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Journal of Combustion
Volume 2018, Article ID 7237849, 13 pages
Research Article

Sensitivity of Emissions to Uncertainties in Residual Gas Fraction Measurements in Automotive Engines: A Numerical Study

Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont, IL 60439, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to S. M. Aithal; vog.lna.scm@lahtia

Received 21 January 2018; Revised 19 March 2018; Accepted 1 April 2018; Published 2 May 2018

Academic Editor: Constantine D. Rakopoulos

Copyright © 2018 S. M. Aithal. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Initial conditions of the working fluid (air-fuel mixture) within an engine cylinder, namely, mixture composition and temperature, greatly affect the combustion characteristics and emissions of an engine. In particular, the percentage of residual gas fraction (RGF) in the engine cylinder can significantly alter the temperature and composition of the working fluid as compared with the air-fuel mixture inducted into the engine, thus affecting engine-out emissions. Accurate measurement of the RGF is cumbersome and expensive, thus making it hard to accurately characterize the initial mixture composition and temperature in any given engine cycle. This uncertainty can lead to challenges in accurately interpreting experimental emissions data and in implementing real-time control strategies. Quantifying the effects of the RGF can have important implications for the diagnostics and control of internal combustion engines. This paper reports on the use of a well-validated, two-zone quasi-dimensional model to compute the engine-out NO and CO emission in a gasoline engine. The effect of varying the RGF on the emissions under lean, near-stoichiometric, and rich engine conditions was investigated. Numerical results show that small uncertainties (~2–4%) in the measured/computed values of the RGF can significantly affect the engine-out NO/CO emissions.