Observed Differences in Low-Temperature Heat Release and Their Possible Effect on Efficiency between Petroleum Diesel and Soybean Biodiesel Operating in Low-Temperature Combustion Mode Academic Article uri icon


  • 2015 American Chemical Society. Low-temperature combustion (LTC) in diesel engines has emerged as an enabling technology to simultaneously reduce oxides of nitrogen and smoke emissions. Combustion development continues to face challenges, however, with high emissions of carbon monoxide and unburned hydrocarbons and lower efficiencies than conventional combustion. Study of alternative fuels, such as biodiesel, with LTC shows varied promise of improving both combustion and fuel conversion efficiencies. The results are inconsistent, depending on the type of biodiesel (e.g., palm-based biodiesel relative to soy-based biodiesel). It was originally believed that differences in low-temperature heat release (LTHR) influence the phasing of main heat release (high-temperature heat release, or HTHR), thus creating differences in fuel conversion efficiencies among petroleum diesel and different types of biodiesels. This study attempts to address the issue of seemingly different LTHR behavior for different types of petroleum and biodiesel fuels between a baseline and LTC modes. Further, the study attempts to identify the effect, if any, that LTHR has on main heat release timing and rate. The study suggests, based on experimental analysis and reliance on observed behavior in literature, the roles that liquid and flame lift-off lengths and fuel chemical composition have on the appearance of LTHR in heat release profiles. The study further shows a disconnect between the extent of LTHR and the subsequent timing and rate of HTHR. Consequently, other factors seem to drive the phasing and extent of HTHR (which likely include the aforementioned parameters of liquid and flame lift-off lengths), which has a stronger influence on engine efficiency than the rate and timing of LTHR.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Narayanan, A. M., & Jacobs, T. J.

citation count

  • 6

complete list of authors

  • Narayanan, Aditya M||Jacobs, Timothy J

publication date

  • July 2015