In this study, the combustion and emissions characteristics of Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition (RCCI) obtained by direct injection (DI) of S8 and port fuel injection (PFI) of n-butanol were compared with RCCI of ultra-low sulfur diesel #2 (ULSD#2) and PFI of n-butanol at 6 bar indicated mean effective pressure (IMEP) and 1500 rpm. S8 is a synthetic paraffinic kerosene (C6–C18) developed by Syntroleum and is derived from natural gas. S8 is a Fischer-Tropsch fuel that contains a low aromatic percentage (0.5 vol. %) and has a cetane number of 63 versus 47 of ULSD#2. Baselines of DI conventional diesel combustion (CDC), with 100% ULSD#2 and also DI of S8 were conducted. For both RCCI cases, the mass ratio of DI to PFI was set at 1:1. The ignition delay for the ULSD#2 baseline was found to be 10.9 CAD (1.21 ms) and for S8 was shorter at 10.1 CAD (1.12 ms). In RCCI, the premixed charge combustion has been split into two regions of high temperature heat release, an early one BTDC from ignition of ULSD#2 or S8, and a second stage, ATDC from n-butanol combustion. RCCI with n-butanol increased the NOx because the n-butanol contains 21% oxygen, while S8 alone produced 30% less NOx emissions when compared to the ULSD#2 baseline. The RCCI reduced soot by 80–90% (more efficient for S8). However, S8 alone showed a considerable increase in soot emissions compared with ULSD#2. The indicated thermal efficiency was the highest for the ULSD#2 and S8 baseline at 44%. The RCCI strategies showed a decrease in indicated thermal efficiency at 40% ULSD#2-RCCI and 42% and for S8-RCCI, respectively.
S8 as a single fuel proved to be a very capable alternative to ULSD#2 in terms of combustion performance nevertheless, exhibited higher soot emissions that have been mitigated with the RCCI strategy without penalty in engine performance.