Conventional combustion techniques struggle to meet the current emissions’ regulations while retaining high engine efficiency. Specifically in automotive diesel engines, oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) emissions have limited the utilization of diesel fuel in compression ignition engines. By comparison, throttled, knock-limited conventional gasoline operated SI engines tend not to be fuel efficient. Advanced combustion systems that simultaneously address PM and NOx while retaining the high efficiency of modern diesel engines, are being developed around the globe [1]. One of the most difficult problems in the area of advanced combustion technology development is the control of combustion initiation [2] and retaining power density [3]. During the past several years, significant progress has been accomplished in reducing emissions of NOx and PM through strategies such as LTC/HCCI/PCCI/PPCI and other advanced combustion processes; however control of ignition and improving power density has suffered to some degree — advanced combustion engines tend to be limited to the 10 bar BMEP range and under [4].

Experimental investigations have been carried out on a light duty, DI, multi cylinder, diesel automotive engine. The engine is operated in low temperature combustion technology with 87 RON (Research Octane Number) fuel [7]. Using an Ignition Quality Test (IQT) device, the equivalent Cetane Number (CN) was measured to be 25. In the present work, various EGR rates are examined to determine the effect on the combustion, emissions and performance. Experiments were conducted at three different engine load/speed combinations that are part of General Motors’ reference points for vehicle operation. To reduce the complexity, boost pressure and injection pressure and timing were kept constant while EGR percentage and intake temperature were used as parameters in this study. The intake temperature was not truly independent, as it trended with EGR level, but based upon the boost level and the available EGR cooling, Intake Air Temperature (IAT) was kept in the range of 40–80 deg C. Additional cooling capacity will be added in future work in an effort to keep IAT more consistent. EGR rates have a detrimental effect on engine efficiencies at lower load while it appears to have little effect on efficiency at higher loads. A more significant effect at very low load appears to be higher intake temperatures (hot EGR) as opposed to the very slight decrease in oxygen concentration.

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