The Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) engine is a promising engine concept that emits low concentrations of NOx and particulates and still has a high efficiency. Since the charge is auto-ignited, the auto-ignition quality of the fuel is of major importance.
It has been shown in several studies that neither of the classical measures of auto-ignition quality of gasoline-like fuels, RON and MON, can alone describe this in all conditions in HCCI combustion. However, even in such cases it is possible to combine RON and MON into an octane index, OI, that describes the auto-ignition quality well in most conditions. The octane numbers are combined into the OI with the variable K according to the following equation:
OI = (1-K)RON + K MON = RON – K S
The OI of a sensitive fuel is the equivalent of the octane number of a primary reference fuel with the same resistance to auto-ignition in the tested condition. The K-value is dependent on the temperature and pressure history. A generic parameter Tcomp15, the temperature at 15 bar during the compression, was introduced to describe the temperature and pressure history. It was found that the K-value increases with increasing Tcomp15 and two linear equations have been suggested to describe this relationship.
At high or low Tcomp15 it has been found that the sensitivity of the fuel octane quality on combustion phasing is small and the auto-ignition quality defined by the OI scale does no longer play a big role.
NO affects the combustion phasing of gasoline-like fuels. This effect is most significant at low concentration where it advances the combustion phasing considerably. At higher conditions its influence is different for different fuels.
A sensitive fuel is considered a good HCCI fuel since its OI changes in the same direction as the octane requirement of the engine, which would make the engine management easier. It is also likely that a sensitive fuel will enable a wider operating range.
The auto-ignition quality of diesel-like fuels was studied in tests with three different strategies of mixture formation. In these tests it was found that the ignition delay increased with lower cetane number and that the cetane number described the auto-ignition quality well, even for fuels of significantly different physical properties. The experiments were, however, made at a limited range of operating conditions and low load.
A good diesel-like HCCI fuel should be easy to vaporize to facilitate homogeneity. It should have a high resistance to auto-ignition, not necessarily the highest, one that allows both high and low loads at a given compression ratio. Finally, it should also function well with the injection system without a significant decrease in injection system life length.
Stockholm: KTH , 2006. , 95 p.