Towards a detailed soot model for internal combustion engines

Authors: Sebastian Mosbach, Matthew S. Celnik, Abhijeet Raj, Markus Kraft*, Honghi R. Zhang, Shuichi Kubo, and Kyoung-Oh Kim


In this work, we present a detailed model for the formation of soot in internal combustion engines describing not only bulk quantities such as soot mass, number density, volume fraction, and surface area but also the morphology and chemical composition of soot aggregates. The new model is based on the Stochastic Reactor Model (SRM) engine code, which uses detailed chemistry and takes into account convective heat transfer and turbulent mixing, and the soot formation is accounted for by SWEEP, a population balance solver based on a Monte Carlo method. In order to couple the gas-phase to the particulate phase, a detailed chemical kinetic mechanism describing the combustion of Primary Reference Fuels (PRFs) is extended to include small Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) such as pyrene, which function as soot precursor species for particle inception in the soot model. Apart from providing averaged quantities as functions of crank angle like soot mass, volume fraction, aggregate diameter, and the number of primary particles per aggregate for example, the integrated model also gives detailed information such as aggregate and primary particle size distribution functions. In addition, specifics about aggregate structure and composition, including C/H ratio and PAH ring count distributions, and images similar to those produced with Transmission Electron Microscopes (TEMs), can be obtained. The new model is applied to simulate an n-heptane fuelled Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) engine which is operated at an equivalence ratio of 1.93. In-cylinder pressure and heat release predictions show satisfactory agreement with measurements. Furthermore, simulated aggregate size distributions as well as their time evolution are found to qualitatively agree with those obtained experimentally through snatch sampling. It is also observed both in the experiment as well as in the simulation that aggregates in the trapped residual gases play a vital role in the soot formation process.

Access options

Keywords: combustion, internal combustion engines, model, modelling, soot, soot formation, soot modelling,

Associated Projects: Engines, Nanoparticles, and Particle Processes

*Corresponding author:
Telephone:Department +44 (0)1223 762784 (Dept) 769010 (CHU)
Mobile +49 173 3045528 and +44 7944 237879
Address:Department of Chemical Engineering
University of Cambridge
West Cambridge Site
Philippa Fawcett Drive
United Kingdom
Website:Personal Homepage