Effects of Gasoline Direct Injection Engine Operating Parameters on Particle Number Emissions

Xin He, Matthew A. Ratcliff, Bradley T. Zigler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

156 Scopus Citations


A single-cylinder, wall-guided, spark ignition direct injection engine was used to study the impact of engine operating parameters on engine-out particle number (PN) emissions. Experiments were conducted with certification gasoline and a splash blend of 20% fuel grade ethanol in gasoline (E20), at four steady-state engine operating conditions. Independent engine control parameter sweeps were conducted including start of injection, injection pressure, spark timing, exhaust cam phasing, intake cam phasing, and air-fuel ratio. The results show that fuel injection timing is the dominant factor impacting PN emissions from this wall-guided gasoline direct injection engine. The major factor causing high PN emissions is fuel liquid impingement on the piston bowl. By avoiding fuel impingement, more than an order of magnitude reduction in PN emission was observed. Increasing fuel injection pressure reduces PN emissions because of smaller fuel droplet size and faster fuel-air mixing. PN emissions are insensitive to cam phasing and spark timing, especially at high engine load. Cold engine conditions produce higher PN emissions than hot engine conditions due to slower fuel vaporization and thus less fuel-air homogeneity during the combustion process. E20 produces lower PN emissions at low and medium loads if fuel liquid impingement on piston bowl is avoided. At high load or if there is fuel liquid impingement on piston bowl and/or cylinder wall, E20 tends to produce higher PN emissions. This is probably a function of the higher heat of vaporization of ethanol, which slows the vaporization of other fuel components from surfaces and may create local fuel-rich combustion or even pool-fires.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2014-2027
Number of pages14
JournalEnergy and Fuels
Issue number4
StatePublished - 19 Apr 2012

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5400-53377


  • gasoline
  • operating perameters
  • particle number emmissions


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