Internal Combustion Engines
Internal Combustion
Internal combustion engines are devices that generate work using the products of combustion as the working fluid rather than as a heat transfer medium. To produce work,
the combustion is carried out in a manner that produces high-pressure combustion products that can be expanded through a turbine or piston. The engineering of these highpressure systems introduces a number of features that profoundly influence the formation
of pollutants.
There are three major types of internal combustion engines in use today: (1) the
spark ignition engine, which is used primarily in automobiles; (2) the diesel engine,
which is used in large vehicles and industrial systems where the improvements in cycle
efficiency make it advantageous over the more compact and lighter-weight spark ignition
engine; and (3) the gas turbine, which is used in aircraft due to its high power/weight
ratio and also is used for stationary power generation.
Each of these engines is an important source of atmospheric pollutants. Automobiles are major sources of carbon monoxide, unburned hydrocarbons, and nitrogen oxides. Probably more than any other combustion system, the design of automobile engines
has been guided by the requirements to reduce emissions of these pollutants. While
substantial progress has been made in emission reduction, automobiles remain important
sources of air pollutants. Diesel engines are notorious for the black smoke they emit.
Gas turbines emit soot as well. These systems also release unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides in large quantities.
In this chapter we examine the air pollutant emissions from engines. To understand
the emissions and the special problems in emission control, it is first necessary that we
understand the operating principles of each engine type. We begin our discussion with
Sec. 4.1
Spark Ignition Engines
a system that has been the subject of intense study and controversy-the spark ignition
The operating cycle of a conventional spark ignition engine is illustrated in Figure 4.1.
The basic principle of operation is that a piston moves up and down in a cylinder,
transmitting its motion through a connecting rod to the crankshaft which drives the vehicle. The most common engine cycle involves four strokes:
1. Intake. The descending piston draws a mixture of fuel and air through the open
intake valve.
B =0°
(top dead
B = crank
B = 180°
(bottom dead
Figure 4.1
Four-stroke spark ignition engine: stroke 1. intake; stroke 2. compression;
stroke 3. power; stroke 4, exhaust.
Internal Combustion Engines
Chap. 4
2. Compression. The intake valve is closed and the rising piston compresses the fuelair mixture. Near the top of the stroke, the spark plug is fired, igniting the mixture.
3. Expansion. The burning mixture expands, driving the piston down and delivering
4. Exhaust. The exhaust valve opens and the piston rises, expelling the burned gas
from the cylinder.
The fuel and air mixture is commonly premixed in a carburetor. Figure 4.2 shows
how engine power and fuel consumption depend on equivalence ratio over the range
commonly used in internal combustion engines. Ratios below 0.7 and above 1.4 generally are not combustible on the time scales available in reciprocating engines. The
maximum power is obtained at a higher ratio than is minimum fuel consumption. As a
vehicle accelerates, high power is needed and a richer mixture is required than when
cruising at constant speed. We shall return to the question of the equivalence ratio when
we consider pollutant formation, since this ratio is one of the key factors governing the
type and quantity of pollutants formed in the cylinder.
The ignition system is designed to ignite the air-fuel mixture at the optimum instant. Prior to the implementation of emission controls, engine power was the primary
concern in ignition timing. As engine speed increases, optimal power output is achieved
0.0 '---..L_-L.._L...---L_..l.---l_.....l-_.L--..L---'
Figure 4.2 Variation of actual and indicated specific fuel consumption with equiv-
alence ratio and load. BSFC denotes "brake
specific fuel consumption. "
Sec. 4.1
Spark Ignition Engines
by advancing the time of ignition to a point on the compression stroke before the piston
reaches the top of its motion where the cylinder volume is smallest. This is because the
combustion of the mixture takes a certain amount of time, and optimum power is
developed if the completion of the combustion coincides with the piston arriving at socalled top dead center. The spark is automatically advanced as engine speed increascs.
Also, a pressure diaphragm senses airflow through the carburetor and advances the spark
as airflow increases.
Factors other than power output must be taken into account, however, in optimizing the engine operation. If the fuel-air mixture is compressed to an excessive pressure, the mixture temperature can become high enough that the preflame reactions can
ignite the charge ahead of the propagating flame front. This is followed by very rapid
combustion of the remaining charge and a correspondingly fast pressure increase in the
cylinder. The resultant pressure wave reverberates in the cylinder, producing the noise
referred to as knock (By et al., 1981). One characteristic of the fuel composition is its
tendency to autoignite, expressed in terms of an octane rating.
High compression ratios and ignition spark timing that optimize engine power and
efficiency lead to high octane requirements. The octane requirement can be reduced by
using lower compression ratios and by delaying the spark until after the point for optimum engine performance. Emission controls require additional compromises in engine
design and operation, sacrificing some of the potential engine performance to reduce
4.1 .1 Engine Cycle Operation
The piston sweeps through a volume that is called the displacement volume, V". The
minimum volume occurs when the piston is in its uppermost position. This volume is
called the clearance volume, Ve . The maximum volume is the sum of these two. The
ratio of the maximum volume to the clearance volume is called the compression ratio,
(4.1 )
The efficiency of the engine is a strong function of the compression ratio. We shall see
that R e also has a strong influence on the formation of pollutants. The volume in the
cylinder can be expressed as a simple function of the crank angle, (), and the ratio of the
length of the piston rod to that of the crank, that is,
+ -Vd
+ -l c
cos () -
(4.2 )
where l is the piston rod length and c is the length of the crank ann as defined in Figure
= 0°, commonly referred to as top dead center,
TOC. The maximum volume occurs at bottom dead center, BOC, () = 180 0. These
positions are illustrated in Figure 4.1.
Engine speeds range from several hundred revolutions per minute (rpm) for large
4.1. The minimum volume occurs at ()
Internal Combustion Engines
Chap. 4
industrial engines to 10,000 rpm or more for high-perfonnanee engines. Most automobiles operate with engine speeds in the vieinity of 3000 rpm. At this speed, each stroke
in the cycle takes place in 20 ms. As an automobile is driven, the equivalence ratio and
intake pressure vary with the engine load. Such changes in engine operation, however,
are slow by comparison with the individual strokes. In discussing engine operation, we
can assume that in anyone cycle the engine operates at constant speed, load, and equivalence ratio.
We begin with a discussion of the thennodynamics of the spark ignition engine
cycle and develop a model that has been used extensively in optimizing engine operation
to minimize emissions and to maximize performance.
The spark ignition engine is one of the few combustion systems that burns premixed fuel and air. Fuel is atomized into the air as it flows through a carburetor and
vaporizes before it enters the cylinder. Even though the fuel and air are premixed prior
to combustion, the gas in the cylinder becomes segmented into burned and unburned
portions once ignition occurs. A flame front propagates through the cylinder as illustrated
in Figure 4.3. The fuel-air mixture ahead of the flame is heated somewhat by adiabatic
compression as the burning gas expands. Not only are the burned and unburned gases
at widely different temperatures, but also there are large variations in the properties of
the burned gases. These variations must be taken into account to predict accurately the
fornlation and destruction of NO, and CO in the engine.
Another important feature that distinguishes reciprocating engines from the systems discussed thus far is that the volume in which the combustion proceeds is tightly
constrained. While the individual elements of fluid do expand as they burn, this expansion requires that other elements of fluid, both burned and unburned, be compressed.
As a result, the burning element of fluid does work on the other fluid in the cylinder,
oW = p dV, increasing its internal energy and therefore its temperature.
Whilc the engine strokes are brief, the time is stilJ long by comparison with that
required for pressure equilibration. For an ideal gas, the propagation rate for small pressure disturbances is the speed of sound,
(4.3 )
Figure 4.3 Flame propagation in the
Sec. 4.1
Spark Ignition Engines
where 'Y is the ratio of specific heats,
cilcu '
and M is the molecular weight of the gas;
as is of the order of 500 to 1000 m s- for typical temperatures in internal combustion
engines. For a cylinder 10 cm in diameter, the time required for a pressure disturbance
to propagate across the cylinder is on the order of 0.2 ms, considerably shorter than the
time required for the stroke. Thus, to a first approximation, we may assume that the
pressure is uniform throughout the cylinder at any instant of time, at least during norn1al
4.1.2 Cycle Analysis
The essential features of internal combustion engine operation can be seen with a "zerodimensional" thermodynamic model (Lavoie et aI., 1970; Blumberg and Kummer,
1971). This model describes the thermodynamic states of the burned and unburned gases
as a function of time, but does not attempt to describe the complex flow field within the
We consider a control volume enclosing all the gases in !he cylinder. Mass may
enter the control volume through the intake valve at flow rate, ];. Similarly, mass may
leave through the exhaust valve and possibly through leaks at a flow rate];,. The first
law of thermodynamics (2.8) for this control volume may be written in the general form
- -
= ];h i
d1 - dt
where U is the total internal energy of the gases contained in the cylinder and h; and he
are the mass specific enthalpies of the incoming and exiting flows, respectively. Q denotes the heat transferred to the gases. The work done by the gases, W, is that of a
pressure acting through a change in the volume of the control volume as the piston
moves. If we limit our attention to the time between closing the intake valve and opening
the ex~aus~ valve and assume that no leaks occur, no mass enters or leaves the cylinder
(i.e.,]; = Ie = 0). The energy equation then simplifies to
dt (muT)
d1 -
P dt
where UT is the total mass specific internal energy (including energies of formation of
all species in the cylinder), - Q is heat transferred out of the charge, and m is the total
mass of the charge. The only work done by the gases is due to expansion against the
piston, so the work is expressed as p dV I dt. If we further limit our attention to constant
engine speed, the time derivations may be expressed as
- = wdt
where w is the engine rotation speed (crank angle degrees per s). Thus we have
de (muT)
= de -
p de
(4.4 )
Internal Combustion Engines
Chap. 4
The total specific internal energy of the gas includes contributions of burned and
unburned gases, with a mass fraction (X of burned gas,
(4.5 )
where < ) denotes an average over the entire mass of burned or unburned gas in the
cylinder. The unburned gas is quite uniform in temperature (i.e., <uu ) = u,J but the
burned gas is not. Due to the progressive burning, a temperature gradient develops in
the burned gas. As a fluid element bums, its expansion compresses both unburned and
burned gases. Because the volume per unit mass of the hot burned gas is larger than that
of the cooler unburned gas, the increase in the mass specific internal energy due to the
compression work is higher for burned gas than for unburned gas. Therefore, we need
to keep track of when individual fluid elements bum. Let U" ((X, (X' ) represent the energy
when the combustion has progressed to burned gas mass fraction (X of a fluid element
that burned when the burned gas mass fraction was (x'. Averaging over all burned gas,
we find
The internal energy of either burned or unburned gas may be expressed in terms
of the specific heat,
Ui =
Llul (To) +
c,'j(T') dT'
(4.7 )
While the specific heats vary with temperature, we have already seen in Chapter 2 that
variation is small over a limited temperature range. We assume constant specific heats
since that will greatly simplify our analysis of the engine cycle. To minimize the errors
introduced by this simplification, the specific heats should be evaluated for the actual
composition of the gases in the cylinder as an average over the temperature range encountered by those gases. In terms of the linear correlations of specific heats presented
in Table 2.5 and evaluating over the temperature interval, T, ::::; T ::::; T2 , this average
(4.8 )
The internal energies of the burned and unburned portions of the gas may be expressed in terms of the average specific heats by
where au and ah include the reference temperature terms and the energies of formation.
Substituting into (4.6), the mean burned gas energy becomes
Sec. 4.1
Spark Ignition Engines
where Tb (Ci., Ci. ' ) is the temperature of an element that burned at Ci. ' at a later time when
combustion has progressed to Ci.. Thus the mean burned gas energy can be expressed in
tern1S of the mean burned gas temperature,
Substitution of (4.5), (4.9), and (4.10) into the energy equation yields
de [m(1 - Ci.)(a ll
+ CI ,"T,,) +
= de - p de
The total volume of burned and unburned gases must, at all times, equal the volume in the cylinder:
(4.12 )
Assuming ideal gases with constant composition, the mean specific volume of the burned
gas is
Rb Til ( Ci.,
Ci. ' )
= --"'--'--""-'-
(4.13 )
Noting that Rh = ("Ib - 1) Cl'b, where "Ib = Cph/Cl'h is the ratio of specific heats, (4.12)
may now be simplified to
mCi.CI,h( Th )
= - - - - m(l "Ih- 1
"Ib -
Ci.) - - -
"Iu- 1
Substituting this result into (4.11) eliminates the burned gas temperature from the energy
~ lm(l
- Ci.)au + m(l -
"Ih - 1
+ --- =
(~) ~ ~U)Cl,JU
de - p -e
A simple approach can be used to eliminate the unburned gas temperature. At the
end of the intake stroke, the cylinder is assumed to be filled with a uniforn1 mixture of
fuel and air and possibly some combustion products from previous cycles. The pressure,
cylinder volume, and gas temperature at the time the intake valve closes are Pi' Vi' and
Ti , respectively. Because the temperature difference between these gases and the cylinder wall is small (at least compared to that between combustion products and the wall),
Internal Combustion Engines
Chap. 4
compression of these gases is approximately adiabatic. Prior to firing the spark at
pressure in the cylinder can be determined from the formula for the relation between
pressure and volumes in adiabatic compression,
p(O) =
r V T"
Pil V(~)J
(4.16 )
The temperature of the unburned gas throughout the cycle is that detern1ined by adiabatic
Substituting (4.17) into (4.15) and differentiating yield
m( 1 - a) Y" - Yu c T £
Yb - 1 "11' ( Pi )
1 I
~ cp
P "Iu dO
Y" - Yu _
P (Yu-I)/1"jda
m a" - au _
C,'U Ti YiJ
_ dO
(4.18 )
- - -dV
- + -- dp
YiJ - 1 dO
Yb - 1 dO
dO - P dO
This equation may be rearranged to express the rate of change of the cylinder pressure
in tern1S of the conditions at the end of the intake stroke, the rate of volume change, and
the combustion and heat transfer rates, that is,
Yb - YII - T £
- - - - P - - m a" - au C,'u i
Yb - 1 dO
YiJ - 1
m( 1
Y" - Yu YII -
I Ti
Y" -
(-"(,,-I)/"YU'J I
(p)(-"(U-1l/'l" + - -V -
YiJ -
4.1.3 Cylinder Turbulence and Combustion Rate
We need to know the combustion rate, da / dO, to use the model of (4.19). To efficiently
convert the heat released by combustion to work on the piston, the charge must be burned
completely in the early part of the expansion stroke. The duration of the stroke in automotive engines is on the order of 20 ms, so the combustion can take at most a few
milliseconds. Since typical laminar flame speeds are less than 1 m S-I, tens of milliseconds would be required for laminar flame propagation across a cylinder several centimeters in diameter. We see, therefore, that the acceleration of flame propagation that
turbulence provides is essential to efficient engine operation.
Sec. 4.1
Spark Ignition Engines
As discussed in Chapter 2, the turbulent flame speed depends on the turbulent
intensity, u '. The turbulent intensity is governed by ensine design and operation, and
varies during the stroke as described below. The mixture entrained in the flame front by
the turbulent motion bums at a rate that depends on combustion kinetics through the
laminar flame speed, Sr.. The laminar flame speed peaks near stoichiometric and decreases for richer or leaner mixtures, so there is also some dependence of flame speed
on the equivalence ratio. To make general statements about the factors governing pollutant formation in spark ignition engines, therefore, we need to understand how turbulence varies with engine operation.
The generation of turbulence in an internal combustion engine is a complex, unsteady process. As the mixture passes through the intake valve, the flow separates, resulting in a highly unsteady motion (Hoult and Wong, 1980). The intensity of the resulting turbulent motion depends on the detailed geometry of the intake port and valve.
on the geometry of the cylinder and piston, and on the speed of the piston.
As we discussed in Chapter 2, the turbulence may be characterized in terms of two
quantities: (I) the turbulent kinetic energy per unit mass
+ u~)
(4.20 )
which describes the large-scale behavior of the turbulence, and (2) the rate of turbulent
kinetic energy dissipation
c =
(4.21 )
ax! ax!
which decribes the effects of the small-scale turbulent motions.
The mixture passes through the intake valve at a velocity that is prop0l1ionai to
the piston speed and hence to the angular rotation speed, w. The kinetic energy of this
incoming flow contributes to the turbulent kinetic energy within the cylinder. How much
of that kinetic energy remains at bottom dead center when the compression begins depemis on the geometry of the paI1icular engine.
The turbulent kinetic energy is not constant during the compression and power
strokes. Dissipation tends to decrease E b while the distCJI1ion due to compression of the
existing turbulent field tends to increase it. Turbulent kinetic energy may also be produced by shear associated with fluid motions. Shrouds on the intake valves, illustrated
in Figure 4.4, are used to create a swirling motion in the cylinder. Complex piston or
cylinder head shapes induce fluid motions during the final approach to top dead center,
also shown in Figure 4.4. This so-called squish can greatly enhance the turbulent kinetic
energy level immediately prior to combustion.
Neglecting diffusion of the turbulent kinetic energy, the rate of change of the turbulent kinetic energy is a balance between production and dissipation:
= pP
p ---
where P is the rate of turbulent kinetic energy production.
(4.22 )
Internal Combustion Engines
Chap. 4
Shrouded intake valve
Figure 4.4 Valve, head, and piston design
features that enhance mixing.
The dissipation rate was shown in Appendix D of Chapter 1 to be related to u for
homogeneous, isotropic turbulence,
where A and I are the Taylor microscale and integral scale, respectively. Using the definition of E b we find
E k3 / 2
(4.23 )
Assuming that angular momentum in the turbulent field is conserved during the rapid
we see that
is proportional to
(4.24 )
Sec. 4.1
Spark Ignition Engines
The gas density and integral scale are related by conservation of mass,
I ex p -1/3
(4.25 )
Using (4.24), this yields
We may use these scaling arguments to simplify the rate equation for the turbulent
kinetic energy. Assuming that due to the rapid distortion of the flow caused by the
compression due to both piston motion and the expansion of gases upon burning, the
production of turbulent kinetic energy is much more rapid than its dissipation (Borgnakke
et al., 1980),
pP"", p -
and applying (4.27), the production of turbulent kinetic energy due to the rapid distortion
of the turbulent field during compression, yields
2 E dp
P "'" - -
3 P dt
The rate equation for E k becomes
2 E k dp
3 P dt
E has been eliminated using (4.24).
The production term generally dominates during the compression and combustion
processes due to the rapid change in density, so (4.29) may be rewritten as
(4.30 )
where EkO and Po denote the initial kinetic energy and density. We see that the relative
change of the turbulent kinetic energy from bottom dead center to any crank angle, (J,
is, to a first approximation, independent of the crank rotation speed, w. The initial turbulent kinetic energy depends on piston speed as
because the inlet flow velocity is proportional to the piston speed. Thus, for a given
engine geometry, the value of u' at any crank angle, (J, is approximately proportional to
the angular speed
~ w
and the turbulent flame propagation velocity increases with the engine speed.
Internal Combustion Engines
Chap. 4
This dependence of ftame speed on engine speed means that the number of crank
angle degrees required for combustion in a given engine does not depend strongly on
the engine speed. Thus, if ex ( 0) is known for one engine speed, we may use that result
as an estimate of the bum rate for other engine speeds with reasonable confidence.
Rather than attempt to develop detailed ftuid mechanical models of the combustion
process, therefore, we shall simply specify a functional fonn for ex (0) that exhibits the
essential features of actual combustion profiles, that is, a delay from the time the spark
is fired until the pressure rise associated with combustion becomes appreciable, an accelerating combustion rate until a large fraction of the charge is burned, followed by a
decreasing bum rate. A simple function with this sigmoidal behavior is the cosine function,
where 00 is the crank angle at which the spark is fired and L::. 0, is the burn duration.
Other functions that allow the shape of the combustion profile to be varied have been
used in the literature, but this simple function is adequate for our present purpose of
exploring engine operation. We do not attempt to predict the burn duration, since it is a
complex function of engine design and operation.
4.1.4 Cylinder Pressure and Temperature
The pressure in the cylinder can be detennined by integrating (4.19) with ex(O) given
by (4.33) or another suitable model and with an expression for the heat transfer dQ / dO.
The heat transfer is also a function of the turbulent field (Borgnakke et aI., 1980). For
our present purposes, it is sufficient to assume that the engine is adiabatic (i.e., dQ/dO
= 0).
Once the pressure in the cylinder is known the mean burned and unburned gas
temperatures can be calculated using (4.14) and (4.17), respectively. The temperatures
of individual burned gas elements can be calculated if it is assumed that no mixing of
the burned gases occurs and that heat transfer from a burned gas element is negligible.
Under these assumptions, the burned gases can be assumed to undergo adiabatic
compression and expansion from the time they burn. The temperature of an element
burned when the mass fraction burned was ex' is
(4.34 )
The temperature of the element immediately following combustion, T" ( ex', ex' ),
may be evaluated by applying the first law of thennodynamics to the combustion of an
infinitesimal mass of charge, dm. For combustion of a sufficiently small incremental
mass, the pressure change during combustion is insignificant. The enthalpy of the burned
gas equals that for the unburned gas, that is,
h" = U" + R" J:, = h" = Ub + R" T"
Spark Ignition Engines
Sec. 4.1
The burned gas temperature becomes
(4.35 )
From (4.19), (4.34), and (4.35) we can detennine the pressure-temperature history
of each element in the charge from the beginning to the end of combustion. Figure 4.5
shows the results of calculations of Heywood (1976) for an engine with a compression
ratio of 7.0. The spark is fired at 40° before top dead center. The combustion duration,
t::dl" is 60°. The fraction of charge burned and the cylinder pressure are shown as a
function of crank angle in Figure 4.5. The temperatures of the first and last gases to
burn are shown as solid lines. The dashed curves represent the temperature of the unburned gas.
The first gas to burn rises to a high temperature immediately. As additional gas
burns, the pressure in the cylinder rises, compressing both burned and unburned gases.
Figure 4.5 Burned mass fraction, cylinder pressure, and temperatures of the gas that
bums early, Teo late, T, and the mean gas temperature inside the cylinder (after Heywood, 1976).
Internal Combustion Engines
Chap. 4
The work done on a gas element by this compression is p dV. Because the volume of a
mass of burned gas is larger than that of an equal mass of unburned gas, more work is
done on the gas that bums early in the cycle than is done on that that bums at a later
time. The first gas burned, therefore, is the hottest gas in the cylinder.
4.1.5 Formation of Nitrogen Oxides
The foregoing model simulates the essential features of the combustion in the spark
ignition engine and provides a basis for understanding the formation of pollutants in the
cylinder. We first examine the rate of NO formation. In Chapter 3 we saw that NO
formation is highly temperature dependent, so we expect that the NO formation rate will
vary with location in the charge, depending on the temperature history of each element.
Since the NO reactions require the thermal energy released by the combustion process,
NO formation will take place only in the burned gases.
The dominant reactions in NO formation are those of the extended Zeldovich
+ O2
+ OH
Assuming that 0, OH, and H are at their equilibrium concentration and that N
atoms are at pseudo-steady state, we obtained the following rate equation for NO formation and decomposition (3.12):
(4.36 )
where YNO = mole fraction of NO
(3 = YNO/ YNO" fractional attainment of equilibrium*
YNO,. = equilibrium mole fraction of NO
R; = forward reaction rate of reaction i evaluated at equilibrium conditions, i
When (3 < 1 and dYNo/ dO > 0, NO tends to form; when (3 > 1 and dYNo/ dO < 0,
NO tends to decompose. Equation (4.36) is integrated at each point a' in the charge
from the crank angle at which that element initially bums to a crank angle at which the
reaction rates are negligible. At this point the quenched value of the NO mole fraction
*We use ~ here as this traction to avoid contusion with the traclion burned a.
Sec. 4.1
Spark Ignition Engines
YNO" is achieved. The overall mole fraction of NO in the entire charge is given by
)lNO =
i~ YNOJa') da'
Nitric oxide concentrations versus crank angle, computed by Blumberg and Kummer (1971), are shown in Figure 4.6. Both rate calculated and equilibrium NO are shown
at three positions in the charge, a' = 0, 0.5, 1.0. The major contribution to the total
NO fomled results from the elements that bum first. They experience the highest temperatures and have the longest time in which to react. Considerable decomposition of
NO occurs in the first element because of the high temperatures. However, as the first
element cools during expansion, the rate of NO decomposition rapidly decreases, so that
after about 40 crank angle degrees, the NO kinetics are effectively frozen.
We can now summarize the processes responsible for the production of nitric oxide
First element
_ ...
Equivalence ratio = 0.95
Inlet temp = 338 K
Inlet pressure = 66.6 kPa
RPM = 1200
68c = 10° BTDC to 30° ATDC
- - Rate calculated
-- - Equilibrium
Overall NO
Last "
! "'~~
' "..... ~
~Last element
Figure 4.6 Nitric oxide concentration in the burned gas as a function of crank angle
for the first, middle, and last element to bum for 1> = 0.97 (Blumberg and Kummer,
1971). Reprinted by permission of Gordon and Breach Science Publishers.
Internal Combustion Engines
Chap. 4
in the internal combustion engine. During the flame propagation, NO is formed by chemical reactions in the hot just-burned gases. As the piston recedes, the temperatures of
the different burned elements drop sharply, "freezing" the NO (i.e., the chemical reactions that would remove the NO become much slower) at the levels formed during
combustion, levels well above these corresponding to equilibrium at exhaust temperatures. As the valve opens on the exhaust stroke, the bulk gases containing the NO exit.
It is to the processes that occur prior to the freezing of the NO levels that we must devote
our attention if we wish to reduce NO formation in the cylinder.
4.1 .6 Carbon Monoxide
The compression due to piston motion and combustion in a confined volume leads to
very high burned gas temperatures in reciprocating engines. Peak temperatures may range
from 2400 to 2800 K, with pressures of 15 to 40 atm. In Chapter 3 we saw that the CH-O system equilibrates rapidly at such high temperatures. It is therefore reasonable to
assume that CO is equilibrated immediately following combustion. The equilibrium CO
mole fraction at these peak temperatures is very high, greater than 1 %.
Work done by the gas in the cylinder on the piston during the expansion stroke
cools the combustion products. When the exhaust valve first opens, the pressure in the
cylinder is much larger than that in the exhaust manifold. As the gas is forced out through
the valve, work is done by the gas remaining in the cylinder, so the temperature drops
even more rapidly. Ultimately, this cooling of the combustion products exceeds the
ability of the three-body and CO oxidation reactions to maintain equilibrium.
The combustion products are rapidly cooled during the expansion stroke and the
exhaust process, causing the CO oxidation kinetics to be quenched while the CO level
is still relatively high. In Chapter 3 it was shown that CO oxidation proceeds primarily
by reaction with OH,
CO 2 + H
and that the OH can be present at concentrations significantly greater than that at equilibrium in rapidly cooled combustion products. The concentrations of OH and other
radicals can be described using the partial-equilibrium model developed in Chapter 3,
wherein it was shown that the rate of CO oxidation is directly coupled to the rates of the
three-body recombination reactions, primarily,
in fuel-lean combustion. CO levels in spark ignition engines are generally high enough
that the influence of the CO oxidation on the major species concentrations cannot be
ignored. The direct minimization of the Gibbs free energy is better suited to incorporating this detail than is the equilibrium-constant approach developed in Chapter 3.
Heywood (1975) used the rate-constrained, partial-equilibrium model (based on
direct minimization of the Gibbs free energy) to study CO behavior in spark ignition
engines. His calculations confinn that at the peak temperatures and pressures the equilibration of CO is fast compared to the changes due to compression or expansion, so
Sec. 4.1
Spark Ignition Engines
equilibrium may reasonably be assumed immediately following combustion. The burned
gases are not uniform in temperature, however; so the equilibrium CO level depends on
when the clement burned. Furthern10re, the blowdown of the cylinder pressure to the
exhaust manifold pressure in the initial phase of the exhaust process lasts about 90 crank
angle degrees. Thus the temperature-time profiles of fluid elements within the charge
differ depending on the time of burning and on when they pass from the cylinder through
the valve into the exhaust manifold.
These effects are illustrated by the results of an idealized calculation shown in
Figure 4.7. CO mole fractions for individual fluid elements in the burned gas mixture
are shown as a function of crank angle. The elements are identified in terms of the
fraction of the total charge burned when the element burned, Ct, and the mass fraction
that has left the cylinder when the element leaves the cylinder, z. The partial-equilibrium
calculations are close to equilibrium until about 50 crank angle degrees after top dead
center, when the rapid cooling due to adiabatic expansion leads to partial quenching of
the CO oxidation.
- - - z =0.01
_ . - . - z = 0.50
- - - z=0.99
-------- Equilibrium CO
ep = 1.0
Rc = 7.1
N = 3000 rpm
' ',z = 0.50,\
, '.
opens z=0.01
t (ms)
Figure 4.7 Carbon monoxide concentration in two elements in the charge that bum at
different times, during expansion and exhaust processes. 0' is the mass fraction burned
and z is the fraction of the gas that has left the cylinder during the exhaust process
(Heywood, 1975). Reprinted by permission of The Combustion Institute.
Internal Combustion Engines
Chap. 4
The CO levels measured in fuel-lean combustion are substantially higher than those
predicted with the partial-equilibrium model, but agreement is good near stoichiometric
(Heywood, 1976). In fuel-rich combustion, the CO levels in the exhaust gases are close
to the equilibrium concentrations, as predicted by the partial-equilibrium model. The
reasons for the high levels in fuel-lean combustion are not fully understood, but may be
coupled to the oxidation of unburned hydrocarbons in the exhaust manifold.
4.1.7 Unburned Hydrocarbons
The range of equivalence ratios over which spark ignition engines operate is narrow,
typically 0.7 < cf> < 1.3, the fuel and air are premixed, and the flame temperatures are
high. These conditions, in steady-flow combustion systems, generally would lead to very
low emissions of unburned hydrocarbons. Why, then, are relatively large quantities of
hydrocarbon gases present in the combustion products of automobile engines? This question has been the subject of numerous investigations in which hypotheses have been
developed and supported with theory and experiment, only to be later challenged with
new interpretations that contradict earlier models.
In an early investigation of this problem, Daniel and Wentworth (1962) magnified
photographs of the flame spread in the cylinder of a spark ignition engine. It was observed that the flame failed to propagate through the mixture located within 0.1 to 0.7
mm of the cylinder wall. They hypothesized that this wall quenching allowed hydrocarbons to escape combustion in spark ignition engines.
Figure 4.8 shows the nature of these wall quench regions. In addition to the quench
layers at the cylinder walls, the small volume between the piston and cylinder wall above
the top piston ring, called the crevice volume, contains unburned hydrocarbons. Experiments were performed in which the quench zone of an operating engine was sampled.
It was found that the proportion of the quench zone exhausted is less than that of the
total gas exhausted. This observation was attributed to trapping in the boundary layer.
Quench layer
Figure 4.8 Schematic showing the quench
layer and crevice volume where heat transfer to the walls may quench the combustion
(Tabaczynski et a!., 1972; © SAE, Inc.).
Sec. 4.1
Spark Ignition Engines
A fraction of the gas remains in the cylinder at the end of the exhaust stroke. Although
this residual gas amounts to a small fraction of the total gas in the cylinder in a normally
operating engine, the residual gas hydrocarbon concentration tends to be very high. The
recycled hydrocarbons may be a significant fraction of the hydrocarbons left unburned
in the cylinder.
The trapping effect can be explained as follows. Gases adjacent to the wall opposite the exhaust valve are the farthest from the exit and least likely to be exhausted.
Gases along the walls near the exhaust valve have a better chance to be exhaustcd, but
viscous drag slows their movement. Some quenched gases do escape, but on the whole
the more completely burned gases at the center of the chamber are preferentially exhausted first, with the result that the residual gas has a higher concentration of hydrocarbons than the exhaust gas. It is likely that the quench zone hydrocarbons that remain
in the cylinder are burned in the succeeding cycle. In the experiments reported by Daniel
and Wentworth (1962), about one-third of the total hydrocarbons were recycled and
probably burned in succeeding cycles.
Figure 4.9 shows the measured variation in the exhaust hydrocarbon concentration
and mass flow rate with crank angle. As the exhaust valve opens and the emptying of
the combustion chamber starts, the hydrocarbon concentration in the exhaust manifold
increases rapidly to a peak of 600 ppm. The hydrocarbon concentration then drops and
remains at 100 to 300 ppm for much of the exhaust stroke. Late in the exhaust stroke,
the hydrocarbon level again rises sharply. The hydrocarbon mass flow rate shows two
distinct peaks corresponding to these concentration maxima. The early peak in the hydrocarbon concentration was attributed to the entrainment of the quench layer gases near
the exhaust valve immediately after it opens. The low hydrocarbon concentration during
the middle portion of the exhaust stroke is most probably due to the release of burned
gases from the center of the cylinder.
Tabaczynski et al. (1972) further observed that, during the expansion stroke, the
gases in the crevice volumes are laid along the cylinder wall. As the piston moves up
during the exhaust stroke, the layer is scraped off the wall and rolled up into a vortex,
as depicted in Figure 4.10. The second peak in the hydrocarbon concentration was attributed to the passage of this vortex through the exhaust valve late in the exhaust stroke.
Although the quench layer model does appear to explain many of the observations
of hydrocarbons in spark ignition engines, recent studies have questioned the importance
of quench layers as sources of unburned hydrocarbons (Lavoie et aI., 1980). The cooling
effect of the wall does, indeed, prevent the flame from propagating all the way to the
cylinder wall. Hydrocarbon vapors can diffuse from this cool region, however, into the
hotter gases farther from the wall. If this occurs early in the cycle when the temperature
of the burned gases is high, the hydrocarbons from the quench layer will be burned.
We can gain some insight into the quench-layer problem by examining the time
scales of diffusion and reaction of the hydrocarbon gases. The characteristic time for
diffusion of gases from the quench layer into the bulk gases is Tf) ~ [} / D. Adamczyk
and Lavoie (1978) report values of 0 of order 50 to 75 J-tm and diffusion times ranging
from 0.1 to 0.3 ms at atmospheric pressure. Inasmuch as this time is short compared to
that of the expansion stroke and typical combustion times, a considerable amount of the
Internal Combustion Engines
Chap. 4
Crank angle (deg)
Figure 4.9 Measured instantaneous mass flow rate exhaust hydrocarbon concentration,
and hydrocarbon mass flow rate out of the exhaust valve (Tabaczynski et al., 1972; ©
SAE, Inc.).
quench layer hydrocarbons may be expected to diffuse away from the walls and bum in
the cylinder. Some quench-layer hydrocarbons may survive because the thermal boundary layer spreads at a rate comparable to that of the hydrocarbons, preventing the hydrocarbons from reaching high temperatures at which they would rapidly oxidize. The
quantities of hydrocarbons that survive by this route, however, are much too small to
explain the observed hydrocarbon levels. In one study in which the quench-layer gases
were sampled directly, it was estimated that the quench-layer gases could account for
not more than 3 to 12 % of the hydrocarbons measured in the exhaust (LoRusso et al.,
Hydrocarbons contained in the crevice volume between the piston, piston ring,
and cylinder wall account for much of the hydrocarbon release. These vapors expand
out from the crevices late in the expansion stroke, so lower temperatures are encountered
Sec. 4.1
Spark Ignition Engines
Figure 4.10 Schematic illustrating the quench layer model for hydrocarbon cmissions.
(a) Quench layers are formed as heat transfer extinguishes the flame at the cool walls
and in the crevice volume. (b) Gas in the crevice volume expands and is spread along
the cylinder wall as the pressure falls. When the exhaust valve opens, the quench layers
near the valve exit the cylinder. (c) The hydrocarbon-rich cylinder wall boundary layer
rolls up into a vortex as the piston moves up the cylinder during the exhaust stroke
(Tabaczynski et aI., 1972; © SAE, Inc.).
by crevice gases than by the quench-layer gases (Wentworth, 1971). Adamczyk et al.
(1983) examined the retention of hydrocarbons in a combustion bomb that consisted of
a fixed piston in an engine cylinder. About 80% of the hydrocarbons remaining after
combustion were attributed to the piston crevice, with most of the remaining hydrocarbons surviving in smaller crevices associated with the head gasket and with the threads
on the spark plug. The crevice volumes contribute primarily to the peak in the hydrocarbon flux late in the exhaust process, since those gases originate far from the exhaust
Other sources must therefore contribute significantly to the hydrocarbon emissions,
particularly those that exit the cylinder early in the exhaust process. Haskell and Legate
(1972) and Wentworth (1968) suggested that lubicating oil layers on the cylinder walls
may adsorb or dissolve hydrocarbon vapors during the compression stroke. These stored
hydrocarbons are protected from the flame. As the pressure in the cylinder drops during
the expansion stroke and exhaust process, these hydrocarbons desorb into the combustion products. Kaiser et al. (1982) showed that fuel vapors and fuel hydrocarbon oxidation product emissions increase as the amount of oil in the cylinder increases. Carrier
et al. (1981) developed a model for cyclic hydrocarbon adsorption and desorption in a
liquid film, taking into account thermodynamic equilibrium at the gas-liquid interface
and diffusional resistance within the liquid layer. The results from this model are qualitatively consistent with the observed reduction of hydrocarbon emission with engine
Internal Combustion Engines
Chap. 4
4.1.8 Combustion-Based Emission Controls
The equivalence ratio has a strong influence on the formation of nitrogen oxides and on
the oxidation of carbon monoxide and unburned hydrocarbons, but the extent to which
these emissions can be controlled through fuel-air ratio adjustment alone is limited.
Other combustion parameters that can influence emissions include the ignition timing
and design parameters. The compression ratio determines the peak pressure and hence
the peak temperature in the cycle. The piston and cylinder head shapes and the valve
geometry influence the turbulence level in the engine and therefore the rate of heat release during combustion. Temperatures can also be reduced through dilution of the incoming air with exhaust gases.
Design and operating variables not only influence the levels of pollutant emissions,
but also directly affect the engine power output and efficiency. As we examine various
emission control strategies, we must also examine their effects on engine performance.
The efficiency of an internal combustion engine is generally reported in terms of the
specific fuel consumption (SFC), the mass of fuel consumed per unit of energy output,
kg MJ - I or g kW-h - I. The work output per engine cycle is presented in terms of the
mean effective pressure (MEP), the work done per displacement volume. If the MEP is
determined in terms of the net power output, P, the quantity is called the brake mean
effective pressure (BMEP) and is calculated as
where n is the engine rotation speed (revolutions per second). Many factors not directly
involved in the combustion process influence the BMEP: friction; pumping work associated with the intake and exhaust flows; and work used to drive engine equipment such
as generators, water pumps, fans, and so on. The work performed by the gas during the
compression and expansion strokes,
that is, that that would be indicated by a pressure measurement, is of more concern to
us here. The mean effective pressure based on this work,
(4.40 )
is called the indicated mean effective pressure (IMEP). It is also convenient to present
the specific fuel consumption in terms of the indicated work to eliminate the influences
of parasitic losses and loads. This quantity is then called the indicated specific fuel consumption (ISFC).
Figure 4.11 shows the influence of engine operating equivalence ratio on the indicated specific NO x emissions (g NOt Mr l ) and fuel consumption for three different
values of the combustion duration. NOt emissions are maximum at ¢ = 1 and decrease
Sec. 4.1
Spark Ignition Engines
68 c = 60 0
Figure 4.11 Influence of equivalence ratio and combustion duration on NO emissions
and fuel consumption (Heywood et aI., 1979; © SAE, Inc.).
rapidly as the equivalence ratio is increased or decreased. The fuel consumption increases monotonically with equivalence ratio, with an abrupt change in the rate of increase at c/> = I. The combustion duration influences NO< emissions more strongly than
fuel consumption, but even there the effect is small.
The influence of the operating equivalence ratio on emissions of carbon monoxide
and unburned hydrocarbons is illustrated in Figure 4.12. The CO level is relatively low
for fuel-lean operation but rises abruptly, as expected, when the mixture becomes fuelrich. The hydrocarbon emissions, on the other hand, exhibit a minimum and increase
for very fuel-lean operation. In lean operation the temperature can be too low for hydrocarbons to bum late in the expansion stroke. Furthermore, the low laminar flame
speed at low c/> means that the flame may not even reach all the mixture.
Internal Combustion Engines
Chap. 4
Figure 4.12 Influence of equivalence ratio and load on carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions. Solid lines: 2000 rpm, (Ji = - 38 0, and 80 km h- I road load; Dashed
lines: 1200 rpm, (Ji = -J0 0 , and 48 km h - l road load.
To reduce NO, emissions significantly, it is necessary to reduce the peak temperature significantly. Delaying the initiation of combustion results in the peak pressure
occurring later in the expansion stroke, as illustrated in Figure 4.13. The spark is usually
fired before top dead center, so that the combustion rate is maximum near top dead
center. Delaying the spark results in the energy release occurring when the cylinder
volume has increased significantly. The peak pressure and temperature are therefore
reduced by this spark retard. At the most extreme level, the spark can be retarded past
top dead center so that the gases begin to expand before combustion begins. The influence of equivalence ratio and ignition angle on fuel consumption and NO, emissions has
been calculated by Blumberg and Kummer (1971). Their results are shown in a map of
BSFC versus BSNO in Figure 4.14. Clearly, if an engine could be operated at very low
equivalence ratios, NOt emissions could be reduced dramatically with only a minimal
efficiency penalty. Operating at equivalence ratios more typical of premixed combustion
Ii' 2000
~ 1500
= 10° ----I-JI--~
Figure 4.13 Influence of ignition timing on cylinder pressure profiles.
ep-' = 1.51
ep-l = 1.41
I nlet temperature = 339 K
Inlet pressure = 66.6 kPa
RPM = 1200
LlR = 4.0
Compression ratio = 8.5
20° to 60° ATDC
50 0 ATDC
10° BTDC to 30° ATDC
BS NO (g NO Mr')
Figure 4.14 Effect of equivalence ratio and ignition timing on efficiency and NO for~
mation for flOc = 40° (Blumberg and Kummer, 1971). Reprinted by permission of Gor~
don and Breach Science Publishers.
Internal Combustion Engines
Chap. 4
in spark ignition engines and relying on ignition retard to control NO, yield smaller
emission benefits and substantially larger fuel consumption increases. Such emissions!
performance trade-offs are typical of efforts to control engine emissions and have been
the motivating factor behind much of the research into engine emission control technologies.
Reducing the compression ratio can also lower peak temperatures, thereby limiting
NO, formation. However, the NO, emission reductions achieved by reducing the
compression ratio are small compared to those accrued by retarding the spark.
Another way to reduce the peak temperatures is by diluting the charge with cool
combustion products. In engines, this process is called exhaust gas recirculation (EGR).
The use of combustion products for dilution instead of excess air has dual benefits:
1. Dilution of the fuel-air mixture without the addition of excess O 2 that aids in NO,
2. An increase in the specific heat of the gas due to the presence of H2 0 and CO 2 ,
This reduces the temperature somewhat more than would equivalent dilution with
excess air.
Figure 4.15 shows how significantly EGR can reduce NOr emission levels. For
small amounts of EGR, the theoretical predictions agree closely with experimental ob10 4 ,----..,---,-----,---,---,-----r----,
,.- .
10% EGR
0% EGR
" ,.
28% EGR
o Data
- - without flame NO
- - - with flame NO
10 '::;.7,----::0~.8::c---0 g --:-1.'=0--::,-'-:.,,----,,-';.2::----;-~-:-".4
Figure 4.15 Influence of exhaust gas recirculation on NO emissions as a function
of equivalence ratio (Heywood. 1975). Re-
printed by pennission of The Combustion
Spark Ignition Engines
Sec. 4.1
servations; however, at 28 % EGR, the measured NO, emission levels for lean or rich
mixtures are significantly higher than those predicted considering only postflame chemistry. The dashed curve presents more detailed chemical mechanism calculations that
take into account the nonequilibrium radical concentrations that are present within the
flame front (i.e., "prompt NO"). Agreement on the fuel-lean side is very good. On the
other hand, even when the flame chemistry of the 0, H, and OH radicals is taken into
account, the predictions of NO, fOffi1ation in fuel-rich combustion are significantly lower
than those observed. This discrepancy may be due to nitrogen chemistry not included in
the model, particularly the reactions of N2 with hydrocarbon radicals.
From these results we see the EGR can substantially reduce NO, formation in spark
ignition engines, but the degree of control achievable by this method is limited. These
gains are not achieved without penalties. Figure 4.16 shows calculations of the variation
of fuel consumption and mean effective pressure with equivalence ratio and amount of
exhaust gas recirculated. While the fuel consumption penalty is relatively small, the loss
of power is significant, so the engine size must be increased to meet a particular power
requirement if EGR is employed to control NO, emissions.
It is apparent that spark retard and exhaust gas recirculation are effective measures
for NO, emission control. The equivalence ratio range that can be employed effectively
is limited. Rich mixtures lead to high CO levels. As the mixture becomes too fuel-lean,
hydrocarbon emissions rise. Hence control of emissions without the use of exhaust gas
cleaning involves compromises. Spark retard and exhaust gas recirculation are usually
used in combination to achieve low NO, emission levels. The introduction of strict NO,
emission controls in combination with limits on CO and hydrocarbon emissions was
accompanied by a substantial increase in fuel consumption of automobiles in the United
Inlet temp = 339 K
Inlet pressure = 66.6 kPa
rpm = 1500
Rc = 8.5, L/R = 4.0
= 100BTDC to 40 0ATDC
co 350
%- . . . __
_ _=
1. 23
----~-- ------EGR=O%
Figure 4.16 Effect of equivalence ratio and exhaust gas recirculation on power (brake
mean effective pressure) and fuel consumption (Blumberg and Kummcr. 1971). Rcprintcd by pcnnission of Gordon and Breach Science Publishers.
Internal Combustion Engines
Chap. 4
States. Ultimately, exhaust gas treatment was required to achieve acceptable emissions
and performance simultaneously. Exhaust gas treatment is discussed in a subsequent
4.1.9 Mixture Preparation
The spark ignition engine bums premixed fuel and air. In conventional engines, this
mixture is prepared in the carburetor, a complex device that controls both fuel and air
flows to the engine. The mixture requirements depend on engine speed and load. A richer
mixture is required at high load (such as during vehicle acceleration) than at low load.
Even though combustion will be incomplete, fuel-rich mixtures have been used to increase the heat release per cycle, thereby increasing the power delivered by the engine.
Carburetors have evolved as mechanically activated control systems that meet these requirements. As we have seen in the preceding discussion, emission controls place additional constraints on engine operation that are not readily met with purely mechanical
control. To understand the need for and the nature of the new systems for mixture preparation that are being developed as part of integrated emission control systems, it is
useful to examine the operation of a conventional carburetor.
The power output and speed of a spark ignition engine are regulated by a throttle
that limits the airflow into the engine. In conventional engines, the airflow rate is used
to control the fuel/air ratio. Part of the difficulty encountered in early attempts to reduce
automobile emissions derived from the complex coupling of fuel and airflow rates.
A simple carburetor is illustrated in Figure 4.17. The throttle is a butterfly valve,
a disk that is rotated to obstruct the airflow, producing a vacuum in the intake manifold.
The low pressure reduces the mass entering the cylinders, even though the intake gas
volume is fixed. The rate at which fuel is atomized into the airflow is controlled by the
pressure drop in a venturi, /:!p, that is,
(4.41 )
Gf = CIF .J2Pf /:!Pf
where G/ is the fuel mass flux, CIF the flow coefficient associated with the fuel metering
orifice, Pf the density, and /:!p/ the pressure drop across the fuel metering orifice. This
pressure drop corresponds to the difference between the pressure drop created by the
airflow through the venturi /:!Pa and the pressure needed to overcome surface tension at
the nozzle exit, /:!Pu = 2a / d, where a is the surface tension and d is the nozzle diameter.
The total pressure drop becomes
/:!p/ "'" Po
p/gh - PI' - 2
(4.42 )
where PI' is the gas pressure in the venturi. The airflows in the intake system involve
large pressure drops, so the compressibility of the gas must be taken into account. The
pressure drop associated with the gas flow drives the fuel flow, so we need to know the
relationship between pressure drop and flow rate. By considering the conservation of
energy, we can readily derive such an expression for the adiabatic and thennodynamically reversible (i.e., isentropic) flow of an ideal gas.
Sec. 4.1
Spark Ignition Engines
Main jet
Idle vent line
Idle air tube
'h'-'-~V£ZLn.--ldle adjusting
Idle passage
Idle well
Idle metering orifice
Idle jet
Throttle plate
Figure 4.17 Schematic of a simple carburetor.
The flows through real devices such as the venturi or throttle are not perfectly
reversible, so the flow rate associated with a given pressure drop is lower than that for
isentropic flow. The ratio of the actual flow rate to the ideal flow rate is the flow coefficient for the device, that is,
Cf =
(4.43 )
where G denotes the mass flux and the subscript s denotes that for isentropic flow. The
flow coefficient for a sharp-edged orifice is 0.61. The venturi is designed to achieve
nearly reversible flow so that Cf will be closer to unity. The flow coefficient for the
throttle changes as the throttle plate is rotated. It is unity when the throttle is fully open
and decreases toward that for the orifice as the throttle is closed.
We consider adiabatic flow through the device in question. As the gas is accelerated, its kinetic energy must be taken into account in the fluid energy balance, that is,
for the flow at velocities VI and V2'
1 2
1 2
"2 V j =
ho is the stagnation enthalpy corresponding to
the specific heats are constant, we may write
"2 V2 =
V =
O. Assuming that the gas is ideal and
Internal Combustion Engines
Chap. 4
(4.44 )
The mass flux is G = p1vl> so we may write
(4.45 )
If the flow is adiabatic and isentropic, the density and temperature are related to the
pressure by
= Po
(4.46 )
T'Ih- 1 = T1,h-
Using the ideal gas relation and these results, the mass flux thus becomes
G = P
~ RT
1_2_ (1 -
~ 'Y - 1
(4.48 )
where r = P /Po is the pressure ratio.
At sufficiently low pressure ratio, the velocity at the minimum cross-sectional area
will equal the local speed of sound (4.3). Further reduction in the pressure below the
throat has no influence on the mass flow rate, so the flow is said to be choked. Substituting (4.3) into (4.44), we find
+ 1
(4.49 )
where the asterisk is used to denote a property evaluated at locally sonic conditions.
Using (4.47) we find the critical pressure ratio,
r* =
The corresponding mass flow rate is obtained by substituting r* into (4.48),
* _
G, (r ) - Po
~ M
(_2_)('1+ )/2('11
(4.51 )
RT 'Y + 1
The mass flow rate for a real device becomes
r > r*
(4.52 )
Sec. 4.1
Spark Ignition Engines
For a well-designed venturi, the flow coefficient will be nearly unity and the stagnation pressure downstream of the venturi will be close to that at the venturi inlet. Butterfly valves and other nonideal flow devices will have lower flow coefficients. If a
subsonic flow separates at the minimum area, the pressure at that point will correspond
approximately to the downstream stagnation pressure. Thus, closing the throttle results
in the pressure in the intake manifold being substantially below atmospheric pressure.
The fuel flow rate is governed by the pressure at the throat of the venturi, so (4.41)
can be expressed in tenns of the pressure ratio
(4.53 )
The fuel/air ratio becomes (for r
r *)
2a 1
r) + gz - d
~ RT
__ (I
'Y - I
(4.54 )
_ rb-1lh)
The complex dependence of the equivalence ratio on the pressure ratio is readily apparent.
Examining (4.42) we see that, for
the pressure drop in the venturi is insufficient to overcome surface tension and atomize
the fuel. These high pressure ratios (low pressure drops) correspond to low engine speeds.
A separate idle nozzle supplies the fuel necessary for low-speed operation. This ideal
adjustment is coupled to the pressure drop at the throttle valve.
Figure 4.18 illustrates the variation of equivalence ratio with airflow that is produced by these metering devices. The pressure in the venturi throat decreases with increasing airflow. Since the difference between this pressure and that of the atmosphere
provides the driving force for the main fuel flow, the fuel supplied by the main jet
increases with increasing airflow. The idle jet compensates for the precipitous drop in
the fuel flow supplied by the main jet. The pressure at the throttle plate provides the
driving force for the idle fuel flow, so this flow is significant only when the idlc plate is
closed, i.e., at low airflow. As the throttle plate is opened and the airflow increases, the
idle fuel flow decreases markedly. The operating equivalence ratio of the engine is detennined by the sum of the two fuel flows, shown by the upper curve.
At high engine load, a richer mixture may be required than is supplied by this
simple metering system. The power jet shown in Figure 4.19 is one method used to
supply the additional fuel. Ideally, the throttle position at which the power jet opens
would vary with engine speed. A mechanical linkage that opens gradually as the throttle
Internal Combustion Engines
Chap. 4
Figure 4.18 Variation of equivalence ratio with airflow rate for a simple carburetor
(Taylor. 1966). Reprinted by pem1ission of MIT Press.
opens beyond some point is a compromise solution. When the power jet is fully open,
the fuel flow is about 10% more than that supplied by the main jet.
If the throttle is rapidly opened (as when the gas pedal of a car is quickly depressed), the fuel flow does not respond instantly. To improve the engine response, an
accelerator pump may be used to supply fuel at a rate that is proportional to the speed
of the accelerator motion.
A very fuel-rich mixture is used to start a cold engine, on the assumption that if
enough fuel is introduced into the intake manifold, some of it will surely evaporate and
start the engine. A butterfly valve called a choke is installed between the impact tube
and the venturi, as illustrated in Figure 4.19, to increase the pressure drop and therefore
the fuel flow rate through the main metering orifice. The choke is frequently operated
automatically, controlled by the exhaust manifold temperature and the inlet manifold
pressure. Rich operation during startup leads to high CO and hydrocarbon emissions.
As much as 40% of the hydrocarbons emitted during automotive test cycles may be
released during the warm-up phase.
We have examined only a few of the features that have been incorporated into
automotive carburetors. Since the carburetor directly controls the equivalence ratio of
the mixture reaching the engine, it plays a central role in the control of automotive
emissions. Much more elaborate fuel metering systems have been developed to achieve
Sec. 4.1
Spark Ignition Engines
Figure 4.19 Carburetor with power jet and
choke (Taylor, 1966). Reprinted by pennission of MIT Press.
the fine regulation required for emission control. Electronically manipulated valves have
replaced the simple mechanically controlled fuel metering, facilitating more precise control of engine operation through the use of computers.
Fuel injection is used in place of carburetion in some spark ignition engines because the quantity of fuel introduced can be controlled independently of the airflow rate.
Atomization of high-pressure fuel replaces the flow-induced fuel intake of conventional
carburetors. Fuel may be injected into the intake manifold (injection carburetion) so that
the mixture is controlled by an injector pump rather than being directly coupled to the
airflow. Injection into the inlet ports allows cylinder-by-cylinder regulation of the equivalence ratio. Direct injection into the cylinder is also used in some engines, although
this method is more sensitive to spray characteristics and may lead to imperfect mixing
of fuel and air. Injection systems are becoming more common because they are so well
suited to integration into feedback-controlled engine operation.
4.1.10 Intake and Exhaust Processes
The flows through the intake and exhaust valves also influence engine operation and
emissions. We have seen that the intake flow induces turbulence that, after amplification
by rapid compression, governs the flame propagation. The opening of the exhaust valve
near the end of the expansion stroke causes a sudden pressure decrease and adiabatic
cooling that influence carbon monoxide emissions.
Internal Combustion Engines
0.8C2:: j
Chap. 4
0- 0.4
0.05 0.10 0.15 0.20 0.25 0.30 035
Figure 4.20 Poppet valve geometry and flow coefficient (Taylor. 1966). Reprinted by
pemlission of MIT Press.
The poppet valves through which the charge enters and the combustion products
exit from the cylinder are illustrated in Figure 4.20. The mass fluxes through these valves
are also described by the compressible flow relation, (4.53). The discharge coefficient
depends on the valve lift, L, as illustrated in Figure 4.20. For large lift, L/ D > 0.25,
the flow coefficient based on the valve area approaches a constant value of about 0.65,
slightly larger than that for a sharp-edged orifice. For smaller lift, the flow coefficient is
proportional to the lift, suggesting the area of a cylinder between the valve and the port
could be used to describe the flow with a constant coefficient. Shrouds placed on the
intake valve to induce swirl or to increase engine turbulence reduce the open area on
this cylinder and therefore the flow rate.
The intake and exhaust flows are not steady. There may be a substantial pressure
difference between the cylinder and the manifold when a valve is first opened, leading
to a brief period of very high flow rate. This transient flow is particularly pronounced
during exhaust when the flow is initially choked. After a brief blowdown, the pressure
drop decreases and the flow rate is governed by the piston motion. Calculated and measured flow rates from the work of Tabaczynski et al. (1972) are presented in Figure 4.9.
Note that the exhaust valve opens about 50° before bottom dead center to allow the
cylinder pressure to drop before the beginning of the exhaust stroke. It is also common
practice to open the intake valve before the end of the exhaust stroke. This overlap
reduces the amount of residual combustion products being mixed with the fresh charge.
Improved scavenging achieved in this way increases the engine power output.
The exhaust system includes a length of pipe, a muffler, and gas-cleaning equipment through which the combustion products must flow before entering the atmosphere.
The pressure in the exhaust manifold must therefore be greater than atmospheric pressure. The pressure of the gas entering the cylinder is lower than atmospheric pressure,
due to pressure drops in the carburetor (particularly across the throttle), intake manifold,
and inlet valve. The work required to draw the fuel and air into the cylinder and to pump
the combustion products from the cylinder is called the pumping work.
The pressure in the cylinder at the end of the intake stroke only approaches atmospheric pressure for open-throttle operation at relatively low speed. From the cycle
analysis, it should be apparent that the peak pressure and temperature depend on the
intake pressure. Heat transfer from the hot engine block to the fuel-air mixture also
influences the temperature. The variation of temperature and pressure with throttle po-
Sec. 4.1
Spark Ignition Engines
sition, engine speed, and engine temperature can be expected to be important factors in
the fonnation of pollutants.
4.1 .11 Crankcase Emissions
Crankcase emissions are caused by the escape of gases from the cylinder during the
compression and power strokes. The gases escape between the sealing surfaces of the
piston and cylinder wall into the crankcase. This leakage around the piston rings is
commonly called blowby. Emissions increase with increasing engine airflow, that is,
under heavy load conditions. The resulting gases emitted from the crankcase consist of
a mixture of approximately 85% unburned fuel-air charge and 15% exhaust products.
Because these gases are primarily the carbureted fuel-air mixture, hydrocarbons are the
main pollutants. Hydrocarbon concentrations in blowby gases range from 6000 to 15,000
ppm. Blowby emissions increase with engine wear as the seal between the piston and
cylinder wall becomes less effective. On cars without emission controls, blowby gases
are vented to the atmosphere by a draft tube and account for about 25 % of the hydrocarbon emissions.
Blowby was the first source of automotive emissions to be controlled. Beginning
with 1963 model cars, this category of vehicular emissions has been controlled in cars
made in the United States. The control is accomplished by recycling the blowby gas
from the crankcase into the engine air intake to be burned in the cylinders, thereby
keeping the blowby gases from escaping into the atmosphere. All control systems use
essentially the same approach, which involves recycling the blowby gases from the engine oil sump to the air intake system. A typical system is shown in Figure 4.21. Ventilation air is drawn down into the crankcase and then up through a ventilator valve and
hose and into the intake manifold. When airflow through the carburetor is high, additional air from the crankcase ventilation system has little effect on engine operation.
However, during idling, airflow through the carburetor is so low that the returned blowby
gases could alter the air-fuel ratio and cause rough idling. For this reason, the flow
control valve restricts the ventilation flow at high intake manifold vacuum (low engine
speed) and permits free flow at low manifold vacuum (high engine speed). Thus high
ventilation rates occur in conjunction with the large volume of blowby associated with
high speeds; low ventilation rates occur with low-speed operation. Generally, this principle of controlling blowby emissions is called positive crankcase ventilation (PCV).
4.1.12 Evaporative Emissions
Evaporative emissions issue from the fuel tank and the carburetor. Fuel tank losses result
from the evaporation of fuel and the displacement of vapors when fuel is added to the
tank. The amount of evaporation depends on the composition of the fuel and its temperature. Obviously, evaporative losses will be high if the fuel tank is exposed to high
ambient temperatures for a prolonged period of time. The quantity of vapor expelled
when fuel is added to the tank is equal to the volume of the fuel added.
Evaporation of fuel from the carburetor occurs primarily during the period just
Internal Combustion Engines
Chap. 4
Oil filler cap
Figure 4.21
Crankcase emission control system.
after the engine is turned off. During operation the carburetor and the fuel in the carburetor remain at about the temperature of the air under the hood. But the airflow ceases
when the engine is stopped, and the carburetor bowl absorbs heat from the hot engine,
causing fuel temperatures to reach 293 to 313 K above ambient and causing gasoline to
vaporize. This condition is called a hot soak. The amount and composition of the vapors
depend on the fuel volatility, volume of the bowl, and temperature of the engine prior
to shutdown. On the order of 10 g of hydrocarbons may be vaporized during a hot soak.
Fuel evaporation from both the fuel tank and the carburetor accounts for approximately
20% of the hydrocarbon emissions from an uncontrolled automobile.
It is clear that gasoline volatility is a primary factor in evaporative losses. The
measure of fuel volatility is the empirically detennined Reid vapor pressure, which is a
composite value reflecting the cumulative effect of the individual vapor pressures of the
different gasoline constituents. It provides both a measure of how readily a fuel can be
vaporized to provide a combustible mixture at low temperatures and an indicator of the
tendency of the fuel to vaporize. In a complex mixture of hydrocarbons, such as gasoline, the lowest-molecular-weight molecules have the greatest tendency to vaporize and
thus contribute more to the overall vapor pressure than do the higher-molecular-weight
constituents. As the fuel is depleted of low-molecular-weight constituents by evaporation, the fuel vapor pressure decreases. The measured vapor pressure of gasoline there-
fore depends on the extent of vaporization during the test. The Reid
detennination is a standard test at 311 K in which the final ratio of vapor volume to
Sec. 4.1
Spark Ignition Engines
30 ~----,-------,-----=------<P..r----,
Ambient temperature (OCl
Figure 4.22 Variation of evaporation loss
from an uncontrolled carburetor with fuel
vapor pressure and temperature. Numbers in
large circles are Reid vapor pressure.
liquid volume is constant (4: 1) so that the extent of vaporization is always the same.
Therefore, the Reid vapor pressure for various fuels can be used as a comparative measure of fuel volatility.
Figure 4.22 shows carburetor evaporative loss as a function of temperature and
Reid vapor pressure. The volatility and thus the evaporative loss increase with Reid
vapor pressure. In principle, evaporative emissions can be reduced by reducing gasoline
volatility. However, a decrease in fuel volatility below the 8 to 12 Reid vapor pressure
range, commonly used in temperate climates, would necessitate modifications in carburetor and intake manifold design, required when low vapor pressure fuel is burned.
In view of costly carburetion changes associated with reduction of fuel volatility, evaporative emission control techniques have been based on mechanical design changes. Two
evaporative emission control methods are the vapor-recovery system and the adsorptionregeneration system.
In the vapor-recovery system, the crankcase is used as a storage tank for vapors
from the fuel tank and carburetor. Figure 4.23(a) shows the routes of hydrocarbon vapors
during shutdown and hot soak. During the hot-soak period the declining temperature in
the crankcase causes a reduction in crankcase pressure sufficient to draw in vapors.
During the hot soak, vapors from the carburetor are drawn into the crankcase. Vapor
from the fuel tank is first carried to a condenser and vapor-liquid separator, with the
vapor then being sent to the crankcase and the condensate to the fuel tank. When the
engine is started, the vapors stored in the crankcase are sent to the air intake system by
the positive crankcase ventilation system.
In the adsorption-regeneration system, a canister of activated charcoal collects the
vapors and retains them until they can be fed back into the intake manifold to be burned.
The system is shown in Figure 4.23(b). The essential elements of the system are the
canister, a pressure-balancing valve, and a purge control valve. During the hot-soak
period, hydrocarbon vapors from the carburetor are routed by the pressure balance valve
to the canister. Vapor from the fuel tank is sent to a condenser and separator, with liquid
fuel returned to the tank. When the engine is started, the pressure control valve causes
Internal Combustion Engines
Chap. 4
Air flow
Air cleaner
Bowl balance
tube --+-+-"-
operated vent
Crankcase air space
air cleaner
balance valve
Fuel tank
---- To exhaust manifold
J;'igure 4.23
Evaporative emission control systems: (a) use of crankcase air space: (b)
adsorption-regeneration system.
Sec. 4.1
Spark Ignition Engines
air to be drawn through the canister, carrying the trapped hydrocarbons to the intake
manifold to be burned.
4.1 .13 Exhaust Gas Treatment
Modification of engine operation yields only modest emission reductions, and the penalties in engine performance and efficiency are substantial. An alternative way to control
emissions involves the treatment of the exhaust gas in chemical reactors. Carbon monoxide, unburned hydrocarbons, and nitrogen oxides are all present in the exhaust gases
in concentrations that are far in excess of the equilibrium values. If all the pollutants are
to be controlled by exhaust gas treatment, it is necessary to oxidize carbon monoxide
and hydrocarbons while reducing nitrogen oxides. Exhaust gas treatment may utilize
either catalytic converters or noncatalytic thermal reactors.
Thermal reactors. The gas-phase oxidation of carbon monoxide slows dramatically as combustion products cool, but the reaction does not stop entirely. In fact, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons continue to react in the exhaust manifold. To oxidize
the hydrocarbons homogeneously requires a holding time of order 50 ms at temperatures
in excess of 900 K. Homogeneous oxidation of carbon monoxide requires higher temperatures, in excess of 1000 K. The oxidation rate can be enhanced with a thermal
reactor-an enlarged exhaust manifold that bolts directly onto the cylinder head. The
thermal reactor increases the residence time of the combustion products at temperatures
sufficiently high that oxidation reactions can proceed at an appreciable rate. To allow
for fuel-rich operation, secondary air may be added and mixed rapidly with combustion
A multiple-pass arrangement is commonly used in thermal reactors to shield the
hot core of the reactor from the relatively cold surroundings. This is critical since the
reactions require nearly adiabatic operation to achieve significant conversion, as illustrated in Figure 4.24. Typically, only about a factor of 2 reduction in emission levels
for CO and hydrocarbons can be achieved even with adiabatic operation. Higher temperatures and long residence times are typically required to achieve better conversions.
The heat released in the oxidation reactions can result in a substantial temperature rise
and, thereby, promote increased conversion. Removal of 1.5 % CO results in a temperature rise of about 490 K (Heywood, 1976). Hence thermal reactors with fuel-rich cylinder exhaust gas and secondary air addition give greater fractional reductions in CO
and hydrocarbon levels than reactors with fuel-lean cylinder exhaust. Incomplete combustion in the cylinder, however, does result in reduced fuel economy. The attainable
conversion is limited by incomplete mixing of gases exhausted at various times in the
cycle and any secondary air that is added.
Temperatures of the exhaust gases of automobile spark ignition engines can vary
from 600 to 700 K at idle to 1200 K during high-power operation. Most of the time the
exhaust temperature is between 700 and 900 K, too low for effective homogeneous oxidation. Spark retard increases the exhaust temperature, but this is accompanied by a
significant loss in efficiency.
Internal Combustion Engines
I /'HC
I /
Chap. 4
Reactor temperature (K)
Figure 4.24 Comparison of catalytic converter and thennal reaetor for oxidation of
CO and hydroearbons.
Noncatalytic processes for vehicular emission control can yield significant improvements in carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions. The problem of NO< emission control is not easily alleviated with such systems. Control of NO< emissions through
noncatalytic reduction by ammonia is feasible only in a very narrow window of temperature, toward the upper limit of the normal exhaust temperature range, making joint
control of products of incomplete combustion and NO< a severe technological challenge.
Furthermore, the need to ensure a proper flow of ammonia presents a formidable logistical problem in the implementation of such technologies for control of vehicular emissions.
Catalytic converters. By the use of oxidation catalysts, the oxidation of carbon
monoxide and hydrocarbon vapors can be promoted at much lower temperatures than is
possible in the gas phase, as shown in Figure 4.24. The reduction of NO is also possible
in catalytic converters, provided that the oxygen content of the combustion products is
kept sufficiently low. In the catalytic converter, the exhaust gases are passed through a
bed that contains a small amount of an active material such as a noble metal or a base
metal oxide deposited on a thermally stable support material such as alumina. Alumina,
by virtue of its porous structure, has a tremendous surface area per unit volume. Small
pellets, typically a few millimeters in diameter, or thin-walled, honeycomb, monolithic
structures, illustrated in Figure 4.25, are most commonly used as the support. Pellet
supports are inexpensive, but when packed closely in a reactor, they produce large pressure drops across the device, increasing the back-pressure in the exhaust system. They
may suffer from attrition of the catalyst pellets due to motion during use. This problem
can be reduced, but not entirely overcome, through the use of hard, relatively high
density pellets. The mass of the catalyst bed, however, increases the time required for
the bed to heat to the temperature at which it becomes catalytically active, thereby allowing substantial CO and hydrocarbon emissions when the engine is first started. Mon-
Sec. 4.1
Spark Ignition Engines
Converter shell
~~~~:::=:;cata Iyst
Fill plug
Catalytic pellet compound
l<"igure 4.25
Schematic of pellet-type catalytic converter.
olithic supports allow a freer exhaust gas flow, but are expensive and less resistant to
mechanical and thermal damage. In particular, the rapid temperature changes to which
a vehicular catalytic converter is exposed make them1al shock a very serious problem.
Many materials will catalyze the oxidation of CO or hydrocarbons at typical exhaust gas temperatures. The oxidation activities per unit surface area for noble metals,
such as platinum, are high for both CO and hydrocarbons. Base metal oxide catalysts,
notably CuO and C0 3 0 4 , exhibit similar activities for CO oxidation but are significantly
less active for hydrocarbon oxidation (Kummer, 1980). Base metal catalysts degrade
more rapidly at high temperature than do the noble metal catalysts. They are also more
susceptible to poisoning by trace contaminants in fuels, such as sulfur, lead, or phosphorus. Hence most automotive emission catalysts employ noble metals.
NO reduction can be achieved catalytically if the concentrations of reducing species are present in sufficient excess over oxidizing species. CO levels in the exhaust
gases of 1.5 to 3% are generally sufficient.
Two schemes are employed to achieve catalytic control of both NO, and products
of incomplete combustion: (I) dual-bed catalytic converters and (2) three-way catalysts.
The dual-bed system involves operation of the engine fuel-rich, to promote the reduction
of NOt' Secondary air is then added to facilitate the oxidation of CO and hydrocarbons
in a second catalyst. Rich operation, while necessary for the NO reduction, results in
reduced engine efficiency. FurthemlOre, it imposes severe restrictions on engine operation. If the exhaust gases are too rich, some of the NO may be converted to NH 3 or
HCN. The oxidation catalyst used to eliminate CO and hydrocarbons readily oxidizes
these species back to NO, particularly if the catalyst temperature exceeds 700 K.
If the engine is operated at all times at equivalence ratios very close to unity, it is
possible to reduce NO and oxidize CO and hydrocarbons on a single catalyst bed known
as a three-way catalyst (Kummer, 1980). The three-way catalytic converter requires very
Internal Combustion Engines
Chap. 4
precise control of the operating fuel/air ratio of the engine to ensure that the exhaust
gases remain in the narrow composition window illustrated in Figure 4.26.
Platinum can be used to reduce NO" but the formation of NH, under fuel-rich
conditions limits its effectiveness as an NOr-reducing catalyst. NO can be reduced in
slightly fuel-lean combustion products if a rhodium catalyst is used. Moreover, rhodium
does not produce NH 3 efficiently under fuel-rich conditions. Rhodium is not effective,
however, for the oxidation of paraffinic hydrocarbons. In fuel-lean mixtures, platinum
is an effective oxidation catalyst. To achieve efficient control of CO and hydrocarbons
during the fuel-rich excursions, a source of oxygen is needed. Additives that undergo
reduction and oxidation as the mixture composition cycles from fuel-lean to fuel-rich
and back (e.g., Re0 2 or Ce02), may be added to the catalyst to serve as an oxygen
reservior. Three-way catalysts are thus a mixture of components designed to facilitate
the simultaneous reduction of NOr and oxidation of CO and hydrocarbons.
Because this technology allows engine operation near stoichiometric where the
efficiency is greatest, and because the advent of semiconductor exhaust gas sensors and
microcomputers make feedback control of the fuel-air mixture feasible, the three-way
converter has rapidly become the dominant form of exhaust gas treatment in the United
States. The extremely narrow operating window has been a major driving force behind
80 -
50 40-
10 -
... >
0.8 -
Stoichiometric ratio, ~-1
Figure 4.26 Three-way catalyst conversion efficiency and exhaust gas oxygen sensor signal as a function of equivalence ratio
(Hamburg et aI., 1983; © SAE, Inc.).
Sec. 4.2
Diesel Engine
the replacement of mechanically coupled carburetors with systems better suited to electronic control.
Feedback control of engines using exhaust gas sensors results in operation that
oscillates about the stoichiometric condition in a somewhat periodic manner (Kummer,
1980). The frequency of these oscillations is typically on the order of 0.5 to 4 Hz, with
excursions in equivalence ratio on the order of ±O.Ol equivalence ratio units.
In addition to NO, CO, and unoxidized hydrocarbons, catalyst-equipped spark
ignition engines can emit sulfuric acid aerosol, aldehydes, and under rich conditions,
H 2 S. Unleaded gasoline typically contains 15G to 600 ppm by weight of sulfur. The
sulfur leaves the cylinder as S02, but the catalyst can promote further oxidation to SO,.
As the combustion products cool, the SO, combines with water to form an H 2 S0 4 aerosol. H 2S formation requires high catalyst temperatures (> 875 K) and a reducing atmosphere. This may occur, for example, when an engine is operated steadily at high speed
for some time under fuel-lean conditions and is then quickly slowed to idle fuel-rich
operation. HCN formation may occur under similar conditions.
During startup, when the catalyst is cold, hydrocarbons may be only partially oxidized, leading to the emission of oxygenated hydrocarbons. Aldehyde emissions, however, are generally low when the catalyst is hot.
Like the spark ignition engine, the diesel is a reciprocating engine. There is, however,
no carburetor on the diesel. Only air (and possibly recycled combustion products for
NO, control by EGR) is drawn into the cylinder through the intake valve. Fuel is injected
directly into the cylinder of the diesel engine, beginning toward the end of the compression stroke. As the compression heated air mixes with the fuel spray, the fuel evaporates
and ignites. Relatively high pressures are required to achieve reliable ignition. Excessive
peak pressures are avoided by injecting the fuel gradually, continuing far into the expansion stroke.
The rate at which the fuel is injected and mixes with the air in the cylinder determines the rate of combustion. This injection eliminates the need to throttle the airflow
into the engine and contributes to the high fuel efficiency of the diesel engine. As in the
steady-flow combustor, turbulent mixing profoundly influences the combustion process
and pollutant formation. The unsteady nature of combustion in the diesel engine significantly complicates the process. Rather than attempt to develop quantitative models of
diesel emissions, we shall explore some of the features that govern the formation of
pollutants in diesel engines.
Several diesel engine configurations are in use today. Fuel is injected directly into
the cylinder of the direct injection (DI) diesel, illustrated in Figure 4.27(a). In the direct
injection diesel engine, most of the turbulence is generated prior to combustion by the
airflow through the intake valve and the displacement of gases during the compression
stroke. The fuel jet is turbulent, but the time scale for mixing is comparable to that for
entrainment, so the gas composition does not approach homogeneity within the fuel jet.
Internal Combustion Engines
Chap. 4
Fuel injector
Cylinder head
/ ' Cavity
/"...,.::0----- Piston
Fuel injector
Glow plug
~ 1
Exhaust valve
Main chamber
Figure 4.27 Diesel engine types: (a) direct injection; (b) prcchamber.
The use of a prechamber, as shown in Figure 4.27(b), enhances the mixing of the fuel
and air in the indirect injection (IDI) or prechamber diesel engine. As the gases burn
within the prechamber, they expand through an orifice into the main cylinder. The high
kinetic energy of the hot gas jet is dissipated as turbulence in the jet and cylinder. This
turbulence enhances mixing over that of the direct injection engine. Improved mixing
limits the amount of very fuel-rich gas in the cylinder, thereby reducing soot emissions.
Most light-duty diesel engines are of the indirect injection type because of the reduced
particulate emissions afforded by this technology. This benefit is not without costs, how-
Sec. 4.2
Diesel Engine
ever. The flow through the orifice connecting the prechamber to the cylinder results in
a pressure drop, thereby reducing the efficiency of the engine.
Diesel engines may also be classified into naturally aspirated (NA), supercharged,
or turbocharged types, depending on the way the air is introduced into the cylinder. In
the naturally aspirated engine, the air is drawn into the cylinder by the piston motion
alone. The supercharger is a mechanically driven compressor that increases the airflow
into the cylinder. The turbocharger similarly enhances the intake airflow by passing the
hot combustion products through a turbine to drive a centrifugal (turbine-type) compressor.
Compression of the air prior to introduction into the cylinder results in compression
heating. This may be detrimental from the point of view of NO, formation because it
increases the peak combustion temperature. An intercooler may be installed between the
compressor and the intake valve to reduce this heating.
The fuel is sprayed into the cylinder through a number of small nozzles at very
high pressure. The liquid stream issuing from the injector nozzle moves with high velocity relative to the gas. The liquid stream fonns filaments that break into large droplets.
The breakup of the droplets in the fuel spray is characterized by the Weber number, the
ratio of the inertial body forces to surface tension forces,
where Pg is the gas density, v the relative velocity between the gas and the droplets, and
a the surface tension of the liquid. As long as the Weber number exceeds a critical value
of approximately 10, the droplets will continue to break into smaller droplets. Aerodynamic drag on the droplets rapidly decelerates them and accelerates the gas entrained
into the fuel spray. Evaporation and combustion of the fuel can be described using the
model developed in Section 2.7. In some cases, however, pressures and temperatures in
the cylinder are high enough that the liquid fuel is raised above its critical point. The
fuel spray then behaves like a dense gas jet.
The entrainment of air into the unsteady, two-phase, variable-density, turbulent
jet has been described by a variety of empirical models, simple jet entrainment models,
and detailed numerical simulations. The problem is frequently complicated further by
the use of swirling air motions to enhance mixing and entrainment. The swirling air
motion sweeps the fuel jet around the cylinder, spreading it and reducing impingement
on the cylinder wall. Since combustion in nonpremixed systems generally occurs predominantly at equivalence ratios near unity, combustion will occur primarily on the
perimeter of the jet. Mixing of hot combustion products with the fuel-rich gases in the
core of the fuel spray provides the environment in which large quantities of soot can be
readily generated. (We discuss soot fonnation in Chapter 6.) The stoichiometric combustion results in high temperatures that promote rapid NOt fonnation in spite of operation with large amounts of excess air in the cylinder under most operating conditions.
Some of the fuel mixes with air to very low equivalence ratios before any of the mixture
ignites. Temperatures in this region may be high enough for some fuel decomposition
Internal Combustion Engines
Chap. 4
and partial oxidation to occur, accounting for the relative abundance of aldehydes and
other oxygenates in the dicsel emissions (Henein, 1976).
Thus we see that diesel engines exhibit all of the complications of steady-flow
spray flames, in addition to being unsteady. To describe the formation of pollutants
quantitatively would require the development of a probability density function description of the unsteady mixing process. While such models are being explored (Mansouri
et a!., 1982a,b; Kort et a!., 1982; Siegla and Amann, 1984), the methods employed are
beyond the scope of this book. We shall examine, instead, the general trends as seen in
both experimental and theoretical studies of diesel engine emissions and emission
4.2.1 Diesel Engine Emissions and Emission Control
Relatively low levels of gaseous exhaust emissions are achieved by light-duty (automobile) diesel engines without the use of exhaust gas treatment usually applied to gasoline engines to achieve similar emission levels (Wade, 1982).
The species mole fractions in diesel exhaust are somewhat misleading because of
the low and variable equivalence ratios at which diesel engines typically operate. At
low-load conditions, the operating equivalence ratio may be as low as 0.2, so the pollutants are diluted significantly with excess air. Because the equivalence ratio is continually varying in normal use of diesel engines, and to facilitate comparison to other engines, it is more appropriate to report emission levels in terms of emissions per unit of
output: g Mr 1 for stationary engines or heavy-duty vehicles or g km- 1 for light-duty
vehicular diesel engines.
Injection of the liquid fuel directly into the combustion chamber of the diesel engine avoids the crevice and wall quench that allows hydrocarbons to escape oxidation
in carbureted engines, so hydrocarbon emissions from diesel engines are relatively low.
Furthermore, diesel engines typically operate fuel-lean, so there is abundant oxygen to
burn some of the hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide formed in midair in the cylinder.
NO, emissions from prechamber diesel engines are lower than the uncontrolled NO,
emissions from homogeneous charge gasoline engines (Wade, 1982). The low NO,
emissions result from the staged combustion in the prechamber diesel and the inhomogeneous gas composition. Particulate emissions from diesel engines tend to be considerably higher than those of gasoline engines and represent a major emission control
Factors that influence the emissions from diesel engines include the timing and
rate of fuel injection, equivalence ratio, compression ratio, engine speed, piston and
cylinder design, including the use of prechambers, and other design factors. The influence of the overall equivalence ratio on engine performance is shown in Figure 4.28(a).
The brake mean effective pressure increases with equivalence ratio, so higher equivalence ratios correspond to higher engine power output or load. The exhaust gas temperature also increases with equivalence ratio. Fuel consumption is high at low equivalence
ratio, but decreases sharply as the equivalence ratio is increased. As the equivalence
Exhaust T x l O > - - - X
+ Particulate matter
x NO
~'" 18
\ X
\ \ 'J
\ +....\ '
.... '
Figure 4.28 Influence of equivalence ratio on diesel engine perfoffilance and emissions
(Wade, 1982; © SAE, Inc.).
Internal Combustion Engines
Chap. 4
ratio approaches unity, the fuel consumption increases slightly above a minimum value
at about ¢ = 0.5.
The variation of emissions with equivalence ratio is shown in Figure 4.28(b). In
terms of grams emitted per MJ of engine output, all of the emissions are high at low
equivalence ratios for which the engine output is small. Carbon monoxide and particulate
emissions drop sharply with increasing equivalence ratio, pass through a minimum at
about ¢ = 0.5, and then rise sharply as ¢ approaches unity. Hydrocarbon and nitrogen
oxide emissions, on the other hand, drop sharply as ¢ is increased above about 0.2,
reaching relatively low levels at an equivalence ratio of about 0.4, and changing only
slightly thereafter. It should be noted that, while the brake specific emissions of the latter
pollutants decrease with increasing load, the absolute emission rate may increase at high
power output.
While CO and hydrocarbon levels in diesel exhausts are quite low, particulate
emissions from diesel engines are considerably higher than those from comparable spark
ignition engines. The high particulate emissions are a consequence of the direct injection
of fuel into the cylinder or prechamber of the diesel engine. The mixing is relatively
slow, allowing some of the fuel to remain in hot, fuel rich gases long enough for polymerization reactions to produce the high-molecular-weight hydrocarbons that ultimately
form carbonaceous particles known as soot. Subsequent mixing is slow enough that
many of the particles escape oxidation in spite of the large amount of excess air that is
typically available in the diesel engine. NO, levels are also high because combustion in
the turbulent diffusion flame of the diesel engine takes place in regions that are near
stoichiometric. Because the diesel engine generally operates very fuel lean, reduction
catalysts are not a practical solution to the NO x emission problem. The exhaust temperature varies considerably with load and is on the low side for noncatalytic reduction by
ammonia. Thus, until a feasible system for removing NO x from diesel exhausts is developed, diesel NO, control strategies must be based on modification of the combustion
process. As with the spark ignition engine, penalties in fuel economy or engine performance may result. Moreover, efforts to improve the fuel economy or performance may
aggravate the emission problem.
Diesel NO x emissions result from the thermal fixation of atmospheric nitrogen, so
control of these emissions can be achieved by reducing the peak flame temperatures.
Equivalence ratio has, as we saw in Figure 4.28, relatively little influence on NOt emissions from the diesel engine. The diffusion flame allows much of the combustion to take
place at locally stoichiometric conditions regardless of the overall equivalence ratio. The
peak temperatures can be reduced, however, through exhaust gas recirculation or retarding the injection timing. Exhaust gas recirculation in the diesel engine serves the
same purpose as in the spark ignition engine: that of reducing the peak flame temperature
through dilution with combustion products. Like spark retard, injection timing delays
cause the heat release to occur late in the cycle, after some expansion work has occurred,
thereby lowering the peak temperatures. The influence of these two control strategies on
emissions and performance of an indirect injection automotive diesel engine is shown in
Figure 4.29. Below about 30 percent exhaust gas recirculation, hydrocarbon, carbon
monoxide, and particulate emissions are not significantly influenced by exhaust gas re-
Sec. 4.2
Diesel Engine
Percent exhaust gas recycle
Percent exhaust gas recycle
Percent exhaust gas recycle
Percent exhaust gas recycle
Figure 4.29 Influence of exhaust gas recirculation and injection timing on diesel engine perfoffilance and emissions (Wade, 1982; © SAE, Inc.).
Internal Combustion Engines
Chap. 4
- ---0-
x- 6°
Percent exhaust gas recycle
f;'igure 4.29 (ConI.)
circulation, at least for the baseline fuel injection timing (denoted by 0°). NO, emissions, on the other hand, are dramatically reduced by this level of EGR. As the amount
of recycled exhaust gas is increased further, hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions rise sharply, an indication that temperatures are too low for the combustion reactions to go to completion within the available time. Exhaust gas recirculation has, at
least in this case, little effect on fuel consumption. Retarding the injection by 6 crank
angle degrees from the baseline operation dramatically reduces NO, emissions, but as
might be expected when combustion is delayed in a mixing limited system, this reduction
is accompanied by a marked increase in the emissions of hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter. When accompanied by exhaust gas recirculation, injection
retard leads to an increase in fuel consumption. Advancing the injection time reduces
fuel consumption, emissions of hydrocarbons, and, to a lesser extent, emissions of carbon monoxide and particulate matter, but NO, emissions increase.
Turbocharging is employed to improve engine efficiency and power. It has also
been proposed as a technique that might reduce particulate emissions by providing more
oxygen, possibly enhancing mixing and soot oxidation, and by increasing the intake
temperature and thereby enhancing fuel vaporization. Turbocharging slows the increase
in particulate emissions with increasing EGR and reduces both hydrocarbon emissions
and fuel consumption. NO, emissions, however, are increased by turbocharging. For a
fixed level of NO, emissions, the particulate emissions, unfortunately, are not significantly reduced by turbocharging. Moreover, at light loads, hydrocarbon emissions may
actually increase with turbocharging.
Sec. 4.3
Stratified Charge Engines
Due to the relatively low nitrogen content of light diesel fuels, the fornlation of
nitric oxide in the diesel engine is primarily by the thermal fixation of atmospheric nitrogen. Diesel engines can be operated, however, on heavier liquid fuels, or even on
coal. The possible contributions of fuel-nitrogen to NO, emissions must be considered
for such operations.
4.2.2 Exhaust Gas Treatment
The diesel engine typically operates fuel-lean. The presence of excess oxygen in the
combustion products suggests that the oxidation of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbon vapors, and carbonaceous particles in the exhaust gases may be possible. Wade (1980)
examined the possibility of oxidizing the particles in the exhaust gases using a long
exhaust reactor. At temperatures below 1000 K, the mass lost in 10 s due to oxidation
was insignificant. At 1100 K, some mass was consumed by oxidation, but 3 s was required for an 80% reduction in the exhaust mass loading. Temperatures on the order of
1370 K would probably be required to achieve significant oxidation in a thermal reactor
with a volume the same as the engine displacement. Thus oxidation of the particulate
matter as it flows through an exhaust system does not appear to be a practical solution
to the particulate emissions from vehicular diesel engines. The large temperature swings
of the diesel exhaust temperature-in particular, the low temperatures encountered during low-load operation-make the .thermal reactor impractical even for CO and hydrocarbon vapor emission control unless some additional fuel is added to raise the temperature.
An oxidation catalyst might be useful for the oxidation of carbon monoxide and
hydrocarbons, particularly if it were effective in removing the condensible organics that
contribute to the particulate emissions and the partially oxygenated hydrocarbons that
are responsible for the diesel exhaust odor. The particulate matter deposition on the
catalyst may affect the performance.
Filters or electrostatic precipitators can be used to remove particles from the exhaust gas stream, but disposal becomes a logistical problem in vehicular applications.
These devices can be used, however, to concentrate the particulate matter for subsequent
on-board incineration (Sawyer et aI., 1982). After a sufficient quantity of particulate
matter has been collected to sustain combustion, the collected carbonaceous material can
be ignited by an auxiliary heat source and burned. This cleans the particle trap and allows
extended operation without the buildup of such heavy deposits that engine back-pressure
becomes a problem. A filter element may be impregnated with a catalyst to promote
oxidation of the collected material at lower temperatures. Maintaining the trap at low
temperature during the collection phase would facilitate the collection of vapors that
would otherwise condense or adsorb on the soot particles upon release into the atmosphere. Periodic regeneration could be performed automatically using microprocessor
control and sensors to monitor the status of the trap during the collection and regeneration phases of operation.
Filter elements may take the form of wire meshes, ceramic monoliths, or ceramic
foams. Due to the wide range of temperatures and rapid changes to which the trap is
exposed, the durability of these elements is a critical issue in the development of this
Internal Combustion Engines
Chap. 4
technology. If thennal shock leads to the development of cracks or fissures through
which the exhaust can flow, the collection efficiency may be seriously degraded.
Reduction of NO, in diesel exhaust gases represents a fonnidable challenge. Threeway catalysts are not effective because of the large amount of excess oxygen. The exhaust temperature varies over too wide a range for the noncatalytic ammonia injection
technique to be useful, and the soot particles in the diesel exhaust are likely to foul or
poison catalysts in the catalytic ammonia injection unless very effective particle removal
is achieved. Alternative reducing agents that work at lower temperature, such as isocyanic acid (Perry and Siebers, 1986), may ultimately prove effective in diesel engine
NO, emission control.
The emphasis in our discussion of spark ignition engines has been on the homogeneous
charge engines. The range of equivalence ratios over which such engines can operate
has been seen to be very narrow due to the low laminar flame speed in rich or lean
mixtures. The diesel engine, on the other hand, can operate at very low equivalence
ratios. Soot fonnation in the compression ignition engine remains a serious drawback to
its use.
An alternative approach that is internlediate between these two types of reciprocating engines is a stratified charge engine. Stratified charge engines rely on a spark for
ignition as in the homogeneous charge engine, but utilize a nonunifonn fuel distribution
to facilitate operation at low equivalence ratios. The concept of the stratified charge
engine is not new. Since the 1930s attempts have been made to develop hybrid engines
that incorporate the best features of both the spark ignition and diesel engines (Heywood,
1981). Some, like the diesel, involve direct injection of the fuel into the cylinder. In
others, two carbureted fuel-air mixtures are introduced into the cylinder, a rich mixture
into a small prechamber and a lean mixture into the main cylinder.
Figure 4.30 illustrates the latter type of engine. The idea behind the prechamber
stratified charge engine is that the fuel-rich mixture is easier to ignite than is the lean
Figure 4.30 Prechamber stratified charge
Sec. 4.3
Stratified Charge Engines
mixture in the main cylinder. The spark ignites the mixture in the prechamber. As it
burns, the rich mixture expands, fonning a jet through the orifice connecting the two
chambers. The high-velocity flow of hot combustion products rapidly mixes with and
ignites the lean mixture in the main cylinder. By this route, only a small fraction of the
combustion takes place near stoichiometric, with most occurring well into the fuel-lean
region. Thus NO, fonnation is substantially slower than in a homogeneous charge engine.
The simplest conceptual model for the prechamber stratified charge engine is to
assume that the mixture in the prechamber is unifonn at a high equivalence ratio and
that the mixture in the main cylinder is unifonn at a lower value of 1>. This assumption,
however, is rather tenuous. During the intake stroke, the two mixtures flow through the
two intake valves. Because of the large displacement volume, some of the prechamber
mixture may flow out through the connecting orifice into the main chamber during intake. In the compression stroke, gas from the main chamber is forced back into the
prechamber, so the prechamber will contain a mix of the rich and lean charges. Some
of the prechamber mixture will remain in the main chamber. Thus, in spite of using
carburetors to prepare the two charges, the two mixtures may not be unifonn at ignition.
During combustion, further mixing between the two gases takes place.
Analysis of gas samples collected at the exhaust port suggests that no significant
stratification of the mixture remains at the end of the expansion stroke. This does not
mean, however, that the gas is unifonnly mixed on the microscale. As in the diesel
engine, the turbulent mixing process plays a critical role in detennining the pollutant
emission levels. The dependence of the emissions from the prechamber stratified charge
engine on equivalence ratio, as a result, is somewhat weaker than that of the conventional homogeneous charge engine. The reduction in the peak NO, emissions with this
technology is modest, but the ability to operate at very low equivalence ratios makes
significant emission reductions possible.
Other types of stratified-charge engines utilize direct injection of the fuel into the
cylinder to create local variations in composition. The fuels used in such engines generally still have the high-volatility characteristics of gasoline, and a spark is used for
ignition. Two types of direct-injection stratified-charge engines are shown in Figure
4.31. The early injection version of the direct-injection stratified-charge engine typically
uses a broad conical spray to distribute the fuel in the central region of the cylinder,
where the piston has a cup. The spray starts early, about halfway through the compression stroke, to give the large fuel droplets produced by the low-pressure injector time to
evaporate prior to ignition. In contrast, a late injection engine more closely resembles a
diesel engine. A high-pressure injector introduces a narrow stream of fuel, beginning
just before combustion. A swirling air motion carries the spray toward the spark plug.
The details of combustion in these engines are not well understood. Mixing and
combustion occur simultaneously, so the dependence of emissions on equivalence ratio
more closely resembles the weak dependence of poorly mixed steady-flow combustors
than that of the conventional gasoline engine. Because pure fuel is present in the cylinder
during combustion, the direct-injection stratified-charge engines suffer from one of the
major difficulties of the diesel engine: soot is fonned in significant quantities.
These are but a few of the possible configurations of reciprocating engines. The
Internal Combustion Engines
Chap. 4
Figure 4.31
Direct-injection stratified-charge engine: (a) early-injection; (b) late-
introduction of emission limitations on automobile engines has led to major new technological developments, some successful, many that failed to meet their developers'
expectations. Renewed concern over engine efficiency has once again shifted the emphasis. To satisfy both environmental and fuel utilization constraints, the use of computer control, catalytic converters, and exhaust gas sensors has been introduced. These
have diminished the level of interest in stratified charge engines, since NO, reduction
catalysts are needed to meet strict emission limits and require operation near stoichiometric. The problems of emission control for heavy-duty engines remain unresolved.
Yet, as automobile emissions are reduced, large engines in trucks, railway engines,
compressors, and so on, are becoming increasingly important sources of atmospheric
pollutants, notably NO, and soot.
The fourth major class of internal combustion engines is the gas turbine. The
output of the gas turbine engine can be very high, but the engine volume and weight are
generally much smaller than those of reciprocating engines with comparable output. The
Sec. 4.4
Gas Turbines
original application of the gas turbine engine was in aircraft, where both weight and
volume must be minimized. The high power output also makes the gas turbine attractive
for electric power generation. Like reciprocating engine exhaust, the exhaust gases from
the gas turbine are quite hot. The hot combustion products can be used to generate steam
to drive a steam turbine. High efficiencies of conversion of fuel energy to electric power
can be achieved by such combined-cycle power generation systems. Clearly, the constraints on these applications differ greatly, so the technologies that can be applied to
control emissions for one type of gas turbine engine are not always applicable to the
Unlike the reciprocating engines, the gas turbine operates in steady flow. Figure
4.32 illustrates the main features of a gas turbine engine. Combustion air enters the
turbine through a centrifugal compressor, where the pressure is raised to 5 to 30 atm,
depending on load and the design of the engine. Part of the air is then introduced into
the primary combustion zone, into which fuel is sprayed and bums in an intense flame.
The fuel used in gas turbine engines is similar in volatility to diesel fuel, producing
droplets that penetrate sufficiently far into the combustion chamber to ensure efficient
combustion even when a pressure atomizer is used.
The gas volume increases with combustion, so as the gases pass at high velocity
through the turbine, they generate more work than is required to drive the compressor.
This additional work can be delivered by the turbine to a shaft, to drive an electric power
generator or other machinery, or can be released at high velocity to provide thrust in
aircraft applications.
The need to pass hot combustion products continuously through the turbine imposes severe limits on the temperature of those gases. Turbine inlet temperatures are
limited to 1500 K or less, depending on the blade material. The development of turbine
blade materials that can withstand higher temperatures is an area of considerable interest
because of the efficiency gains that could result. In conventional gas turbine engines,
the cooling is accomplished by dilution with additional air. To keep the wall of the
combustion chamber, known as the combustor can, cool, additional air is introduced
through wall jets, as shown in Figure 4.33. The distribution of the airflow along the
length of the combustion chamber, as estimated by Morr (1973), is also shown.
Figure 4.32
Gas turbine engine configuration.
Net work
Internal Combustion Engines
Chap. 4
~)\ i ~ r-~ \\
Fuel -I-+H-_
~ +Q)
Combustor length (m)
Figure 4.33
Gas turbine combustion, airflow patterns, and air distribution. Morr
Size and weight limitations are severe for aircraft applications. Even for stationary
gas turbines, the engine size is limited due to the high operating pressures, although the
constraints are not nearly as severe as in aircraft engines. Thus the residence time in the
gas turbine is generally small, on the order of several milliseconds. Flame stability is
also of critical importance, particularly in aircraft engines. Recirculation caused by flow
obstructions or swirl is used to stabilize the flame.
The combustion environment in gas turbine engines varies widely with load. At
high load, the primary zone typically operates at stoichiometric. The high-velocity gascs
leaving the combustor drive the turbine at a high rate, so the pressure may be raised to
25 atm. Adiabatic compression to this level heats the air at the inlet to the combustion
chamber to 800 K. Air injected into the secondary combustion zone reduces the equivalence ratio to about 0.5. As this air mixes with the burning gases, combustion ap-
Sec. 4.4
Gas Turbines
proaches completion. Finally, dilution air reduces the equivalence ratio to below 0.3,
lowering the mean gas temperature to the turbine inlet temperature of less than 1500 K.
At idle, the pressure may only increase to 1.5 atm, so the inlet air temperature is
not significantly greater than ambient. The equivalence ratio in the primary combustion
zone may be as low as 0.5, resulting in a mean gas temperature of only 1100 K. The
distribution of air in the different regions of an aircraft engine is detemlined by the
combustion can geometry and therefore does not change with load. The combustion
products at idle may be diluted to an equivalence ratio below 0.15 at the turbine inlet,
lowering the mean gas temperature to below 700 K.
Because of the very short residence time in the combustion chamber, droplet evaporation, mixing, and chemical reaction must occur very rapidly. The short time available
profoundly influences the pollutant emissions from gas turbine engines. As illustrated in
Figure 4.34, at low load, when the overall equivalence ratio is well below unity and the
gases are rapidly quenched, NO, emissions are low. These same factors cause the CO
and hydrocarbon emissions to be high in low-load operation. At high load, on the other
hand, the gases remain hot longer and the equivalence ratio is higher, so more NO, is
formed; while CO and hydrocarbon oxidation is more effective at high loads, causing
emissions of these species to decrease with load. Soot, however, is also formed in the
gas turbine engine at higher loads due to the imperfect mixing, which allows some very
fuel-rich mixture to remain at high temperatures for a relatively long time.
Gas turbine engines used for electric power generation and other applications where
weight is not so critical introduce additional factors into the emissions problem. While
aircraft engines generally bum distillate fuels with low sulfur and nitrogen contents,
stationary gas turbines frequently burn heavier fuels. Fuel-bound nitrogen may contrib-
Figure 4.34 Variation of gas turbine en-
Engine power (%)
gine emissions with engine power.
Internal Combustion Engines
Chap. 4
ute significantly to NOr emissions, and sulfur oxides may be emitted as well. The use
of coal directly or in combination with a gasifier could aggravate these problems and
also introduce the possibility of fine ash particles being emitted. (Coarse ash particles
are less likely to be a problem. Because their presence would rapidly erode the turbine
and significantly degrade its perfonnance, large particles must be efficiently removed
from the combustion products upstream of the turbine inlet.)
In contrast to most other steady-flow combustors, N0 2 levels can be comparable
to or even exceed NO levels in the exhaust gases, as shown in Figure 4.35. Rapid
quenching of the combustion products has another effect: promoting the forn1ation of
large concentrations of N0 2 •
The control of emissions from gas turbine engines involves a number of factors:
1. Atomization and mixing. Poor atomization and imperfect mixing in the primary
combustion zone allow CO and unburned hydrocarbons to persist into the secondary zone, where the quenching occurs. It also allows stoichiometric combustion to
take place even when the overall equivalence ratio of the primary zone is less than
unity, thereby accelerating the fonnation of NOr.
2. Primary zone equivalence ratio. To lower NOr emissions at high load, it is necessary to reduce the peak flame temperatures. Since the overall equivalence ratio
of the gas turbine engine operation must be so low, reducing the primary zone
equivalence ratio is a promising approach. Of course, effective mixing is required
at the same time.
3. Scheduling of dilution air introduction. By first diluting the combustion products
to an equivalence ratio at which CO and hydrocarbon oxidation are rapid and then
allowing sufficient time for the reaction before completing the dilution, it may be
possible to complete the oxidation, even at low loads. The total combustor volume
and the need to cool the combustion can walls limit the extent to which this can
be accomplished.
N0 2
/ ..
... ~
.. ---
550 600
Turbine inlet temperature (OC)
Figure 4.35 NO and NO, emissions from
a gas turbine power generating unit (Johnson
and Smith. 1978). Reprinted by permission
of Gordon and Breach Science Publishers.
Sec. 4.4
Gas Turbines
A variety of approaches are being taken to control gas turbine engine emissions.
To optimize performance at both high and low loads, many designs employ a number
of small burners that are operated at near-optimum conditions all the time. An extreme
example is the NASA Swirl Can Combustor, which contains 100 to 300 small (lOO-mm
diameter) swirl can combustor modules assembled in a large annular array (Jones, 1978).
To vary the load, the number of burner modules that are supplied with fuel is changed.
At low loads, the flame extends only a small distance downstream of the individual
modules, and most of the excess air does not mix directly with the combustion products.
At high loads, so many modules are supplied with fuel that the flames merge and fill the
entire combustion can. For sufficiently high combustor inlet temperatures, this design
has the effect of delaying the rise in CO and hydrocarbons to quite low equivalence
ratios. NO, emissions are low at low load and rise dramatically with equivalence ratio
(load). The general trends in NO.1 emissions are well represented by a segregation parameter, (2.70), of S = 0.3 to 0.4, indicating the degree of inhomogeneity in the gas
turbine combustor. This suggests that much of the NO.1 is formed in locally stoichiometric regions of the flame.
Further improvements can be realized by changing the way the fuel is introduced
into the combustion chamber to minimize the residence time at stoichiometric conditions. Air-assist atomizers generate turbulence in the primary combustion zone, thereby
accelerating the mixing. Some new turbine designs even involve premixing of fuel and
air. Flame stability becomes a serious issue in premixed combustion as the equivalence
ratio is reduced, so mechanical redistribution of the airflow is sometimes introduced to
achieve stable operation at low loads (Aoyama and Mandai, 1984).
Multiple combustion stages are also incorporated into low NO, gas turbine designs
(see Figure 4.36), allowing efficient combustion in one or more small burners at low
load and introducing additional fuel into the secondary zone to facilitate high-load fuellean combustion.
fuel nozzles
lean and
primary zone
Dilution zone
fuel nozzle
End cover
Figure 4.36 Staged combustion for a gas turbine engine (Aoyama and Mandai, 1984).
Internal Combustion Engines
Chap. 4
An idealized thermodynamic representation of the spark ignition enginc is the ideal-air Otto
cycle. This closed cycle consists of four processes:
1. Adiabatic and reversible compression from volume V = Vc to V = Vc
2. Heat addition at constant volume, V
3. Adiabatic and reversible expansion from V
4. Constant-volume (V = Vc +
Ve to V
heat rejection
(a) Assuming that the ratio of specific heats, 'Y = cfli c", is constant, derive an equation
for the cycle efficiency (YJ = net work out/heat in during process 2) in terms of the
compression ratio, R e .
(b) Derive an expression for the indicated mean effective pressure (IMEP) in terms of the
compression ratio and the heat transfer per unit mass of gas during process 2.
(c) Discuss the implications of these results for NO, control by fuel-lcan combustion and
A chamber with volume, V, contains a mixture of octane and air at <p = 0.9. The initial
temperature and pressure arc 298 K and I atm, respectively. The vessel may be assumed
to be perfectly insulated.
(a) The mixture is ignited and burned. Detennine the flnal temperature and pressure.
(b) The pressure is measured as a function of time during the combustion process. Show
how you would use the pressure measurements to determine the combustion rate. Plot
the burned mass fraction as a function of the measured pressure.
The vessel of Problem 4.2 is a 100-mm-diameter sphere. After complete combustion, a
valve is suddenly opened to create a 10-mm-diameter sharp-edged orifice. The flow coefficient for the orifice is Ci = 0.61. Assuming the specific heats to be constant, calculate
the pressure and temperature as a function of timc while the vessel discharges its contents
to the environment. What is the maximum cooling rate of the gas remaining in the vessel')
Set up an engine simulation program based on the analysis of Section 4. I. For stoichiometric combustion of octane (assume complete combustion), calculate the pressure and the
mean burned gas temperature as a function of crank angle for a compression ratio of R, =
8, intake air pressure and temperature of I atm and 333 K (due to heating of the air in the
intake manifold), and Oi = -15° and f10 e = 40°. Neglect heat transfer to the cylinder
walls. Also calculate the mean effective pressure and the speeifk fuel consumption.
A throttle reduces the pressure in the intake manifold to 0.6 atm. Assume that the flow to
the throat of the valve is adiabatic and isentropic and that the pressure at the throat of the
valve equals the pressure in the intake manifold. How much is the mass intake of air reduced
below that for Problem 4.4'1 Using the cycle simulation code, repeat the calculations of
Problem 4.4.
Assuming the burned gases in Problem 4.4 are unifornl in temperature, use the Zeldovich
mechanism to calculate NO, emissions from the engine.
Use the engine simulation of Problem 4.4 to explore the effects of spark retard on engine
peli'ormance (IMEP andlSFC) and on NO, emissions.
Chap. 4
A model that is commonly used to describe the recirculation zone of a combustor is the
perfectly stirred reactor. The perfectly stirred reactor is a control volume into which reac-
tants flow and from which products are continuously discharged. The reaction
proeeeds with rate
Assuming that the entering concentrations are [A] ° and [B] 0, that the volume of the control
"Iolume is V, and that the volumetric flow rates into and out from the reactor are equal, Qin
= Qou, = Q, derive expressions for the steady-state concentrations of A and B.
Consider a gas turbine engine in which the incoming air is compressed adiabatically to a
pressure of 6 atm. The airflow through the combustor at the design load is 3.5 kg s' I. The
fuel is aviation kerosene with composition CH 176 and a heating value of 46 MJ kg'l. The
combustor can is 150 mm in diameter and 300 mm long. The primary combustion zone is
a 100 mm long perfectly stirred reactor (see Problem 4.9) operated at ¢ = 0.7. Downstream
of the primary reaction zone, dilution air is added to reduce the gas temperature by lowering
the overall equivalence ratio to 0.2. Assume that the dilution air is added at a constant
amount of dilution per unit of combustion can length. Further assume that the composition
at any axial position in the combustor is uniform. The entire combustor may be assumed
to be adiabatic.
(a) What is the residence time in the primary combustion zone?
(b) Use the Zeldovich mechanism to calculate the NO concentration in the gases leaving
the primary combustion zone.
(c) Calculate and plot the temperature and the flow time as functions of axial position in
the dilution region.
(d) What is the NO concentration at the end of the combustor? What is the NO, emission
index, g/kg fuel burned?
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