Numerically investigating the effects of gasoline surrogate physical and chemical properties in a gasoline compression ignition (GCI) engine

  • Nour Atef

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Gasoline compression ignition (GCI) engines show promise in meeting stringent new environmental regulations, as they are characterized by high efficiency and low emissions. Simulations using chemical kinetic models provide an important platform for investigating the behaviors of the fuels inside these engines. However, because real fuels are complex, simulations require surrogate mixtures of small numbers of species that can replicate the properties of real fuels. Accordingly, the development of high fidelity, well-validated kinetic models for surrogates is critical in order to accurately replicate the combustion chemistry of different fuels under engine-related conditions. This work focuses on the development of combustion kinetic models to better understand gasoline fuel combustion in GCI engines. An updated iso-octane detailed kinetic model was developed based on new thermodynamic group values and recently evaluated rate coefficients from literature. The model was validated against a wide range of experimental data and conditions. The iso-octane model was further used in 0D simulations for a homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) engine. The results showed that the low-temperature heat release in engines increases with engine boosting when the addition of alky radicals to molecular oxygen is more favored. Ethanol addition was also found to act as a radical sink which inhibits the radical pool formation and results in lower reactivity. Although detailed models provide clarification of the combustion chemistry, their high computational cost impedes their utilization in 3-D engine simulations. Hence, a reduced model for toluene primary reference fuels was developed and validated against ignition delay time and flame speed experiments from literature. The model was then used in numerically investigating the effects of the fuel’s physical properties using hollow-cone and multi-hole injectors in a partially premixed compression ignition (PPCI) engine. It was concluded that the effects of physical properties are evident in multi-hole injection cases, which is attributable to the differences in mixture stratification. Finally, reduced models for multi-components surrogates for three full-blend fuels (light naphtha-Haltermann straight-run naphtha and GCI fuels) were developed. The models were validated against ignition delay time experiments from the literature and tested in 3D engine simulations.
Date of AwardJun 2018
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Physical Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorMani Sarathy (Supervisor)


  • GCI Engines
  • Gasoline Surrogates
  • Reduced models
  • Iso Octane
  • Spray
  • Light Naphtha

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