You are on page 1of 10



Rosca Radu, Rakosi Edward, Iulian Agape Comsa, Gaiginschi Radu

Technical University Iasi, Ground Vehicles&Engines Dept.
mailing address: Dumbrava Rosie 21, Iasi 6600, Romania
phone: +40-32156664


The paper presents the application of a three component model to the theoretical
study of the combustion process of a Diesel engine fueled with sunflower oil and
sunflower oil - Diesel fuel mixtures. The model assumes that the working fluid consists
of three components: the fresh air, the flame and the burned gases.
The combustion model uses the energy conservation equation:
c Qc d dU dL dQw , [1]
where c is the fuel cyclic dose, Qc is the fuel heating value, = c/c, c is the
quantity of burned fuel up to the moment , U is the internal energy of the working
fluid, Qw is the heat exchanged through the cylinder walls and L is the mechanical
The heat release law was assumed to be a Vibe type one:
RC 1 exp( 6.9 APm 1 ) (1 RC ) 1 exp( 6.9 A m 1 ) ,
P d
where :
d d
P d
and A
F d ;
d - start of combustion angle;
f - end of combustion angle;
P - end of rapid combustion angle.
Using equations [1] and [2] we have obtained the cylinder pressure during
combustion, for the vegetable fuels taken into account; the peak values were confirmed
during the experiments.

KEYWORDS: Diesel engine, fuel combustion, sunflower oil


In order to determine the cylinder pressure history we used a zero-dimensional combustion
model. The model assumes that, during each calculation step, a new element of burned gases is
formed; as a result, during combustion, the working fluid consists of the following components:
fresh fluid;
burned gases;
the element of burned gases formed during the current calculation step.
After formation, each element of burned gases evolves independently, being mixed with the air
available inside the combustion chamber.


The model was developed for a D.I. Diesel engine with the following features:
no. of cylinders: 3;
bore: 95 mm;
stroke: 110 mm;
compression ratio : 17.0;
cylinder volume: 0.779 dm3;
length of the connecting rod: 182 mm;
output power: 33.08kW/ 2400 min-1.
The calculation step was =10 C.A. Because at the moment some parameters are still
unknown, the computation process is a two stage one: for the first stage the calculations for the
current step are made using the values obtained for the - step; in the second stage, the entire
calculation process is repeated, using the previously obtained parameters.
We have taken into account three types of vegetable oils, obtained during the sunflower oil
production process:
oil 1 heavy fractions, obtained through sedimentation from the crude sunflower oil;
oil 2 fatty acids, separated from the crude sunflower oil;
oil 3 crude sunflower oil.
Blends containing 50% Diesel fuel + 50% vegetable oils were also considered. Table 1 presents
some characteristics of the fuels taken into account.


The combustion model uses the energy conservation equation:
c Qc d dU dL dQw , (1)
where c is the cyclic fuel delivery, Qc is the fuel heating value, = c/c, c is the quantity of burned
fuel up to the moment , U is the internal energy of the working fluid, Qw is the heat exchanged
through the cylinder walls and L is the mechanical work.
1. Heat release rate
The cumulative heat release rate was assumed to be a Vibe type one (fig. 1), defined by the
equation [1, 4]:

RC 1 exp( 6.9 APm 1 ) (1 RC ) 1 exp( 6.9 A
m 1
) (2)
mP and md shape factors;
RC ;
QI and QII the heat released during the rapid combustion phase r and moderate combustion
phase, m;


d d
p d f d .
2. Internal energy
As previously mentioned, at any moment the fluid inside the cylinder consists of three
elements: fresh fluid, combustion gases and the newly formed element of burned gases.
Consequently, the internal energy is:
dU dU ai dU ga dU ga , (3) j

where dUai refers to the fresh fluid, dUga refers to the combustion gases and dU gaj refers to the new
j element of burned gases, which was formed during the current calculation step. In order to
calculate the internal energy, we assumed that:
a part (mais)of the overall air quantity (mai) is used for stoichiometric combustion, while the rest
(maia) is available for mixing with the combustion gases:
mai maiS maia ; (4)
the mass of each newly formed element i (mgai) consists of the results of the stoichiometric
combustion (mgasi), to which air (mgaai) is added:
mgai mgasi mgaai . (5)
Using molar weights and taking into account that:
C gas
, (6)
C gas
- C is the fuel delivery [kmoles/stroke];
- gas is the quantity of combustion gases that results during the combustion of C kmoles of fuel;
- gas is the quantity of combustion gases that results during the combustion of C kmoles of fuel;
we get the following relations:
air available for combustion at the moment :
ai 1 ai ;ai C LO
s s
(7) s

(LO kmoles of air needed to burn 1 kmole of fuel);

total amount of air available at the moment :
ai 1 ai ai ;
(8) a

gases resulting from stoichiometric combustion, at moment :

gaS gaS ; (9)
mass of element i at moment :
ga d ga ga .
S ai

Regarding the dilution of combustion gases with air, we assume that to each element is
transferred a quantity of air proportional to its weight in the total amount of combustion gases:
dgaai i daia . (11)
Using these relations, we can now evaluate each component of the internal energy:

U ai 1 ai ai uai ;

j 1
U gai d gaS gaai u gai ; (13)
i 1

U ga j d j gaS u fl (14),
where j is the newly formed element, ufl is the specific flame energy.
Finally, we get the following equation for the internal energy:


dU gaS ufl aiS uai d gai dugai 1 aiS aia duai (15)

The specific energies are determined with the equations:
du ga cV dTga ,
i gai (16) i
p mga
where Tga Tga ; (17)
i i d
p d
duaii cVai dTai , (18)
p mai
where Tai Tai ; (19)
p d
for the new element j we also use an energy conservation equation:
dQC dI fl dI ai , (20)
which finally leads us to:
aiS u fl C QC d aiS uai 1986
. aiS T fl Tai , (21)
where is the coefficient of molar variation during combustion ( = gas/is). Flame temperature was
calculated using the following relation [4]:
Tfl 2260 0.5 Tai 0.9 0.002 Tai p 25 [K]

This formula was modified when applied to vegetable oils, as follows.

3. Heat transfer
Heat transfer was calculated using the convective transfer formula [1, 4]:
dQW cc A T Tw d ,(23)
where cc is heat transfer coefficient, A is heat transfer area, T is the fluid temperature and Tw is the
temperature of the cylinder wall.
As the working fluid has two main components (fresh fluid and combustion gases), we
assume that:
dQw = dQwai + dQwga. (24)
We define the ratio q as:
dQwai ai Tai TW
q Kr , (25)
dQwga ga Tga TW
where Kr is a distribution factor, with values between 5 and 8 [4]. Using q , the above mentioned
components of the heat transfer become:
q 1
dQWai dQW , dQWga dQW (26)
1 q 1 q
In the meantime, in a polytropic process,
k m
Q 1986
. L, (27)
k 1
where L is the mechanical work, k is the adiabatic exponent and m is the polytropic exponent.
The heat transfer coefficient is defined with the following relation:

cC 0.0042 n 0.1 0.57 , 0.8
where n is the engine speed, p is the pressure inside the cylinder, V is the chamber volume and T is
the mean temperature of the working fluid.
Using these equations, we evaluate the heat transfer for each calculation step.
4. Mechanical work
In order to calculate the mechanical work we used the classic formula:
dL p dV (29).
The volume is given by the equation:
V VC r 1 cos 1 cos 2 , (30)
4 4
where VC is the combustion chamber volume, D is the cylinder bore, S is the piston stroke, = r/l, r=
S/2 and l is the length of the connecting rod. Using the notation [3]:
1 cos 1 cos 2 , (31)
1 4
the volume becomes:
V VS , (32)
where VS is the cylinder volume.
5. Final equation of the combustion model
Taking into account the energy conservation equation and its components (presented in the
previous sections), we obtain the final equation of the combustion model which gives us the pressure
rate as a function of the heat release rate:
d d p dQW
dp 1986
. ai S
T fl

T ai

d 854


d 1
1 1
j 1 m ga 1 1 mga mai 1 1 mai

i 1
Tgai d
m ga p d
gai cVgai p
Tai d
mai p d
ai aiS cVai

The combustion model was used in order to predict cylinder pressure and cylinder pressure
rate starting from the heat release and heat release rate. In order to determine the constant
parameters, which intervene in different equations, we have compared the calculated cylinder
pressure with the real one, obtained with the engine mounted on the test bed.
1. Heat release
The constant parameters for the heat release equation are shown in table 2. The values shown in
table 2 were determined in order to insure the best correlation between the calculated and
experimental results, concerning the maximum cylinder pressure and crankshaft angle (table 5).
The cumulative heat release and heat release rate are presented in fig. 2 and 3.
We notice that oil 1 behaves similar to Diesel fuel; all the other fuels have led to an earlier start of
the combustion.
2. Flame temperature
In order to determine flame temperature when using vegetable fuels, we have used a modified
T fl A B Tai 0.002 Tai 0.9 p 25

The coefficients A and B are presented in table 3. Table 4 shows some of the results concerning flame
3. Cylinder pressure history
The calculated cylinder pressure and cylinder pressure rate are shown in fig. 4 and 5. Most of the
vegetable oils have achieved higher peak combustion pressure compared to Diesel fuel; in the
meantime, the peak pressure rate has increased.


Fig. 6 presents some comparative results between calculated and experimental cylinder pressure
history, for some of the fuels taken into account. We noticed that the calculated pressures are higher
than the experimental ones. The differences rank between 1.26% and 15.08%. The best match
between the model and the experimental results was achieved for Diesel fuel and oil 1, while the
highest difference was recorded for oil 1 + Diesel fuel (15%). For all the other fuels, the differences
between the theoretical and experimental results were lower than 10%.
According to the experimental results, the start of combustion and the maximum pressure were
recorded earlier than predicted by the model, for most of the fuels (see also table 5). This may be due
to the fact that the model uses one of the many available formulas in order to calculate the ignition
delay. The differences between the model and experimental results did not exceed 30 CA.
Figure 7 shows the evolution of the polytropic coefficient for the fresh fluid. We noticed that the
lowest values of this coefficient was registered at 20300C.A. after the start of combustion; this fact
was also reported by other authors [4].

1. The presented combustion model predicts the cylinder pressure history during combustion for a
D.I. Diesel engine, using the energy conservation and the heat release law as a starting point.
2. In order to increase precision and because at the beginning of the calculation step some elements
are yet unknown, the computation process is an iterative one.
3. The model establishes the values of the coefficients that intervene in the equation of the heat
release rate, when vegetable oils are used as fuels. While for the Diesel fuel the references are
providing enhanced guidelines concerning the values of the different coefficients, the case of
alternative fuels was less studied. The appropriate values of the above mentioned coefficients
were determined through direct comparison between the theoretical and tests results, concerning
the maximum cylinder pressure and crankshaft angle.
4. For most of the vegetable fuels, the differences between the calculated and experimental pressure
values did not exceed 10% (usually 45%); the crankshaft angle differences did not exceed
5. A modified formula for flame temperature calculation is proposed; the coefficients were
established in order to insure the best match possible between calculated and experimental
maximum pressure.
6. The theoretical results are in accordance with the results obtained by other researchers.



(1) Apostolescu, N., Chiriac, R., Combustion process in the internal combustion engine, Technical

Publishing House, Bucharest (1998), pp. 304-310, 540-555.

(2) Arama, C. Grnwald, B., Internal combustion engines processes and characteristics, Technical

Publishing House, Bucharest (1966).

(3) Grnwald, B., Theory, calculation and design of internal combustion engines, Didactic &

Pedagogical Publishing House, Bucharest (1980).

(4) Grnwald, B., Apostolescu, N., Thermal and chemical non-homogeneity of the gases inside the

internal combustion engines, Romanian Academy Publishing House, Bucharest (1975).


Table 1
Physical and chemical properties of the fuels
L0, Composition
Density Viscosity Surface, Inflammation Heating
Fuel type at 200C, at 500C, tension, temperature, value,
air/kg C, % H, %
kg/m3 cSt N/m 0
C kJ/kg
Diesel fuel 839.3 1.293 0.0281 58 41222.3 0.496 85.70 13.30
Oil 1 908.7 23.544 0.0331 198 35020.0 0.405 73.02 11.60
Oil 2 919.3 21.824 0.0336 294 36367.7 0.421 75.73 11.71
Oil 3 908.4 20.937 0.0321 275 37188.0 0.431 76.61 12.09
Oil 1+Diesel
878.4 10.267 0.0306 127 37807.0 0.446 78.90 12.30
Oil 2+Diesel
888.4 10.258 0.0338 107 38288.3 0.459 80.71 12.50
Oil 3+Diesel
878.4 10.545 0.0305 146 39153.4 0.465 81.20 12.72

Table 2
Parameters for the heat release equation
Fuel d,
0 f, 0CA p, 0CA RC md mp
Diesel 346 386 360 0.10 5 3.7
Oil 1 346 386 362 0.10 5 3.5
Oil 2 340 373 345 0.12 5 3.5
Oil 3 341 374 370 0.10 5 3.7
Oil1+Diesel 340 377 370 0.12 5 3.7
Oil2+Diesel 340 383 362 0.30 4 3.7
Oil3+Diesel 340 379 360 0.30 4 3.7

Table 3
Coefficients for flame temperature
Diesel Oil 1 Oil 2 Oil 3 Oil1+ Diesel Oil2+ Diesel Oil3+ Diesel
A 2260 2260 1800 1415 1820 1590 1535
B 0.5 0.5 0.35 0.25 0.28 0.20 0.20

Table 4
Flame temperature [K]
Fuel Minimum Maximum
Diesel 2419.1 at 3530CA; 2514.5 at 3860CA 2556.9 at 3760CA
Oil 1 2411.4 at 3540CA; 2508.3 at 3860CA 2551.9 at 3750CA
Oil 2 1509.7 at 3430CA; 1562.4 at 3730CA 1570.2 at 3760CA
Oil 3 1889.8 at 3500CA; 1981.5 at 3740CA 1996.0 at 3680CA
Oil 1 + Diesel 1889.8 at 3500CA; 1946.5 at 3770CA 1960.7 at 3690CA
Oil 2 + Diesel 1647.3 at 3480CA; 1667.4 at 3830CA 1678.7 at 3710CA
Oil 3+ Diesel 1589.4 at 3470CA; 1616.0 at 3790CA 1624.4 at 3690CA


Table 5
Maximum cylinder pressure (full load)
Model Experimental
Fuel Cylinder pressure Crank angle Cylinder pressure Crank angle
[MPa] [0] [MPa] [0]
Diesel fuel 6.34 376 6.26 373
Oil 1 6.26 375 6.10 376
Oil 2 7.15 366 6.40 366
Oil 3 7.28 368 6.56 368
Oil 1+Diesel fuel 8.22 369 6.98 365
Oil 2+Diesel fuel 6.77 371 6.13 370
Oil 3+Diesel fuel 7.06 369 6.40 368

Fig. 1 - Fig. 1 - Vibe type heat release rate

d start of combustion; p end of the rapid combustion phase; f end of

Diesel fuel
Full load Oil 1
Oil 2
%100 9
Oil 3 %/0CA
Diesel fuel
90 Oil 1+Diesel fuel 8
Oil 1 Oil 2+Diesel fuel
Oil 2 80 Oil 3+Diesel fuel 7
Oil 3
Oil 1+Diesel fuel Full load
Oil 2+Diesel fuel 60
Oil 3+Diesel fuel 50
330 340 350 360 370 380 390
330 340 350 360 370 380 390

Fig. 2 - Cumulative heat release Fig. 3 Heat release rate


Full load
0.6 dp /d ,
Diesel fuel
Full load p ,
8.5 MPa/ CA
oil 1
oil 2
Diesel fuel MPa oil 3
oil1+Diesel fuel
oil1 6.5 oil2+Diesel fuel
oil 2 0.3 oil3+Diesel fuel
oil 3
oil1+Diesel fuel 4.5
oil2+Diesel fuel
oil3+Diesel fuel
2.5 0
330 340 350 360 370 380 0 390
, CA
0.5 , CA
330 340 350 360 370 380 390

Fig. 4 Cylinder pressure Fig. 5 Cylinder pressure rate

7 9


cylinder pressure, MPa

cylinder pressure, MPa

Full load
Full load
3 4
Diesel fuel, model Oil2+Diesel fuel, model
Diesel fuel, exp. 3 Oil2+Diesel fuel, exp.
Oil1, model Oil1+Diesel fuel, model
Oil1, exp 2
Oil1+Diesel fuel, exp

0 0
330 340 350 360 370 380 390 330 340 350 360 370 380 390
, CA 0
, CA

Fig. 6 Experimental and calculated cylinder pressure

1.37 1.37

1.35 1.35

1.33 1.33

1.31 1.31
m ai

m ai

1.29 1.29
Diesel fuel
1.27 Oil 1 1.27 Diesel fuel
Oil 2 Oil 1+Diesel fuel
1.25 Oil 3 Oil 2+Diesel fuel
Oil 3+Diesel fuel

1.23 1.23
340 350 360 370 380 390 340 350 360 370 380 390
,0CA ,0CA

Fig. 7 Polytropic coefficients of the fresh fluid