Research Papers: Internal Combustion Engines

Effects of Amorphous Ti–Al–B Nanopowder Additives on Combustion in a Single-Cylinder Diesel Engine

[+] Author and Article Information
Brian T. Fisher

Chemistry Division,
Naval Research Laboratory,
4555 Overlook Avenue SW,
Washington, DC 20375
e-mail: brian.fisher@nrl.navy.mil

Jim S. Cowart

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
United States Naval Academy,
121 Blake Road,
Annapolis, MD 21402

Michael R. Weismiller, Zachary J. Huba

Naval Research Laboratory,
4555 Overlook Avenue SW,
Washington, DC 20375

Albert Epshteyn

Chemistry Division,
Naval Research Laboratory,
4555 Overlook Avenue SW,
Washington, DC 20375

1Corresponding author.

2Performed the research while serving as a National Research Council postdoctoral associate at the Naval Research Laboratory.

3Present address: Department of Energy, Vehicle Technologies Office, EE-3V, Room 5G-030, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585.

4Present address: Periodic Products, Inc., 1885 West State Road 84, Suite 104, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315.

Contributed by the IC Engine Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received February 14, 2017; final manuscript received February 28, 2017; published online April 11, 2017. Editor: David Wisler.This material is declared a work of the U.S. Government and is not subject to copyright protection in the United States. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 139(9), 092802 (Apr 11, 2017) (8 pages) Paper No: GTP-17-1061; doi: 10.1115/1.4036189 History: Received February 14, 2017; Revised February 28, 2017

Energetic nanoparticles are promising fuel additives due to their high specific surface area, high energy content, and catalytic capability. Novel amorphous reactive mixed-metal nanopowders (RMNPs) containing Ti, Al, and B, synthesized via a sonochemical reaction, have been developed at the Naval Research Laboratory. These materials have higher energy content than commercial nano-aluminum (nano-Al), making them potentially useful as energy-boosting fuel components. This work examines combustion of RMNPs in a single-cylinder diesel engine (Yanmar L48V). Fuel formulations included up to 4 wt % RMNPs suspended in JP-5, and equivalent nano-Al suspensions for comparison. Although the effects were small, both nano-Al and RMNPs resulted in shorter ignition delays, retarded peak pressure locations, decreased maximum heat release rates, and increased burn durations. A similar but larger engine (Yanmar L100V) was used to examine fuel consumption and emissions for a suspension of 8 wt % RMNPs in JP-5 (and 8 wt % nano-Al for comparison). The engine was operated as a genset under constant load with nominal gross indicated mean effective pressure of 6.5 bar. Unfortunately, the RMNP suspension led to deposits on the injector tip around the orifices, while nano-Al suspensions led to clogging in the fuel reservoir and subsequent engine stall. Nevertheless, fuel consumption rate was 17% lower for the nano-Al suspension compared to baseline JP-5 for the time period prior to stall, which demonstrates the potential value of reactive metal powder additives in boosting volumetric energy density of hydrocarbon fuels.

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Fig. 1

Representative in-cylinder pressure traces at midload for (a) nano-Al and (b) RMNP additives from a basic combustion study (“base” = neat JP-5; “span80” = 4% surfactant in JP-5)

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Fig. 2

Combustion metrics, averaged over approximately 750 cycles, for (a) nano-Al (left column) and (b) RMNP additives (right column), with error bars representing ±one standard deviation (“base” = Neat JP-5; “span80” = 4% surfactant in JP-5, “degATC” = degrees after TDC)

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Fig. 3

Representative in-cylinder pressure traces for (a) RMNP and (b) nano-Al additives from fuel consumption rate study (“Sp80” = 4% surfactant in JP-5). Time labels indicate elapsed time from start of the relevant consumption test.

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Fig. 4

Emissions measurements for fuel consumption rate study (“THC” = total (unburned) hydrocarbons, “S80” = 4% surfactant in JP-5, “nAl” = 8% nano-Al suspension)

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Fig. 5

Photographs of injector tip after RMNP testing (top right) and nano-Al testing (bottom right), with an injector used in diesel testing (left in both photos) for reference

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Fig. 6

Combustion metrics for fuel consumption rate study (“S80” = 4% surfactant in JP-5, “nAl” = 8% nano-Al suspension)

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Fig. 7

Fuel consumption rates (“S80” = 4% surfactant in JP-5, “nAl” = 8% nano-Al suspension)



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