Properties of the fuel utilized in an IC engine, both chemical and physical, can strongly impact engine operation and performance. In particular, the reactivity of the fuel, often characterized by research and motored octane numbers or cetane number, can limit the range of operation or ability to obtain stable combustion. The detailed fuel chemical composition also plays an important role in soot formation chemistry. Physical properties can influence spray formation and mixing, as well as, the level impingement of liquid fuel on in-cylinder surface, resulting in impacts on performance and emissions.

Fuel Research Areas

Optical Engine Studies of Fuel Property Impacts on Combustion

Optical engines allow the physics of in-cylinder processes to be probed via high-speed imaging and laser-based diagnostics. We utilize these tools to understand the impact of fuel properties on the underlying in-cylinder processes.

Fuel Property Measurements and Modeling

Direct measurements of pertinent properties are performed for pure components and blends. These results are used to validate property estimation techniques and blending models. Properties information is used to understand fuel impacts.