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Applied Energy 199 (2017) 430–446

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Effect of diesel injection strategies on natural gas/diesel RCCI

combustion characteristics in a light duty diesel engine
Kamran Poorghasemi a, Rahim Khoshbakhti Saray a,⇑, Ehsan Ansari b, Behrouz Khoshbakht Irdmousa b,
Mehdi Shahbakhti b, Jeffery D. Naber b
Mechanical Engineering Department, Sahand University of Technology, Sahand New Town, Tabriz 51335-1996, Iran
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI 49931, USA

h i g h l i g h t s

 NG/diesel RCCI engine was simulated by Converge CFD model.

 By increasing the PR, the lower reactivity of NG causes lower combustion rate.
 Increasing first injected fuel quantity results in higher HC and CO emissions.
 Narrower spray angles have higher values of HC and CO emissions.

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

Article history: Reactivity controlled compression ignition (RCCI) combustion mode is an attractive combustion strategy
Received 3 February 2017 due to its potential in satisfying the strict emission standards. In this study, the effects of direct injection
Received in revised form 18 March 2017 (DI) strategies on the combustion and emission characteristics of a modified light duty RCCI engine,
Accepted 2 May 2017
fueled with natural gas (NG) and diesel were numerically investigated. In this way, Converge CFD code
employing a detail chemical kinetics mechanism was used for 3D simulation of combustion process
and emissions prediction. NG with higher octane number (ON) is mixed with air through intake port,
while diesel fuel with lower ON is directly injected into the combustion chamber during compression
stroke by means of split injection strategy. The effects of several parameters, including the premixed ratio
CFD simulation (PR) of NG, diesel fuel fraction in first and second injection pulses, first and second start of injection tim-
Spray angle ing (SOI1 and 2), injection pressure and the spray angle on the engine performance and emission char-
Diesel injection pressure acteristics are investigated. The results indicate that these parameters have significant effects on the
Injection timing light duty RCCI engine performance and engine out emissions. Also, it was demonstrated that by decreas-
ing the first injection pressure from 450 to 300 bar, the gross indicated efficiency increases by 5% and
CA50 is retarded by 4 CAD. Moreover, by reducing the spray angle from 144° to 100°, the gross indicated
efficiency decreases by 4% and CA50 is advanced by 6 CAD. The results showed that reduction in NOx
emission is achievable, while controlling HC and CO emissions, by means of increasing the NG fraction,
advancing the SOI1, increasing the fuel fraction in first DI injection with lower injection pressure and
employing a wider injector spray angle.
Ó 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction fuels with different reactivities are needed. The fuel with lower
reactivity (such as NG or gasoline) provides the majority of the
Reactivity controlled compression ignition (RCCI) is a favorable energy during the combustion process and the high reactive fuel
dual-fuel low temperature combustion (LTC) with significant (such as diesel or biodiesel) is directly injected into the combustion
potential for improving thermal efficiency while reducing NOx chamber during compression stroke [2–8]. Plenty of parametric
and particular matter (PM) emissions compared to the conven- studies have been done by researchers in recent years on dual fuel
tional internal combustion (IC) engines [1]. In RCCI engines, two RCCI engines. Recently, engine researchers are interested on inves-
tigation of RCCI engines with NG/diesel Fuels [9–14]. NG is one of
the most preferred fuels for using in RCCI engines due to its lower
⇑ Corresponding author.
carbon to hydrogen ratio (C/H) which results in lower emissions
E-mail address: (R.K. Saray).
0306-2619/Ó 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
K. Poorghasemi et al. / Applied Energy 199 (2017) 430–446 431


P pressure (kPa) IVC inlet valve closure

T temperature (K) LTC low temperature combustion
NG natural gas
Abbreviations NOx nitrogen oxides
ALE arbitrary Lagrangian Eulerian PFI port fuel injection
aTDC after top dead center PR premixed ratio
bTDC before top dead center PRR pressure rise rate
BD burning duration SA spray angle
CFD computational fluid dynamic SOC start of combustion
CA50 crank angle of 50% heat released SOI start of injection
CO carbon monoxide RCCI reactivity controlled compression ignition
CO2 carbon dioxide RI ringing intensity
DI diesel injection TDI turbo charged direct injection
EGR exhaust gas recirculation
EVO exhaust valve open Subscript
GIE gross indicated efficiency amb ambient
HRR heat release rate exh exhaust
HC unburned hydrocarbons int intake

like unburned hydrocarbons and CO compared to gasoline/diesel compression stroke is useful solution to reduce in-cylinder pres-
RCCI engines [9]. Also, the large reactivity gradient between NG sure and HRR and lower the NOx emission. However, later pre-
and diesel, compared to gasoline and diesel, makes it attractive injection timing resulted in higher HRR which increases NOx emis-
for RCCI combustion mode. The larger reactivity difference benefits sion. Dahodwala et al. [15] experimentally studied the Diesel/CNG
to extend the combustion duration and reduce the peak cylinder RCCI combustion mode. It was illustrated that RCCI combustion is
temperature that leads to reduction in NOx formation [9,10]. achievable at low engine loads with higher NG replacement along
Moreover, using NG instead of gasoline leads to a reduction in with lower engine emissions. Bekdemir et al. [16] developed a
the flame temperature, which is another reason for reducing the multi-zone model to simulate NG/Diesel RCCI combustion in a
NOx formation [10]. While the heating value of methane is higher heavy-duty diesel engine. Results showed that their map-based
than that of gasoline, the adiabatic flame temperature is not neces- real-time RCCI model can be used to develop model-based NG/Die-
sarily higher. This is because the adiabatic flame temperature also sel RCCI controls. Denbratt et al. [17] studied the influence of injec-
depends on the fuel air ratio [9,10]. In RCCI combustion mode, tion timing and duration of diesel injection on combustion phasing
increasing the premixed burn rate by controlling the pilot and and pollutants of a heavy duty single cylinder engine. Also, they
main DI timing and duration enable us to achieve lower local studied the effect of various compression ratios at different engine
equivalence ratio and temperature [9]. As literature review in loads and speeds. The results confirmed that both low NOx and sig-
NG/Diesel RCCI combustion, some of the studies are summarized nificantly low soot emissions can be achieved but HC emissions
as below. increases dramatically. Also, CA50 can be retarded by lowering
Neiman et al. [10] used multidimensional CFD code, KIVA 3V, the compression ratio from 17 to 14 while keeping unburned
coupled with CHEMKIN chemistry and genetic algorithm (NSGA hydrocarbon emissions in acceptable range. Peykani et al. [18]
II) to optimize NG/diesel RCCI engine parameters including fuel investigated the effect of different injection strategies of diesel fuel
fraction, DI SOI, DI fuel quantity split, injection pressure of diesel on the combustion and emission characteristics of a heavy-duty
and amount of EGR. The results showed that split injection strategy NG/Diesel RCCI engine. They calibrated their model by means of
was promising for an RCCI engine to achieve higher efficiency and Nieman et al. [10] simulations. Results showed that in a heavy duty
lower emissions, while engine loads sweeping from low levels to RCCI engine, SOI1 and SOI2 and the diesel fuel quantity split are
high levels. Zoldak et al. [11] used KIVA-CHEMKIN code to study three main factors which affect the RCCI engine performance and
combustion, performance and emission characteristics of a NG/die- emissions. Also, in order to reduce soot and NOx emissions,
sel RCCI engine. They illustrated that the in-cylinder peak pressure advancing the SOI1 and SOI2 timings and increasing the fuel split
and pressure rise rate (PRR) are increased in NG/diesel RCCI com- fraction in SOI1 are desired.
bustion compared to the conventional diesel mode. Also, they According to the literature, the injection strategy of diesel fuel
numerically investigated the effect of direct injection of NG in RCCI has significant effect in controlling the reactivity of the mixture
mode on engine performance and emissions. They found out that in combustion chamber which affects RCCI engine emission and
the direct injection of NG leads to more stratification of the NG fuel performance characteristics, but less comprehensive researches
in the combustion chamber and avoids over premixing of the in- have been dedicated to computationally investigating the effects
cylinder mixture. So, this will control the PRR at higher engine of injection strategy of diesel fuel in NG/diesel RCCI engines. To
loads [12]. Doosje et al. [13] focused on NG/Diesel RCCI combustion our knowledge, there is no systematical study on the emission
in a six-cylinder heavy duty engine. The engine could be operated and combustion characteristics of a light duty NG/diesel RCCI
in RCCI mode between 2 and 9 bar IMEP without EGR while satis- engines. Therefore, in the present study, the effects of diesel split
fying Euro IV soot and NOx emissions standard. However, they injection strategy on the combustion and emission characteristics
couldn’t control HC emissions to obtain Euro IV standard level. of a light duty NG/diesel RCCI engine are investigated. NG PR, SA,
Min et al. [14] experimentally investigated the effects of pre- injection pressure of the first pulse, diesel SOI1 and SOI2 timings,
injection parameters on combustion and emissions in a pilot die- and diesel fuel mass split between two injection pulses were
sel/CNG engine. Their results indicate that early pre-injection in selected as important parameters which are studied in details.
432 K. Poorghasemi et al. / Applied Energy 199 (2017) 430–446

2. Model description The schematic view of engine test bed is shown in Fig. 1. A 1.9L,
inline 4 cylinder VW TDI engine is used in this study. As shown
The CONVERGE CFD code [19] was used for the RCCI engine in Fig. 1, both high and low pressure EGR loops are set between
simulations. Regarding combustion modeling, detailed chemistry intake and exhaust ports of the engine. The EGR flow is being con-
method was used, using the SAGE solver [20]. In the SAGE model, trolled by a throttle valve, which is installed on low pressure loop
CVODES solver is used to solve initial value problems of ODE sys- EGR. Few modifications have been done on the intake manifold to
tems. NG was considered to be homogeneous mixture with air at install port fuel injectors (PFI). The modification allows the PFIs to
IVC (start of simulation). Also, the standard Droplet Discrete Model spray right into the intake port. Variable geometry turbocharger
(DDM) was used to simulate injection process of the diesel fuel (VGT) and common rail direct diesel injection system were left in
[20]. Spray atomization and break-up were modeled by using the the production form. An oxygen sensor is installed at the intake
hybrid KH-RT model [21,22]. Also, the physical properties of diesel and exhaust ports of the engine to measure the oxygen concentra-
fuel are represented by tetradecane (C14H30) for the spray and mix- tion at both sides for EGR ratio measurement [29]. EGR ratio was
ing processes [19]. The RNG k-e model was used as turbulence calculated by Eq. (1):
model [23]. Also, wall function model of Han and Reitz [23] was
considered to wall heat transfer process. However, in order to
decrease running time, the multi-zone chemistry solving method
was employed [24]. This solver significantly decreases the calcula- Table 1
tions of combustion, considering computational cells with similar Fuel specifications [9].
properties into the same zones in the chemistry calculations. In Fuel type ULSD
order to accurate prediction of chemical chemistry, 1 ls time step Total sulfur (ppm) 7
was selected for combustion chemistry calculations. In this Initial boiling point (°C) 184
research, a reduced chemical kinetics mechanism of CH4 oxidation Final boiling point (°C) 363
Cetane index 48.7
developed by Bahlouli et al. [25,26] is used for CH4 burning. Also, Water content (ppm) 34
the optimized Valeri mechanism for n-heptane (as a diesel surro- Higher heating value (MJ/kg) 45.68
gate), is applied for diesel fuel oxidation which was introduced Lower heating value (MJ/kg) 42.89
by Rahimi et al. with 23 species and 139 reactions [27]. The
reduced NOx mechanism proposed by Sun [28], which consists of
four additional species and 12 reactions, is used for NOx emission Table 2
prediction. Finally, the mechanism used for RCCI combustion mod- Engine specifications [9].
eling contains 57 species and 190 reactions. Cylinder arrangement Inline 4
Cylinder bore/stroke (mm) 79.5/95.5
Geometric compression ratio 17:1
IVC (aTDC) 169
3. Experimental setup and engine specifications EVO (aTDC) 162
Piston bowl Mexican hat
All experiments were conducted in Advanced power system Max. power (kW) 66 @ 3750 RPM
(APS) research facility at Michigan Technological University [29]. Max. torque (N m) 210 @ 1900 RPM

Fig. 1. Engine test setup layout [9].

K. Poorghasemi et al. / Applied Energy 199 (2017) 430–446 433

Table 3
Operation conditions for the light duty RCCI engine.

Parameters Case a Case b Case c Case d

Speed (RPM) 1300 1500 2000 1500
BMEP (Bar) 4 5 6 5
Diesel flow rate (g/s) 0.071 0.107 0.099 0.206
NG flow rate (g/s) 0.50 0.56 0.91 0.50
Air flow rate (kg/h) 60.736 55.95 87.51 70.2
SOI1/SOI2 (bTDC) Single - 20 55/20 55/20 55/25
Split type (%/%) Single 70/30 68/32 50/50
T_IVC (K) 348 378 420 345
Liner Common Rail Pressure (bar) 400 400 400 400
BR% 89 85 90 74
EGR% 0% 20% 15% 0%

ðO2 Þamb  ðO2 Þint
EGR % ¼  100 ð1Þ
ðO2 Þamb  ðO2 ÞExh

Crevice Two control valves are installed for cooling water to adjust the
water flow to keep the oil and engine coolant temperature at
100 °C and 90 °C, respectively. The VW TDI engine is connected
to 150 kW Dynamitic 8100 eddy-current absorption dynamometer
with maximum 6000 RPM [30]. The DI diesel and PFI NG flow rates
were measured by Micro Motion Coriolis flow meter (CMF010).
Fig. 2. Geometry of the combustion chamber used for the computational study. High speed combustion data is being recorded by PCB model

Fig. 3. The validation of in-cylinder pressure and HRR for four cases.
434 K. Poorghasemi et al. / Applied Energy 199 (2017) 430–446

175A01 installed in the glow plug hole. The high speed data includ- A MotoTron MPC-555 Black oak ECU, which is a part of a target
ing in-cylinder pressure, MAP and fuel flow is being recorded by based rapid prototyping engine controller used to control and
ACAP (Advance Combustion Analysis Program) with 0.1 degree monitor the test engine during operation. [30]. The Bosch high
crank angle resolution. The DI fuel used for this work was ultra pressure fuel pump, which can pressurize the fuel rail up to
low sulfur diesel (ULSD). Fuel property is shown in Table 1. The 2000 bar, are driven by timing belt. Also, Bosch CRDI injector with
PFI fuel was NG which is the main (>95%) composition of NG. six nozzles (nozzle hole diameter = 0.165 mm) and 144° degree SA
Engine specifications are provided in Table 2. was used for direct injection of diesel fuel [9,30]. The exhaust gas

Fig. 4. The validation of Emissions for four cases of Table 3.

Fig. 5. Effects of PR of in-cylinder mixture on in-cylinder Pressure (left) & HRR (right) for the engine operating condition, case b.
K. Poorghasemi et al. / Applied Energy 199 (2017) 430–446 435

measurement system is HORIBA MEXA-1600D/DEGR. Three ana-

lyzers are utilized in this system, which are CO/CO2 analyzer
(AIA-260), O2/CO2 analyzer (INA-260), and total HC/NOx analyzer
(FCA-266) [30].

4. Model validation

In this study, the simulation started from the intake valve clos-
ing timing (169° bTDC) to the exhaust valve opening timing (162°
aTDC). The initial in-cylinder mixture at IVC was assumed to be
fully homogenous and uniform with the swirl ratio of 2.0 at the
beginning of computation according to combustion chamber shape
[9]. To have accurate in-cylinder geometry, 3D scan of real engine
was used. Since the Mexican hat bowl of piston is not located in the
center of piston, so the 360 degree of combustion chamber was
considered in the simulation, as shown in Fig. 2. A structured
Fig. 6. Effects of PR on GIE, CA50 and RI for the engine operating condition, case b. Cartesian grid was used in the CFD code along with base cell size

Fig. 7. Effects of PR on the emissions for the engine operating condition, case b.

55% NG 75% NG 85% NG

-20 aTDC

-5 aTDC

20 aTDC

Fig. 8. Effects of PR on in-cylinder temperature for the engine operating condition, case b.
436 K. Poorghasemi et al. / Applied Energy 199 (2017) 430–446

Fig. 9. Effects of SOI1 timing on in-cylinder Pressure (left) & HRR (right) for the engine operating condition, case b.

the spray region and boundaries such as Liner, Piston and crevice
volumes was implied in start of simulation.
The engine operating conditions for validation of simulation
results are given in Table 3. As it is seen, four different engine
speeds, BMEP, injection strategies and EGR ratios were used to
achieve the model with acceptable accuracy.
Fig. 3 shows comparison of the predicted in-cylinder pressure
and heat release histories with the corresponding experimental
data for all four cases. Experimental gross HRR was calculated by
following equation (not included heat transfer and crevices effect):

dQ c dV 1 dP
¼ P þ V ð2Þ
dh c  1 dh c  1 dh

c is the average slope of compression and expansion strokes in log

P-V diagram. dV and dP over dh are the volume and pressure
changes at the corresponding crank angle positions [9]. According
to the mentioned comparison, the maximum difference between
Fig. 10. Effects of SOI1 timing on GIE, CA50 and RI for the engine operating
the experimental and predicted in-cylinder peak pressure is 3.5%.
condition, case b. Also, the mean errors for SOC and CA50 prediction in four engine
operating cases are 2.0 and 1.2 CAD, respectively. So, the CFD model
can predict the engine combustion phasing and performance with
of 3 mm. Also, the CFD code uses an adaptive mesh refinement acceptable accuracy. Fig. 4 shows the comparison between the sim-
(AMR) which controls the cells size according to critical factors like ulated and measured engine emissions. It can be seen that NOx
temperature, velocity and species concentration. In this study, emission is under-predicted by the model. Also, the model predicts
maximum embedding level was 3, [19]. A fixed refinement within HC emission for four cases with errors around 4.6% for cases a, b and

Fig. 11. Effects of SOI1 timing on the emissions for the engine operating condition, case b.
K. Poorghasemi et al. / Applied Energy 199 (2017) 430–446 437

SOI1= -85 aTDC SOI1= -55 aTDC SOI1= -45 aTDC

-15 aTDC

0 aTDC

20 aTDC

Fig. 12. Effects SOI1 on in-cylinder temperature for the engine operating condition, case b.

Fig. 13. Effects of SOI2 timing on in-cylinder Pressure (left) & HRR (right) for the engine operating condition, case b.

d, and 18% for case c. CO emission is predicted with error of 10% for 5. Results and discussions
case a, 6% for case b, 18% for case c and 8% for case d.
Due to better prediction of in-cylinder pressure, combustion 5.1. Effect of energy based premixed ratio (PR)
phasing and emissions for case b by the model, and also stable per-
formance of the engine in middle speeds, case b was selected for PR is defined as the energy provided by methane upon the total
parametric study in the following sections. energy provided by both fuels:
438 K. Poorghasemi et al. / Applied Energy 199 (2017) 430–446

quent removal of diesel fuel and elimination of this ignition points

provided by removed diesel. This will hinder ignition and will
cause longer ignition delay.
Ringing intensity (RI) is used as an indicator of knocking in RCCI
engine which can be computed by the below equation [31]:
   dP 2
MW 1 0:5 dt max pffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi
RI ¼  cRT max ð4Þ
m2 2c Pmax
where dP dt max
is the maximum rise rate of the in-cylinder pressure
(kPa/ms), c is the ratio of specific heats, Tmax is the maximum in-
cylinder temperature (K), Pmax is the maximum in-cylinder pres-
sure, and R (J/kgK), is the gas constant. The limit for RI is <5 MW/
m2 [31].
Fig. 6 demonstrates the effect of PR ratio on RI. It can be
observed that RI decreases by increasing PR ratio. This phe-
nomenon can be justified by considering HRR and pressure rise
Fig. 14. Effects of SOI2 timing on GIE, CA50 and RI for the engine operating rate trends in Fig. 5. Based on the presented outcomes at Fig. 5,
condition, case b. increasing the PR ratio results in decreasing the HRR and PRR.
Therefore, RI decreases by power 2 according to Eq. (4).
_ NG  LHV NG Fig. 7 depicts variations of NOx, unburned HC and CO emis-
PR ¼  100 ð3Þ sions versus PR. Increasing the PR results in lower NOx emission.
_ diesel  LHV diesel þ m
m _ NG  LHV NG
The reduced NOx emission is in result of retarded combustion
where m _ NG and m_ diesel represent mass flow rates of NG and diesel, due to lower reactivity. It reduces combustion duration and
respectively. Lower heating values of NG and diesel are represented available time for NOx production and results in lower the
by LHV NG (50 MJ/kg) and LHV diesel (42.89 MJ/kg), respectively [9]. NOx emission.
Amount of total introduced energy is kept constant for all paramet- Also, Fig. 7 shows CO emission increasing trend with increasing
ric sweeps. the PR. Carbon monoxide emission is mainly generated in rich and
Effect of PR on HRR and in-cylinder pressure is presented in lower temperature regions. It could be concluded that the more NG
Fig. 5. In this figure, all premixed ratios provide the same amount in charge, the lower reactive zones results in lower temperature,
of the total energy for combustion. The results in this graph which increases CO emission.
demonstrate that sweeping the PR from 55% to 85%, increases As it is illustrated in right side of Fig. 7, HC emission increases
the ignition delay, reduces the in-cylinder PRR and HRR, and higher with increasing the PR. The HC emission depends on the geometry
peak pressure. Moreover, GIE is observed to increase from 35% to such as crevices and squish volumes and the in-cylinder combus-
42% and CA50 to be retarded from 10 to 0 CAD, as seen in tion temperature near cylinder walls. According to Fig. 8, when
Fig. 6. An important conclusion in this section is significant relation the PR increases, the in-cylinder temperature reduces which
between GIE increase and combustion phasing delay which results in increase of HC emission. Moreover, it can be observed
deserves to be emphasized. However, further increase in PR to over that the crevice volume and regions near to the walls are colder
85% results in significant drop in GIE and rise in CA50. The reason in higher PRs. This will reduce combustion efficiency and higher
which can be set forth for this phenomenon is that increasing the unburned HC emission.
PR to values beyond 85%, reduces the reactivity of mixture by
removing reactive fuel out. This lowering the reactivity is very 5.2. Effect of injection timing
likely for misfiring. Similarly, increased ignition delay can be justi-
fied by increasing the NG fraction and consequent decrease in mix- 5.2.1. First injection timing (SOI 1)
ture reactivity. Increasing PR, requires reduction in diesel fuel Investigation on the effects of the first injection timing (SOI1)
quantity to keep the total introduced energy unchanged and conse- was completed by sweeping SOI1 from 85° to 45° bTDC while

Fig. 15. Effects of SOI2 timing on the emissions for the engine operating condition, case b.
K. Poorghasemi et al. / Applied Energy 199 (2017) 430–446 439

SOI2= -40 aTDC SOI2= -20 aTDC SOI2= 0 aTDC

-10 aTDC

0 aTDC

20 aTDC

Fig. 16. Effects SOI2 on in-cylinder temperature for the engine operating condition, case b.

Fig. 17. Effects of first injection pulse fuel quantity on in-cylinder Pressure (left) & HRR (right) for the engine operating condition, case b.

keeping SOI2 timing constant. SOI2 timing was at 20° bTDC for case of the mixture. Therefore, less reactive mixture is prepared because
b. For this case, 70% of the total diesel fuel was injected at the first of the longer mixing time [32,33]. Fig. 10 shows the effect of
pulse and 30% at the second pulse. Fig. 9 shows the in-cylinder advanced SOI1 timing on GIE, CA50 and RI. By advancing SOI1 tim-
pressure and HRR curves for several SOI1 timings. Advancing ing, GIE increases from 41.5% to 45% and CA50 retards from 1°
SOI1 timing from 45° to 85° bTDC results in delayed combustion bTDC to 4° aTDC. RI showed a slight reduction trend. By advancing
and reduced peak in-cylinder pressure and HRR. Advancing the the SOI1, it seems that combustion is going to be more premixed as
first diesel injection, increases the available mixing time, which most of fuel is injected in the SOI1. Therefore, less local reactive
results in more premixed mixture of methane and diesel, and mixture is produced and CA50 is retarded to near and after TDC
lower local equivalence ratio gradients and higher homogeneity with shorter burning duration which results in higher GIE. Also,
440 K. Poorghasemi et al. / Applied Energy 199 (2017) 430–446

of in-cylinder temperature in Fig. 12 is the reason of the increasing

trend of NOx emission. On the other hand, it can be concluded from
Fig. 12 that spray is impinged on the wall and enters to the crevice
volume which is the main source of HC and CO due to their lower
temperature and lower volume to surface ratio. In later SOI1, like
SOI1 at 45° bTDC, most of the fuel is injected into the piston bowl
and squish area, where the temperature and reactivity gradient is
high, so lower amounts of HC and CO are produced.

5.2.2. Second injection timing (SOI 2)

The second injection timing (SOI2) was swept from 40° to 0°
bTDC whereas the SOI1 timing was kept constant at 55° bTDC.
Fig. 13 shows the in-cylinder pressure and HRR for different SOI2
timings. As illustrated in this figure, by retarding the SOI2 from
40° to 0° bTDC, combustion phasing is retarded and the peak of
Fig. 18. Effects of the first injection pulse fuel quantity on GIE, CA50 and RI for the
engine operating condition, case b.
in-cylinder pressure decreases. There is not enough time for the
second diesel injection pulse to be mixed properly with in-
cylinder mixture, hence ignition delay is increased. In addition,
advanced injection timing faces with lower in-cylinder tempera- by increasing the delay in SOI2 timing, the injected diesel fuel in
ture and pressure which adversely affects the atomization and the first pulse is more mixed; therefore, local fuel reactivity of mix-
evaporation of the fuel droplets. ture reduces which will sweep the CA50 to a position after TDC as
Fig. 11 shows the effect of SOI1 sweep on CO, HC and NOx emis- shown in Fig. 14. When SOI2 timing shifts to TDC, a bigger amount
sions. As the SOI1 timing is retarded, NOx emission is increased of released heat happens after TDC which results in GIE reduction.
while the levels of HC and CO are decreased. The increasing trend Moreover, there is no significant change in RI by retarding the SOI2
and it is below 5 MW/m2 for all the SOI2.

Fig. 19. Effects of the first injection fuel quantity on the emissions for the engine operating condition, case b.

Fig. 20. Effects of the first injection pressure on in-cylinder Pressure (left) & HRR (right) for the engine operating condition, case b.
K. Poorghasemi et al. / Applied Energy 199 (2017) 430–446 441

CA50 is advanced when most of diesel fuel is injected in the first

The influence of SOI1 mass fraction of diesel fuel on GIE, RI and
CA50 are also described in Fig. 18. As it is shown in the figure, GIE
and RI are decreased slightly when increasing first pulse diesel fuel
fraction. The increased in-cylinder total reactivity with more SOI1
fuel fractions leads in a more advanced CA50. Maximum amount of
GIE is achieved at 50% mass fraction of the first injection pulse for
case b.
Fig. 19 shows the simulated emission trends for different first
injection pulse fuel mass percentage. CO and HC are slightly
increased as the first injection pulse fuel is increased. With increas-
ing the first injection fuel quantity, more diesel fuel impinges on
the wall and is accumulated in the crevice volume which results
in more HC and CO emissions. However, injecting of more diesel
fuel in the second injection pulse creates further stratification of
Fig. 21. Effects of the first injection pressure on GIE, CA50 and RI for the engine the in-cylinder mixture which rises the mixture reactivity. Hence,
operating condition, case b. these richer zones with higher reactivity ignite earlier, rising com-
bustion chamber temperature, and consequently producing more
NOx emission.
Fig. 15 shows the effect of SOI2 sweep on the emission trends.
According to Figs. 14 and 16, due to the high local in-cylinder tem-
perature near TDC, the amount of NOx is increased at earlier SOI2
timings. Also, as can be seen in Fig. 15, the lowest CO and HC emis- 5.4. Effect of diesel first pulse injection pressure
sions were achieved when SOI2 is advanced. As it can be observed
in Fig. 16, in SOI2 at 40° bTDC the flame could reach whole com- Injection pressure is an important factor which affects mixing
bustion chamber while in SOI2 at 0° bTDC, there are more regions quality of the diesel fuel and also stratification of in-cylinder mixture
with lower temperatures. Therefore, the amounts of HC and CO [34]. In this research, split injection strategy was used to operate the
emissions are high at later SOI2 timings due to lower combustion engine at case b. Injection pressure of first pulse has two effects: 1 -
efficiency [18]. by increasing the injection pressure, droplets momentum increases
which results in wall impingement of sprays [34], 2 - by increasing
the injection pressure, due to the smaller size of droplets, evapora-
tion rate increases and less liquid parcels will be remained in squish
5.3. Effect of first injection diesel fuel quantity region [35]. These two factors will affect the stratification and local
reactivity of mixture in combustion chamber. As shown in Fig. 20,
The next parameter which was considered in the parametric increasing the first pulse injection pressure from 300 bar to
study, was the amount of fuel split between the two diesel injec- 450 bar, while keeping the second pulse injection pressure at
tion pulses at constant PR. The fraction of diesel fuel injected at 400 bar, causes peak in-cylinder pressure to increase by about
SOI1 was changed from 40% to 90% for case b at the engine operat- 15 bar. High injection pressure of the first pulse causes the droplets
ing condition which was presented in Table 3. Fig. 17 illustrates the with smaller diameter to be evaporated near the bulk region, and less
simulated in-cylinder pressure history and HRRs for fuel fraction parts of droplets penetrate deeply near the cylinder walls. Conse-
sweep at the first injection pulse. As can be seen, the maximum quently, local reactivity increases, while peak HRR decreases and
in-cylinder pressure and amount of HRR are increased, and the combustion phasing is advanced as seen in Fig. 20.

Fig. 22. Effects of the first injection pressure on the emissions for the engine operating condition, case b.
442 K. Poorghasemi et al. / Applied Energy 199 (2017) 430–446

Injection pressure= 300 bar Injection pressure= 400 bar Injection pressure= 450 bar

-15 aTDC

0 aTDC

20 aTDC

Fig. 23. Effects of the first injection pressure on in-cylinder temperature for the engine operating condition, case b.

Fig. 24. Effects of the injector included angle on in-cylinder Pressure (left) & HRR (right) for the engine operating condition, case b.

Following the above discussion, Fig. 21 shows GIE, CA50 and RI Figs. 22 and 23 support above-mentioned descriptions and
trends for several first injection pulse pressures. It can be seen that show that for injection pressure of 300 bar, more diesel fuel parcels
GIE reduces for higher injection pressures as CA50 occurs before are accumulated around the bowl and piston surface at 0° aTDC in
TDC. Also, there is a slight reduction in RI by increasing the injec- comparison to the injection pressure of 450 bar. As a result, by
tion pressure of the first pulse and it can be explained by maxi- increasing the first injection pressure, due to higher in-cylinder
mum HRR which is reduced at higher injection pressures. temperature in piston bowl and bulk region, NOx emissions
K. Poorghasemi et al. / Applied Energy 199 (2017) 430–446 443

SA= 100 SA = 120 SA = 144

-10 aTDC

0 aTDC

20 aTDC

Fig. 25. Effects of the SA on in-cylinder temperature for the engine operating condition, case b.

tion and emissions characteristics of an RCCI engine. The base SA

for this injector is 144°.
Fig. 24 shows the variations of the in-cylinder pressure and HRR
for different SAs. Simulation results show that in-cylinder peak
pressure increases in about 5 bar by decreasing the SA from 150°
to 100°. Lower SAs result in diesel fuel to be targeted toward the
piston bowl region with higher temperature compared to other
regions in the combustion chamber, which increase the in-
cylinder peak pressure. The highest HRR is observed at SA equals
to 100°. Fig. 25 shows that diesel fuel droplets are gathered inside
the bowl for narrower SAs, whereas for wider SA, diesel fuel dro-
plets target the walls and the squish regions.
Due to the higher temperature of piston bowl, diesel spray
impingement on the piston bowl is more preferred than the piston
top surface impingement or the cylinder liner impingement [36].
Fig. 26. Effects of the SA on GIE, CA50 and RI for the engine operating condition,
case b. Hence, combustion phasing (CA50) is advanced for narrower SA
which results in lower GIE as shown in Fig. 26. The RI level reduces
as SA increases. The RI values are less than the standard value of
increase and because of slower flame propagation through all com- 5 MW/m2 for all SAs.
bustion chamber, less methane fuel is burned completely which Fig. 27 shows the variations of engine-out HC, CO and NOx
causes rising in HC and CO emissions. emissions for various SAs. It is shown that higher levels of HC
and CO emissions were produced within the narrower SAs (100°
5.5. Effect of spray angle (SA) and 120°). The reason is that for wider SAs (140° and 150°), the die-
sel fuel droplets go toward the squish zone; thus, the ignition
This research studies the effects of SA on engine performance points ignite the mixture and flame spreads in the squish zone
and emission characteristics. Injector SA affects the distribution and the cylinder liner. Hence, complete burning of the mixture in
of diesel fuel parcels (reactivity gradient of in-cylinder mixture) the squish zone happens, while narrower SAs (100° and 120°)
in the combustion chamber. Hence, it may influence the combus- cause the mixture to burn near centerline of the cylinder. However,
444 K. Poorghasemi et al. / Applied Energy 199 (2017) 430–446

Fig. 27. Effects of the SA on the emissions for the engine operating condition, case b.

SA= 100 SA = 120 SA = 144

-10 aTDC

-5 aTDC

0 aTDC

20 aTDC

Fig. 28. Effects of the SA on methane concentration for the engine operating condition, case b.

at narrower SAs, hydrocarbons, including homogeneously dis- of 20° aTDC, it can be observed that with wider SA, flame propaga-
tributed NG and diesel mixture cannot be burned properly near tion in squish region is higher than the narrower SA. This results in
the liner and crevice volumes. Because higher reactive mixture is lower HC and CO emissions as seen in Fig. 27. However, as it can be
formed in piston bowl and the lower reactive mixture is formed seen in Fig. 28, due to higher temperature of piston bowl, the burn-
in the squish region as seen in Fig. 28. Also at crank angle position ing rate of methane in the narrower SA is higher. Fig. 27 also shows
K. Poorghasemi et al. / Applied Energy 199 (2017) 430–446 445

that the narrower SAs generally yield greater NOx emission due to of combustion process in the RCCI engines, it will be useful to
the higher in-cylinder gas temperatures. It is seen from Fig. 25 that investigate the interaction of the effective parameters to find the
high temperature regions at SA of 100° are wider than the case way to optimize the engine performance and emissions by more
with SA of 144° at 20° aTDC. than one parameter at the same time. Hence, in next step, the
authors will investigate the effects of the interaction of the studied
6. Conclusion parameters on the engine performance and emissions by means of
statistical methods.
A CONVERGE 3D/CFD combustion model with a detailed reac-
tion mechanism was developed to simulate a light duty diesel- Acknowledgments
NG RCCI engine. The validation results of the model against four
different operating conditions showed that the model is able to The authors would like to thank Paul Dice form Michigan Tech-
predict the combustion phasing and performance with reasonable nological University for sharing his experiences with us for prepar-
accuracy. A parametric study was done to study the effects of die- ing the engine setup, and emission analyzer calibration.
sel injection strategies, first diesel injection pressure and injector
SA on the RCCI engine performance and emissions characteristics.
The conclusion of this study can be summarized as follows: References

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