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Research Papers: Internal Combustion Engines

Correlation Between Speciated Hydrocarbon Emissions and Flame Ionization Detector Response for Gasoline/Alcohol Blends

[+] Author and Article Information
Thomas Wallner

 Argonne National Laboratory, 9700 South Cass Avenue, Lemont, IL 60439twallner@anl.gov

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 133(8), 082801 (Apr 11, 2011) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4002893 History: Received September 25, 2010; Revised September 27, 2010; Published April 11, 2011; Online April 11, 2011

The U.S. renewable fuel standard has made it a requirement to increase the production of ethanol and advanced biofuels to 36 billion by 2022. Ethanol will be capped at 15 billion, which leaves 21 billion to come from other sources such as butanol. Butanol has a higher energy density and lower affinity for water than ethanol. Moreover, alcohol fueled engines in general have been shown to positively affect engine-out emissions of oxides of nitrogen and carbon monoxide compared with their gasoline fueled counterparts. In light of these developments, the variety and blend levels of oxygenated constituents is likely to increase in the foreseeable future. The effect on engine-out emissions for total hydrocarbons is less clear due to the relative insensitivity of the flame ionization detector (FID) toward alcohols and aldehydes. It is well documented that hydrocarbon (HC) measurement using a conventional FID in the presence of oxygenates in the engine exhaust stream can lead to a misinterpretation of HC emissions trends for alcohol fuel blends. Characterization of the exhaust stream for all expected hydrocarbon constituents is required to accurately determine the actual concentration of unburned fuel components in the exhaust. In addition to a conventional exhaust emissions bench, this characterization requires supplementary instrumentation capable of hydrocarbon speciation and response factor independent quantification. Although required for certification testing, this sort of instrumentation is not yet widely available in engine development facilities. Therefore, an attempt is made to empirically determine FID correction factors for oxygenate fuels. Exhaust emissions of an engine fueled with several blends of gasoline and ethanol, n-butanol and iso-Butanol were characterized using both a conventional FID and a Fourier transform infrared. Based on these results, a response factor predicting the actual hydrocarbon emissions based solely on FID results as a function of alcohol type and content is presented. Finally, the correlation derived from data presented in this study is compared with equations and results found in the literature.

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Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Uncorrected THC emissions as reported by the FID

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Figure 2

Relative volumetric concentration of hydrocarbon constituents for all fuel blends at 1500 rpm 2.62 bar BMEP

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Figure 3

Relative volumetric concentration of hydrocarbon constituents for all fuel blends at 2000 rpm 6 bar BMEP

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Figure 4

Relative volumetric concentration of hydrocarbon constituents for all fuel blends at 3000 rpm 8 bar BMEP

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Figure 5

Cumulative speciated hydrocarbon emissions as reported by the FTIR

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Figure 6

Scaling factor to account for constituents not captured with the applied FTIR method

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Figure 7

Average response factor as functions of alcohol type and concentration

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Figure 8

Corrected total hydrocarbon emissions as functions of oxygen content for all fuel blends

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Figure 9

General FID response factors as functions of blending agent and alcohol content

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Figure 10

General FID response factor as functions of carbon/oxygen ratio of the fuel blend

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Figure 11

Comparison of proposed, linear O/C ratio fit with approximation by Kar (5)

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