Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Advisor 1

Jeffrey D. Naber

Committee Member 1

Jeremy Worm

Committee Member 2

Scott Miers


In this study of fuels of different reactivities and their performance in a low-temperature combustion (LTC) engine. The engine was a 2.2L CRDI engine code D4HB provided by industry partner Hyundai America Technical Center inc. (HATCI). The engine was instrumented with in-cylinder pressure sensors allowing for monitoring of the combustion process.

First, the engine was operated with standard US pump grade gasoline, Research Octane number (RON) 91 E10, to find initial operation conditions as well as control points of stable operation for daily checks on system conditions.

Tested were 8 different fuel blends, the four base blends were provided by Phillips 66 (P66) with a RON value ranging from 60 to 91, and three other variations of these fuels were formulated by splash blending alcohols, iso-butanol, and ethanol, with the RON60 fuel and the final blend, was US RON91 E10 pump gasoline. Using these 8 fuels, the low load performance was analyzed allowing a selection of one of the fuels to be made to proceed with experimentation.

To study the low load performance of each fuel, the load was decreased until combustion became too unstable to continue. This was done at 1500 rpm with all of the fuels. At 1200 rpm, the same methodology was applied, though all of the fuels were not tested, only the fuels which showed promise at 1500 rpm. Meaning that the lowest targeted load was achieved without any aid to the combustion process other than advancing combustion, increasing intake air temperature (IAT) for example was not done to maintain consistency across all fuels. The same methodology was applied at 800 rpm based upon the 1200 rpm results to see the ability of the engine to idle with the given fuel.

It was found that fuel with a RON of 80 showed good low load performance while allowing for high load performance to be maintained. A blend of 25% Iso-Butanol and 75% RON 60 equated to a RON of 80 and showed good low load performance and showed peak indicated thermal efficiency (ITE) numbers of 46% at 17 bar indicated mean effective pressure (IMEP) and 2200 rpm.