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An overview of the effects of fuel molecular structure on the combustion and emissions characteristics of compression ignition engines

Hellier, P; Talibi, M; Eveleigh, A; Ladommatos, N; (2017) An overview of the effects of fuel molecular structure on the combustion and emissions characteristics of compression ignition engines. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part D: Journal of Automobile Engineering 10.1177/0954407016687453. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Future fuels for compression ignition engines will be required both to reduce the anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions from fossil sources and to contribute to the reductions in the exhaust levels of pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. Via various processes of biological, chemical and physical conversion, feedstocks such as lignocellulosic biomass and photosynthetic micro-organisms will yield a wide variety of potential fuel molecules. Furthermore, modification of the production processes may allow the targeted manufacture of fuels of specific molecular structure. This paper therefore presents an overview of the effects of fuel molecular structure on the combustion and emissions characteristics of compression ignition engines, highlighting in particular the submolecular features common to a variety of potential fuels. An increase in the straight-chain length of the alkyl moiety reduces the duration of ignition delay, and the introduction of double bonds or branching to an alkyl moiety both increase ignition delay. The movement of a double bond towards the centre of an alkyl chain, or the addition of oxygen to a molecule, can both increase and decrease the duration of ignition delay dependent on the overall fuel structure. Nitrogen oxide emissions are primarily influenced by the duration of fuel ignition delay, but in the case of hydrogen and methane pilot-ignited premixed combustion arise only at flame temperatures sufficiently high for thermal production. An increase in aromatic ring number and physical properties such as the fuel boiling point increase particulate matter emissions at constant combustion phasing.

Type: Article
Title: An overview of the effects of fuel molecular structure on the combustion and emissions characteristics of compression ignition engines
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/0954407016687453
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1177/0954407016687453
Language: English
Additional information: © IMechE 2017. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
Keywords: Diesel engines, compression ignition engines, fuel design, future fuels, molecular structure, diesel engine emissions
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Mechanical Engineering
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1540281
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