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Technical Paper

Development of a Cold Start Fuel Penalty Metric for Evaluating the Impact of Fuel Composition Changes on SI Engine Emissions Control

Abstract The U.S. Department of Energy’s Co-Optimization of Fuels and Engines initiative (Co-Optima) aims to simultaneously transform both transportation fuels and engines to maximize performance and energy efficiency. Researchers from across the DOE national laboratories are working within Co-Optima to develop merit functions for evaluating the impact of fuel formulations on the performance of advanced engines. The merit functions relate overall engine efficiency to specific measurable fuel properties and will serve as key tools in the fuel/engine co-optimization process. This work focused on developing a term for the Co-Optima light-duty boosted spark ignition (SI) engine merit function that captures the effects of fuel composition on emissions control system performance. For stoichiometric light-duty SI engines, the majority of NOx, NMOG, and CO emissions occur during cold start, before the three-way catalyst (TWC) has reached its “light-off” temperature.
Journal Article

Fuel Consumption Sensitivity of Conventional and Hybrid Electric Light-Duty Gasoline Vehicles to Driving Style

Abstract Aggressive driving is an important topic for many reasons, one of which is higher energy used per unit distance traveled, potentially accompanied by an elevated production of greenhouse gases and other pollutants. Examining a large data set of self-reported fuel economy (FE) values revealed that the dispersion of FE values is quite large and is larger for hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) than for conventional gasoline vehicles. This occurred despite the fact that the city and highway FE ratings for HEVs are generally much closer in value than for conventional gasoline vehicles. A study was undertaken to better understand this and better quantify the effects of aggressive driving, including reviewing past aggressive driving studies, developing and exercising a new vehicle energy model, and conducting a related experimental investigation.
Journal Article

Compatibility of Fuel System Elastomers with Bio-Blendstock Fuel Candidates Using Hansen Solubility Analysis

Abstract The compatibility of key fuel system infrastructure elastomers with promising bio-blendstock fuel candidates was examined using Hansen solubility analysis. Thirty-four candidate fuels were evaluated in this study including multiple alcohols, esters, ethers, ketones, alkenes and one alkane. These compounds were evaluated as neat molecules and as blends with the gasoline surrogate, dodecane and a mix of dodecane and 10% ethanol (E10D). The elastomer materials were fluorocarbon, acrylonitrile butadiene rubber (NBR), styrene butadiene (SBR), neoprene, polyurethane and silicone. These materials have been rigorously studied with other fuel types, and their measured volume change results were found to correspond well with their predicted solubility levels. The alcohols showed probable compatibility with fluorocarbon and polyurethane, but are not likely to be compatible at low blend levels with NBR and SBR.
Technical Paper

Selective Catalytic Reduction of Oxides of Nitrogen with Ethanol/Gasoline Blends over a Silver/Alumina Catalyst in Lean Gasoline Engine Exhaust

Abstract Ethanol is a very effective reductant for nitrogen oxides (NOX) over silver/alumina (Ag/Al2O3) catalysts in lean exhaust environments. With the widespread availability of ethanol/gasoline-blended fuel in the U.S., lean gasoline engines equipped with Ag/Al2O3 catalysts have the potential to deliver higher fuel economy than stoichiometric gasoline engines and to increase biofuel utilization while meeting exhaust emissions regulations. In this work a pre-commercial 2 wt% Ag/Al2O3 catalyst was evaluated on a 2.0-liter BMW lean burn gasoline direct injection engine for the selective catalytic reduction (SCR) of NOX with ethanol/gasoline blends. The ethanol/gasoline blends were delivered via in-pipe injection upstream of the Ag/Al2O3 catalyst with the engine operating under lean conditions. A number of engine conditions were chosen to provide a range of temperatures and space velocities for evaluation of catalyst performance.
Journal Article

Determination of the R Factor for Fuel Economy Calculations Using Ethanol-Blended Fuels over Two Test Cycles

During the 1980s, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) incorporated the R factor into fuel economy calculations in order to address concerns about the impacts of test fuel property variations on corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) compliance, which is determined using the Federal Test Procedure (FTP) and Highway Fuel Economy Test (HFET) cycles. The R factor is defined as the ratio of the percent change in fuel economy to the percent change in volumetric heating value for tests conducted using two differing fuels. At the time the R-factor was devised, tests using representative vehicles initially indicated that an appropriate value for the R factor was 0.6. Reassessing the R factor has recently come under renewed interest after EPA's March 2013 proposal to adjust the properties of certification gasoline to contain significant amounts of ethanol.
Journal Article

Fuel Economy and Emissions Effects of Low Tire Pressure, Open Windows, Roof Top and Hitch-Mounted Cargo, and Trailer

To quantify the fuel economy (FE) effect of some common vehicle accessories or alterations, a compact passenger sedan and a sport utility vehicle (SUV) were subjected to SAE J2263 coastdown procedures. Coastdowns were conducted with low tire pressure, all windows open, with a roof top or hitch-mounted cargo carrier, and with the SUV pulling an enclosed cargo trailer. From these coastdowns, vehicle dynamometer coefficients were developed which enabled the execution of vehicle dynamometer experiments to determine the effect of these changes on vehicle FE and emissions over standard drive cycles and at steady highway speeds. In addition, two minivans were subjected to coastdowns to examine the similarity in derived coefficients for two duplicate vehicles of the same model. The FE penalty associated with the rooftop cargo box mounted on the compact sedan was as high as 25-27% at higher speeds, where the aerodynamic drag is most pronounced.
Journal Article

Predicting Light-Duty Vehicle Fuel Economy as a Function of Highway Speed

The website provides information such as “window label” fuel economy for city, highway, and combined driving for all U.S.-legal light-duty vehicles from 1984 to present. The site is jointly maintained by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and also offers a considerable amount of consumer information and advice pertaining to vehicle fuel economy and energy-related issues. Included with advice pertaining to driving styles and habits is information concerning the trend that as highway cruising speed is increased, fuel economy will degrade. An effort was undertaken to quantify this “conventional wisdom” through analysis of dynamometer testing results for 74 vehicles at steady-state speeds from 50 to 80 mph. Using this experimental data, several simple models were developed to predict individual vehicle fuel economy and its rate of change over the 50-80 mph speed range interval.
Journal Article

The Impact of Low Octane Hydrocarbon Blending Streams on the Knock Limit of “E85”

Ethanol is a very attractive fuel from an end-use perspective because it has a high chemical octane number and a high latent heat of vaporization. When an engine is optimized to take advantage of these fuel properties, both efficiency and power can be increased through higher compression ratio, direct fuel injection, higher levels of boost, and a reduced need for enrichment to mitigate knock or protect the engine and aftertreatment system from overheating. The ASTM D5798 specification for high level ethanol blends, commonly called “E85,” underwent a major revision in 2011. The minimum ethanol content was revised downward from 68 vol% to 51 vol%, which combined with the use of low octane blending streams such as natural gasoline introduces the possibility of a lower octane “E85” fuel.
Technical Paper

Lubricating Oil Consumption on the Standard Road Cycle

Automobile manufacturers strive to minimize oil consumption from their engines due to the need to maintain emissions compliance over the vehicle life. Engine oil can contribute directly to organic gas and particle emissions as well as accelerate emissions degradation due to catalyst poisoning. During the Department of Energy Intermediate Ethanol Blends Catalyst Durability program, vehicles were aged using the Standard Road Cycle (SRC). In this program, matched sets of three or four vehicles were acquired; each vehicle of a set was aged on ethanol-free retail gasoline, or the same base gasoline blended with 10, 15, or 20% ethanol (E0, E10, E15, E20). The primary purpose of the program was to assess any changes in tailpipe emissions due to the use of increased levels of ethanol. Oil consumption was tracked during the program so that any measured emissions degradation could be appropriately attributed to fuel use or to excessive oil consumption.
Technical Paper

Effect of Air Filter Condition on Diesel Vehicle Fuel Economy

Proper maintenance can help vehicles perform as designed, positively affecting fuel economy, emissions, and overall driveability. This paper addresses the issue of whether air filter replacement improves fuel economy. Described are measured results for increasing air filter pressure drop in turbocharged diesel-engine-powered vehicles, with primary focus on changes in vehicle fuel economy but also including emissions and performance. Older studies of carbureted gasoline vehicles have indicated that replacing a clogged or dirty air filter can improve vehicle fuel economy and, conversely, that a dirty air filter can be significantly detrimental to fuel economy. In contrast, a recent study showed that the fuel economy of modern gasoline vehicles is virtually unaffected by filter clogging due to the closed loop control and throttled operation of these engines. Because modern diesel engines operate without throttling (or with minimal throttling), a different result could be anticipated.
Technical Paper

Effects of Air Conditioner Use on Real-World Fuel Economy

On-road and laboratory experiments with a 2009 Ford Explorer and a 2009 Toyota Corolla were conducted to assess the fuel consumption penalty associated with air conditioner (A/C) use at idle and highway cruise conditions. Vehicle data were acquired on-road and on a chassis dynamometer. Data were gathered for various A/C settings and with the A/C off and the windows open. At steady speeds between 64.4 and 113 kph (40 and 70 mph), both vehicles consumed more fuel with the A/C on at maximum cooling load (compressor at 100% duty cycle) than when driving with the windows down. The Explorer maintained this trend beyond 113 kph (70 mph), while the Corolla fuel consumption with the windows down matched that of running the A/C at 121 kph (75 mph), and exceeded it at 129 kph (80 mph). The incremental fuel consumption rate penalty due to air conditioner use was nearly constant with a slight trend of increasing consumption with increasing vehicle (and compressor) speed.
Journal Article

Investigating Malfunction Indicator Light Illumination Due to Increased Oxygenate Use in Gasoline

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 requires the U.S. to use 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel per year by 2022. Domestic ethanol production has increased steadily in recent years, growing from less than 5 billion gallons per year (bgpy) in 2006 to over 13 bgpy in 2010. While there is interest in developing non-oxygenated renewable fuels for use in conventional vehicles as well as interest in expanding flex-fuel vehicle (FFV) production for increased E85 use, there remains concern that EISA compliance will require further use of oxygenated biofuels in conventional vehicles. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently granted partial approval to a waiver allowing the use of E15 in 2001 and newer light-duty vehicles.
Technical Paper

Effect of Intake Air Filter Condition on Light-Duty Gasoline Vehicles

Proper maintenance can help vehicles perform as designed, positively affecting fuel economy, emissions, and the overall drivability. This effort investigates the effect of one maintenance factor, intake air filter replacement, with primary focus on vehicle fuel economy, but also examining emissions and performance. Older studies, dealing with carbureted gasoline vehicles, have indicated that replacing a clogged or dirty air filter can improve vehicle fuel economy and conversely that a dirty air filter can be significantly detrimental to fuel economy. The effect of clogged air filters on the fuel economy, acceleration and emissions of five gasoline fueled vehicles is examined. Four of these were modern vehicles, featuring closed-loop control and ranging in model year from 2003 to 2007. Three vehicles were powered by naturally aspirated, port fuel injection (PFI) engines of differing size and cylinder configuration: an inline 4, a V6 and a V8.
Journal Article

NMOG Emissions Characterizations and Estimation for Vehicles Using Ethanol-Blended Fuels

Ethanol is a biofuel commonly used in gasoline blends to displace petroleum consumption; its utilization is on the rise in the United States, spurred by the biofuel utilization mandates put in place by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the statutory responsibility to implement the EISA mandates through the promulgation of the Renewable Fuel Standard. EPA has historically mandated an emissions certification fuel specification that calls for ethanol-free fuel, except for the certification of flex-fuel vehicles. However, since the U.S. gasoline marketplace is now virtually saturated with E10, some organizations have suggested that inclusion of ethanol in emissions certification fuels would be appropriate.
Journal Article

Limitations and Recommended Practice In the Use of Compression and Leak-Down Tests to Monitor Gradual Engine Degradation

Compression and leak-down tests are frequently used to identify and diagnose failed engine power cylinders. It is also often desirable in research and testing programs to use these tests to monitor incremental changes in cylinder leakage. This paper investigates whether these tests are adequate in their present form to monitor incremental changes in cylinder leakage. Results are presented from two vehicle fleets at two test sites. Compression and leak-down tests were conducted on these fleets periodically during a mileage accumulation study. The results were used to establish the variability inherent in the compression and leak-down test processes. Comparisons between the results at the initial mileage test for the study vehicles with those at the final mileage test are shown to be largely within the uncertainty established for repeat assessments.
Technical Paper

Effects of Mid-Level Ethanol Blends on Conventional Vehicle Emissions

Tests were conducted during 2008 on 16 late-model, conventional vehicles (1999 through 2007) to determine short-term effects of mid-level ethanol blends on performance and emissions. Vehicle odometer readings ranged from 10,000 to 100,000 miles, and all vehicles conformed to federal emissions requirements for their federal certification level. The LA92 drive cycle, also known as the Unified Cycle, was used for testing as it was considered to more accurately represent real-world acceleration rates and speeds than the Federal Test Procedure (FTP) used for emissions certification testing. Test fuels were splash-blends of up to 20 volume percent ethanol with federal certification gasoline. Both regulated and unregulated air-toxic emissions were measured. For the aggregate 16-vehicle fleet, increasing ethanol content resulted in reductions in average composite emissions of both NMHC and CO and increases in average emissions of ethanol and aldehydes.
Technical Paper

Characterization of Lean NOx Trap Catalysts with In-Cylinder Regeneration Strategies

Lean NOx trap (LNT) catalysts with different formulations have been characterized on a light-duty diesel engine platform. Two in-cylinder regeneration strategies were used during the study. The reductant chemistry differed for both strategies with one strategy having high levels of CO and H2 and the other strategy having a higher hydrocarbon component. The matrix of LNT catalysts that were characterized included LNTs with various sorbate loads and varying ceria content; the sorbate was Ba. Intra-catalyst measurements of exhaust gas composition were obtained at one quarter, one half, and three quarters of the length of the catalysts to better understand the affect of formulation on performance. Exhaust analysis with FTIR allowed measurement of NH3 and thereby, a measurement of N2 selectivity for the catalysts. Although overall NOx conversion increased with increasing sorbate load, the formation of NH3 increased as well.
Technical Paper

Fuel Economy and Emissions of the Ethanol-Optimized Saab 9-5 Biopower

Saab Automobile recently released the BioPower engines, advertised to use increased turbocharger boost and spark advance on ethanol fuel to enhance performance. Specifications for the 2.0 liter turbocharged engine in the Saab 9-5 Biopower 2.0t report 150 hp (112 kW) on gasoline and a 20% increase to 180 hp (134 kW) on E85 (nominally 85% ethanol, 15% gasoline). While FFVs sold in the U.S. must be emissions certified on Federal Certification Gasoline as well as on E85, the European regulations only require certification on gasoline. Owing to renewed and growing interest in increased ethanol utilization in the U.S., a European-specification 2007 Saab 9-5 Biopower 2.0t was acquired by the Department of Energy and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) for benchmark evaluations. Results show that the vehicle's gasoline equivalent fuel economy on the Federal Test Procedure (FTP) and the Highway Fuel Economy Test (HFET) are on par with similar U.S.-legal flex-fuel vehicles.
Technical Paper

Intra-Catalyst Reductant Chemistry and Nox Conversion of Diesel Lean Nox Traps at Various Stages of Sulfur Loading

Due to increasingly stringent emissions regulations, Lean NOx Trap (LNT) catalysts are being researched as a potential solution for diesel engine emissions reduction. LNTs are practical for diesel NOx reduction due to their ability to reduce NOx from the O2 rich environment produced by diesel engines. LNTs function by storing NOx on the catalyst surface during efficient lean operation then, under rich conditions, releasing and reducing the trapped NOx. One method of producing this rich environment which regenerates a LNT involves manipulating the fuel injection parameters and throttling the air intake. This process is called in-cylinder regeneration. Experiments will be described here in which a 1.7 L common rail diesel engine has been used to regenerate LNTs at various stages of sulfur exposure, a known poison of the LNT.
Technical Paper

In-Cylinder Production of Hydrogen During Net-Lean Diesel Operation

Hydrogen (H2) is an excellent reductant, and has been shown to be highly effective when introduced into a variety of catalysts such as three-way catalysts, lean NOx traps (LNTs), and hydrocarbon lean NOx catalysts (also termed hydrocarbon selective catalytic reduction (SCR) catalysts). Furthermore, since lean-burn engines offer improved fuel efficiency yet difficult NOx emission control, H2 production during lean operation for the purpose of NOx reduction could be beneficial. On-board generation of hydrogen is being explored via catalytic or plasma-based reformers. A possible alternative to these add-on systems is generation of the H2 in-cylinder with standard fuel injection hardware. This paper details experiments relating to the production and measurement of H2 under net-lean operation in a common-rail diesel engine. In-cylinder fuel control is used to tailor the combustion process such that H2 is generated while maintaining a lean Air:Fuel ratio in the bulk exhaust gas.