperature cool ame reaction and high temperature reaction
300 which occurs at 336 CA and 350 CA, respectively for both diesel
vapour induction without EGR and with 10% EGR at 75% load oper-
250 ation. The rate of heat release obtained during low temperature

200 reactions are 9.8 J/deg CA, 7.5 J/deg CA and high temperature reac-
tions are 53.16 J/deg CA and 49.82 J/deg CA for diesel vapour
150 induction without EGR and with 10% EGR respectively.
5. Conclusion

0 The present investigation has shown a diesel engine run on a

0 20 40 60 80 100 120 homogenous fuel/air mixture that is generated externally in a fuel
Load (%) vaporizer. The engine combustion with a homogenized mixture via
Diesel fuel fuel vaporizer was demonstrated. The aim of low NOx and smoke
Diesel vapour induction without EGR emission was achieved. Even though there is decrease in brake
Diesel vapour induction with 10% EGR thermal efciency observed from the experiment it is possible to
improve the efciency of the system by proper fuel metering
Fig. 8. Variation of exhaust gas temperature with load. through ECU. The main reasons for fuel consumption penalty are
the unburned fuel and vaporizer loss. In HCCI mode the start of
combustion can be retarded by lowering the charge inlet tempera-
ture which would lead to a higher rate of unburned fuel (conden-
70 sation of fuel in the inlet manifold). Thus the advantage of HCCI
Engine Speed: 1500 rpm
Load: 75%
combustion with the fuel vaporizer was utilized to get the benets
60 of low emissions at part load conditions.
Cylinder pressure(bar)

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