Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Combustion, Fuels, and Emissions

Experimental and Computational Study of n-Heptane Autoignition in a Direct-Injection Constant-Volume Combustion Chamber

[+] Author and Article Information
James C. Allen

The University of Alabama,
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
P.O. Box 870276,
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
e-mail: jallen2@crimson.ua.edu

William J. Pitz

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory,
Chemical Sciences Division,
Physical and Life Sciences Directorate,
P.O. Box 808,
Livermore, CA 94551
e-mail: pitz1@llnl.gov

Brian T. Fisher

The University of Alabama,
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
P.O. Box 870276,
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
e-mail: bfisher@eng.ua.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Combustion and Fuels Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received March 6, 2014; final manuscript received March 7, 2014; published online April 18, 2014. Editor: David Wisler.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 136(9), 091510 (Apr 18, 2014) (8 pages) Paper No: GTP-14-1143; doi: 10.1115/1.4027194 History: Received March 06, 2014; Revised March 07, 2014

The purpose of this study was to characterize experimental n-heptane combustion behavior in a direct-injection constant-volume combustion chamber (DI-CVCC), using chamber pressure to infer ignition delay and heat-release rate. Measurements generally displayed expected trends and indicated entirely premixed combustion with no mixing-controlled phase. A significant finding was the observation of negative temperature coefficient (NTC) behavior. Comparing results with CHEMKIN-PRO simulations, it was found that a homogeneous combustion model was reasonably accurate for ignition delays longer than 5 ms. The combination of NTC behavior and homogeneous fuel-air mixtures suggests that this DI-CVCC can be useful for validation of chemical-kinetic mechanisms.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Colket, M., Edwards, T., Williams, S., Cernansky, N. P., Miller, D. L., Egolfopoulos, F., Lindstedt, P., Seshadri, K., Dryer, F. L., Law, C. K., Friend, D., Lenhert, D. B., Pitsch, H., Sarofim, A., Smooke, M., and Tsang, W., 2007, “Development of an Experimental Database and Kinetic Models for Surrogate Jet Fuels,” 45th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, Reno, NV, January 8–11, AIAA Paper No. 2007-770. [CrossRef]
Farrell, J. T., Cernansky, N. P., Dryer, F. L., Friend, D. G., Hergart, C. A., Law, C. K., McDavid, R. M., Mueller, C. J., Patel, A. K., and Pitsch, H., 2007, “Development of an Experimental Database and Kinetic Models for Surrogate Diesel Fuels,” SAE Technical Paper No. 2007-01-0201. [CrossRef]
Pitz, W. J., Cernansky, N. P., Dryer, F. L., Egolfopoulos, F. N., Farrell, J. T., Friend, D. G., and Pitsch, H., 2007, “Development of an Experimental Database and Chemical Kinetic Models for Surrogate Gasoline Fuels,” SAE Technical Paper No. 2007-01-0175. [CrossRef]
Pitz, W. J., and Mueller, C. J., 2011, “Recent Progress in the Development of Diesel Surrogate Fuels,” Prog. Energy Combust., 37(3), pp. 330–350. [CrossRef]
Bogin, G. E., Defilippo, A., Chen, J. Y., Chin, G., Luecke, J., Ratcliff, M. A., Zigler, B. T., and Dean, A. M., 2011, “Numerical and Experimental Investigation of n-Heptane Autoignition in the Ignition Quality Tester (IQT),” Energy Fuel, 25(12), pp. 5562–5572. [CrossRef]
Bogin, G. E., Osecky, E., Ratcliff, M. A., Luecke, J., He, X., Zigler, B. T., and Dean, A. M., 2013, “Ignition Quality Tester (IQT) Investigation of the Negative Temperature Coefficient Region of Alkane Autoignition,” Energy Fuel, 27(3), pp. 1632–1642. [CrossRef]
Curran, H. J., Gaffuri, P., Pitz, W. J., and Westbrook, C. K., 1998, “A Comprehensive Modeling Study of n-Heptane Oxidation,” Combust. Flame, 114(1–2), pp. 149–177. [CrossRef]
Berta, P., Aggarwal, S. K., and Puri, I.K., 2006, “An Experimental and Numerical Investigation of n-Heptane/Air Counterflow Partially Premixed Flames and Emission of NOx and PAH Species,” Combust. Flame, 145(4), pp. 740–764. [CrossRef]
Ciajolo, A., and D'Anna, A., 1998, “Controlling Steps in the Low-Temperature Oxidation of n-Heptane and Iso-Octane,” Combust. Flame, 112(4), pp. 617–622. [CrossRef]
Dagaut, P., Reuillon, M., and Cathonnet, M., 1995, “Experimental-Study of the Oxidation of n-Heptane in a Jet-Stirred Reactor From Low-Temperature to High-Temperature and Pressures up to 40-Atm,” Combust. Flame, 101(1–2), pp. 132–140. [CrossRef]
Fieweger, K., Blumenthal, R., and Adomeit, G., 1997, “Self-Ignition of SI Engine Model Fuels: A Shock Tube Investigation at High Pressure,” Combust. Flame, 109(4), pp. 599–619. [CrossRef]
Gauthier, B. M., Davidson, D. F., and Hanson, R. K., 2004, “Shock Tube Determination of Ignition Delay Times in Full-Blend and Surrogate Fuel Mixtures,” Combust. Flame, 139(4), pp. 300–311. [CrossRef]
Herzler, J., Jerig, L., and Roth, P., 2005, “Shock Tube Study of the Ignition of Lean n-Heptane/Air Mixtures at Intermediate Temperatures and High Pressures,” Proc. Combust. Inst., 30(1), pp. 1147–1153. [CrossRef]
Holley, A. T., Dong, Y., Andac, M. G., and Egolfopoulos, F. N., 2006, “Extinction of Premixed Flames of Practical Liquid Fuels: Experiments and Simulations,” Combust. Flame, 144(3), pp. 448–460. [CrossRef]
Minetti, R., Carlier, M., Ribaucour, M., Therssen, E., and Sochet, L. R., 1995, “A Rapid Compression Machine Investigation of Oxidation and Auto-Ignition of n-Heptane–Measurements and Modeling,” Combust. Flame, 102(3), pp. 298–309. [CrossRef]
Silke, E. J., Curran, H. J., and Simmie, J. M., 2005, “The Influence of Fuel Structure on Combustion as Demonstrated by the Isomers of Heptane: A Rapid Compression Machine Study,” Proc. Combust. Inst., 30(2), pp. 2639–2647. [CrossRef]
Andrae, J., Johansson, D., Bjornbom, P., Risberg, P., and Kalghatgi, G., 2005, “Co-Oxidation in the Auto-Ignition of Primary Reference Fuels and n-Heptane/Toluene Blends,” Combust. Flame, 140(4), pp. 267–286. [CrossRef]
Kim, D. S., and Lee, C. S., 2006, “Improved Emission Characteristics of HCCI Engine by Various Premixed Fuels and Cooled EGR,” Fuel, 85(5–6), pp. 695–704. [CrossRef]
Lu, X. C., Chen, W., and Huang, Z., 2005, “A Fundamental Study on the Control of the HCCI Combustion and Emissions by Fuel Design Concept Combined With Controllable EGR. Part 1. The Basic Characteristics of HCCI Combustion,” Fuel, 84(9), pp. 1074–1083. [CrossRef]
Lu, X. C., Chen, W., and Huang, Z., 2005, “A Fundamental Study on the Control of the HCCI Combustion and Emissions by Fuel Design Concept Combined With Controllable EGR. Part 2. Effect of Operating Conditions and EGR on HCCI Combustion,” Fuel, 84(9), pp. 1084–1092. [CrossRef]
Tanaka, S., Ayala, F., Keck, J. C., and Heywood, J. B., 2003, “Two-Stage Ignition in HCCI Combustion and HCCI Control by Fuels and Additives,” Combust. Flame, 132(1–2), pp. 219–239. [CrossRef]
Mehl, M., Pitz, W. J., Sjöberg, M., and Dec, J. E., 2009, “Detailed Kinetic Modeling of Low-Temperature Heat Release for PRF Fuels in an HCCI Engine,” SAE Technical Paper No. 2009-01-1806. [CrossRef]
Mehl, M., Pitz, W. J., Westbrook, C. K., and Curran, H. J., 2011, “Kinetic Modeling of Gasoline Surrogate Components and Mixtures Under Engine Conditions,” Proc. Combust. Inst., 33(1), pp. 193–200. [CrossRef]
ASTM Standard D7668, 2012, “Standard Test Method for Determination of Derived Cetane Number (DCN) of Diesel Fuel Oils—Ignition Delay and Combustion Delay Using a Constant Volume Combustion Chamber Method,” ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA. [CrossRef]
Cowart, J. S., Fischer, W. P., Hamilton, L. J., Caton, P. A., Sarathy, S. M., and Pitz, W. J., 2013, “An Experimental and Modeling Study Investigating the Ignition Delay in a Military Diesel Engine Running Hexadecane (Cetane) Fuel,” Int. J. Eng. Res., 14(1), pp. 57–67. [CrossRef]
Davidson, D. F., Oehlschlaeger, M. A., Herbon, J. T., and Hanson, R. K., 2002, “Shock Tube Measurements of Iso-Octane Ignition Times and OH Concentration Time Histories,” Proc. Combust. Inst., 29(1), pp. 1295–1301. [CrossRef]
He, X., Zigler, B. T., Walton, S. M., Wooldridge, M. S., and Atreya, A., 2006, “A Rapid Compression Facility Study of OH Time Histories During Iso-Octane Ignition,” Combust. Flame, 145(3), pp. 552–570. [CrossRef]
Karwat, D. M. A., Wagnon, S. W., Teini, P. D., and Wooldridge, M. S., 2011, “On the Chemical Kinetics of n-Butanol: Ignition and Speciation Studies,” J. Phys. Chem. A, 115(19), pp. 4909–4921. [CrossRef]
Vasu, S. S., Davidson, D. F., Hong, Z., Vasudevan, V., and Hanson, R. K., 2009, “n Dodecane Oxidation at High-Pressures: Measurements of Ignition Delay Times and OH Concentration Time-Histories,” Proc. Combust. Inst., 32(1), pp. 173–180. [CrossRef]
Dec, J. E., 1997, “A Conceptual Model of DI Diesel Combustion Based on Laser-Sheet Imaging,” SAE Technical Paper No. 970873. [CrossRef]
Pilling, M. J., ed., 1997, Low-Temperature Combustion and Autoignition, Comprehensive Chemical Kinetics, Elsevier Science, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Westbrook, C. K., 2000, “Chemical Kinetics of Hydrocarbon Ignition in Practical Combustion Systems,” Proc. Combust. Inst., 28(2), pp. 1563–1577. [CrossRef]
Kukkadapu, G., Kumar, K., Sung, C. J., Mehl, M., and Pitz, W. J., 2012, “Experimental and Surrogate Modeling Study of Gasoline Ignition in a Rapid Compression Machine,” Combust. Flame, 159(10), pp. 3066–3078. [CrossRef]
Law, C. K., and Zhao, P., 2012, “NTC-Affected Ignition in Nonpremixed Counterflow,” Combust. Flame, 159(3), pp. 1044–1054. [CrossRef]
Sarathy, S. M., Westbrook, C. K., Mehl, M., Pitz, W. J., Togbe, C., Dagaut, P., Wang, H., Oehlschlaeger, M. A., Niemann, U., Seshadri, K., Veloo, P. S., Ji, C., Egolfopoulos, F. N., and Lu, T., 2011, “Comprehensive Chemical Kinetic Modeling of the Oxidation of 2-Methylalkanes From C-7 to C-20,” Combust. Flame, 158(12), pp. 2338–2357. [CrossRef]
Westbrook, C. K., Pitz, W. J., Herbinet, O., Curran, H. J., and Silke, E. J., 2009, “A Comprehensive Detailed Chemical Kinetic Reaction Mechanism for Combustion of n-Alkane Hydrocarbons from n-Octane to n-Hexadecane,” Combust. Flame, 156(1), pp. 181–199. [CrossRef]


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Schematic of CID system and important subsystems

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Typical filtered pressure trace (Case 1—BASE)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Experimental pressure traces, averaged for all relevant injections, for: (a) Cases 1, 2, and 3, with varying pressure (shaded areas indicate full range of acquired data); (b) Cases 1, 4, and 5, with varying temperature; (c) Cases 1, 6, and 7, with varying injection duration; and (d) Cases 1, 8, and 9, with multiple varying parameters but constant global equivalence ratio

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Ignition delay versus temperature (shown as 1000/T) for both experiments and model computations. In the top plot, temperatures for experimental data points were those measured in the chamber wall. In the bottom plot, experimental temperatures were lowered by 60 °C (see text). Experimental conditions were: Pchamber = 5 bar, DOI = 1000 μs. Simulation parameters were: P0 = 5 bar, Φ = 0.65 (based on shifted experimental temperatures).

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Experimental and simulated pressure data for Case 1 (BASE). Simulation parameters were: P0 = 9.8 bar; T0 = 524 °C; Φ = 0.83.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Apparent heat release rate (Case 1—BASE), normalized to unity

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Φmodel/Φglobal ratio versus ignition delay, where Φmodel has been adjusted to obtain a match in experimental and computational ignition delay



Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In