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Title: An experimental and modeling study investigating the ignition delay in a military diesel engine running hexadecane (cetane) fuel

In an effort aimed at predicting the combustion behavior of a new fuel in a conventional diesel engine, cetane (n-hexadecane) fuel was used in a military engine across the entire speed–load operating range. The ignition delay was characterized for this fuel at each operating condition. A chemical ignition delay was also predicted across the speed–load range using a detailed chemical kinetic mechanism with a constant pressure reactor model. At each operating condition, the measured in-cylinder pressure and predicted temperature at the start of injection were applied to the detailed n-hexadecane kinetic mechanism, and the chemical ignition delay was predicted without any kinetic mechanism calibration. The modeling results show that fuel–air parcels developed from the diesel spray with an equivalence ratio of 4 are the first to ignite. The chemical ignition delay results also showed decreasing igntion delays with increasing engine load and speed, just as the experimental data revealed. At lower engine speeds and loads, the kinetic modeling results show the characteristic two-stage negative temperature coefficient behavior of hydrocarbon fuels. However, at high engine speeds and loads, the reactions do not display negative temperature coefficient behavior, as the reactions proceed directly into high-temperature pathways due to higher temperatures and pressuremore » at injection. A moderate difference between the total and chemical ignition delays was then characterized as a phyical delay period that scales inversely with engine speed. This physical delay time is representative of the diesel spray development time and is seen to become a minority fraction of the total igntion delay at higher engine speeds. In addition, the approach used in this study suggests that the ignition delay and thus start of combustion may be predicted with reasonable accuracy using kinetic modeling to determine the chemical igntion delay. Then, in conjunction with the physical delay time (experimental or modeling based), a new fuel’s acceptability in a conventional engine could be assessed by determining that the total ignition delay is not too short or too long.« less
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  1. U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD (United States)
  2. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1468-0874
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
International Journal of Engine Research
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 14; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 1468-0874
Research Org:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab., Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
30 DIRECT ENERGY CONVERSION; diesel; engine; fuel; ignition delay; hexadecane; cetane; combustion kinetics
OSTI Identifier: