Replicating HCCI-like autoignition behavior: What gasoline surrogate fidelity is needed?

Song Cheng, S. Scott Goldsborough, Scott W. Wagnon, Russell Whitesides, Matthew McNenly, William J. Pitz, Dario Lopez-Pintor, John E. Dec

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This work seeks to characterize the fidelity needed in a gasoline surrogate with the intent to replicate the complex autoignition behavior exhibited within advanced combustion engines, and specifically Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI). A low-temperature gasoline combustion (LGTC) engine operating in HCCI mode and a rapid compression machine (RCM) are utilized to experimentally quantify fuel reactivity, through autoignition and preliminary heat release characteristics. Fuels considered include a research grade E10 U.S. gasoline (RD5-87), three multi-component surrogates (PACE-1, PACE-8, PACE-20), and a binary surrogate (PRF88.4). Each fuel was studied at lean/HCCI-like conditions covering a wide range of temperatures and pressures that are representative of naturally aspirated to high boost engine operation. Detailed chemical kinetic modeling is also undertaken using a recently updated gasoline surrogate kinetic model to simulate the RCM experiments and to provide chemical insight into surrogate-to-surrogate differences. The LGTC engine experiments demonstrate nearly identical reactivity between PACE-20 and RD5-87 across studied conditions, while faster phasing is seen for both PACE-1 and PACE-8 due to their stronger intermediate- and low-temperature heat release (ITHR/LTHR) at naturally aspirated and boosted conditions, respectively. The RCM experiments reveal typical low-temperature, negative temperature coefficient (NTC) and intermediate-temperature autoignition behaviors at all pressure conditions for RD5-87, which are qualitatively reproduced by all surrogates. Quantitative discrepancies in both autoignition and preliminary heat release are observed for all surrogates, while their ability to replicate RD5-87 autoignition behavior follows the order of PACE-20 > PACE-1 > PACE-8 > PRF88.4. Excellent mapping is obtained between the LGTC engine and the RCM, where the engine pressure-time trajectories can be characterized by the regimes represented by the RCM autoignition isopleths. The kinetic model performs commendably when simulating both autoignition and preliminary heat release of PACE-20, while typically overpredicting ignition delay times for PACE-1, PACE-8 and PRF88.4 at high-pressure and low-temperature/NTC conditions. Sensitivity and rate of production (ROP) analyses highlight surrogate-to-surrogate differences in the governing chemical kinetics where n-pentane initiates rapid OH branching at a faster rate and an earlier timing for PACE-20 than iso-pentane does for PACE-1 and PACE-8, making it computationally more reactive than the other surrogates. The current study highlights the need to include non-standardized properties, such as the lean/HCCI-like autoignition characteristics, in addition to ASTM properties (e.g., RON, MON) as metrics of fuel reactivity and targets to be matched when formulating high-fidelity surrogates that fully capture gasoline advanced combustion behavior such as HCCI-like autoignition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100091
JournalApplications in Energy and Combustion Science
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Chemical kinetic modeling
  • Gasoline surrogates
  • HCCI-like autoignition
  • Low temperature gasoline combustion engine
  • Rapid compression machine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)


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