An investigation of using various diesel-type fuels in homogeneous charge compression ignition engines and their effects on operational and controlling issues

Homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) engines appear to be a future alternative to diesel and spark-ignited engines. The HCCI engine has the potential to deliver high efficiency and very low NOx and particulate matter emissions. There are, however, problems with the control of ignition and heat release range over the entire load and speed range which limits the practical application of this technology. The aim of this paper is to analyse the use of different types of diesel fuels in an HCCI engine and hence to find the most suitable with respect to operational and control issues. The single-zone combustion model with convective heat transfer loss is used to simulate the HCCI engine environment. n-Heptane, dimethyl ether and bio-diesel (methyl butanoate and methyl formate) fuels are investigated. Methyl butanoate and methyl formate represent surrogates of heavy and light bio-diesel fuel respectively. The effects of different engine parameters such as equivalence ratio and engine speed on the ignition timing are investigated. The use of internal exhaust gas recirculation is investigated as a potential strategy for controlling the ignition timing. The results indicate that the use of bio-diesel fuels will result in lower sensitivity of ignition timing to changes in operational parameters and in a better control of the ignition process when compared with the use of n-heptane and dimethyl ether.