Knight, Bryan Michael (2010-08). Investigation into the Emissions and Efficiency of Low Temperature Diesel Combustion. Master's Thesis.
As global focus shifts towards the health and conservation of the planet, greater importance is placed upon the hazardous emissions of our fossil fuels, as well as their finite supply. These two areas remain intense topics of research in order to reduce green house gas emissions and increase the fuel efficiency of our vehicles. A particular solution to this problem is the diesel engine, with its inherently fuel-lean combustion, which gives rise to low CO2 production and higher efficiencies than its gasoline counterpart. Diesel engines, however, typically exhibit higher nitrogen oxides (NOx [NOx = NO NO2, where NO is nitric oxide and NO2 is nitrogen dioxide]) and soot. There exists the possibility to simultaneously reduce both emissions with the application of low temperature diesel combustion (LTC). While exhibiting great characteristics in simultaneous reductions in nitrogen oxides and soot, LTC faces challenges with higher carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrocarbon (HC) emissions, as well as penalties in fuel efficiency. The following study examines the characteristics of LTC which contribute to the differences in emissions and efficiency compared to typical conventional diesel combustion. More specifically, key engine parameters which are used to enable LTC, such as EGR and fuel pressure are swept through a full range to determine their effects on each combustion regime. Analysis will focus on comparing both combustion regimes to determine how exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and fuel pressure relate to lowering NO and smoke concentrations, and how these relate to a penalty in fuel efficiency. This study finds that the application of LTC is able to realize a 99 percent reduction in NO while simultaneously reducing smoke by 17 percent compared to the conventional combustion counterpart. Through a sweep increasing EGR, LTC is able to defeat the typical soot - NO tradeoff; however, brake fuel conversion efficiency decreases 6.8 percent for LTC, while conventional combustion realizes a 4 percent increase in efficiency. The sweep of increasing fuel pressure confirms typical increases in NO and decreases in smoke for both LTC and conventional combustion; however, brake fuel conversion efficiency increases 2.3 percent for LTC and drops 4 percent for conventional combustion.