To enable market leadership and maximum profitability it is important to develop a fuel formulation strategy in blending fuels for current and emerging internal combustion engine cycles.
Over the past three decades there has been a considerable increase
in the efficiency of Internal Combustion Engines (ICEs) as well as a
sizeable reduction in emissions.
In order to achieve future fuel economy and emissions targets,
development is needed of advanced engine technologies and these
technologies should be developed in concert with advanced fuel
The major challenge with the implementation of these advanced
engine technologies is tailoring the fuel formulation to optimize
ignition and combustion processes. These engines will operate under
extreme conditions, and thus a fundamental understanding of combustion
behavior at these extreme conditions becomes more crucial for the design
of future fuel formulations.
Our objective then is to combine expertise in industrial fuel
formulation and production with KAUST CCRC’s capabilities in fundamental
and applied combustion research to enable commercialization of next
generation engine technologies.
Figure 1 – Pictorial representation of advanced low temperature combustion engine technologies
with reduced PM and NOx emissions
Over the last three decades there have been
significant developments in combustion science, owing to the advances in
experimental diagnostics, computational capability, and kinetics
mechanism development. Consequently, combustion engineering is
transitioning from an empirical-based approach to science-based approach
and so now is the right time to initiate a first-principle based
research targeted at achieving a competitive and superior fuel design.
Figure 2. Advances in Combustion Science over the past 30 years
Our research program enables a simulation-based fuel
design, with specific focus on advanced engine fuel formulation strategy
based on first principles. The research program consists of two
Thrust I. First principle-based fuel characterization
Fuel characterization is required for the
development of a fuel formulation technology. Both for conventional and
advanced concept IC engines, the key fundamental combustion behaviors
are ignition, flame propagation, and emission phenomena.
Characterization of these three phenomena is crucial for
conventional gasoline and diesel formulations along with fuel
formulation for advanced concept engines, irrespective of future engine
development. Thrust I is designed to systematically understand these
combustion behaviors, which could provide a fundamental database for the
application oriented Thrust II.
Thrust II. Fuel Design for Advanced Engines
Thrust II is focused on the development of simulation
based fuel formulation strategy for advanced engines. The scope
includes fuel formulation for advanced concept engines by utilizing the
KAUST Research (KR) CFR engine and single cylinder research engines.
This thrust will be aligned with Thrust I by testing the same component
fuels, thus identifying the fundamental aspects of combustion behavior
on engine performance and emission.
The proposed research program includes sub-projects
focused on the two major thrusts detailed above. These sub-projects will
work harmoniously such that similar fuels are studied experimentally in
state-of-the-art combustion facilities (e.g., burners, reactors,
engines, etc.), and comprehensive physical-chemistry models are
developed to accurately predict combustion phenomenon.
The sub-topics to be investigated during this ambitious ten-year program will include:
Chemical kinetics processes of auto-ignition in
shock tubes, jet stirred reactors, plug flow reactors, rapid compression
- Physical processes in auto-ignition in high temperature jets of
pre-vaporized and liquid fuels at elevated pressures and ignition
- Laminar and turbulent flame speeds of real fuels at engine-relevant pressures using high-pressure spherical vessels.
- Fuel emission characterization measurements of soot and NOx
production in laminar and turbulent flames at atmospheric and high
pressures, both co-flow and counter-flow geometries.
- Model development and high fidelity simulations using DNS, LES, and RANS methods.
- Fuel formulation for advanced concept engines using KR CFR engines
to study end-gas and pre-ignition chemistry, and SCREs for performance
and emission testing.
- Pre-ignition in gasoline engines analysis on engine & rig tests.
- Study of fuel mixing in advanced engines using optically transparent engines.
- Emissions characterization from future fuel engines based on fuel effects & additives for emission reduction.
- Engine combustion simulations to design advanced engines running on diesel, gasoline, or novel fuel formulations.
First Principle Based Fuel
|Chemical kinetics processes of autoignition
|Physical processes in autoignition|
|Flame speed for real fuels in E/G like environment|
|Fuel emission characterization|
|Model development and high-fidelity simulations|
Fuel Design for Enabling
|Fuel formulation for advanced concept engines|
|Pre-ignition in SI engines|
|Fuel mixing in advanced engines (transparent)|
|Emissions reduction from advanced engines|
|Engine combustion simulations|
Figure 3 – Research Program Overview