Homogeneous-charge, compression-ignition (HCCI) combustion is triggered by spontaneous ignition in diluted homogeneous mixtures and has a gradual trend thanks to suitable solutions. It is considered a very effective way to reduce engine pollutant emissions, however only experimental prototypes have been based on this concept, except for a few small two-stroke engines. HCCI combustion is feasible with fuels both for S.I. and for C.I. engines, but currently it does not cover the whole engine operating field, thus the engine must be built to operate also as a conventional engine. In order to obtain a gradual combustion and not a simultaneous reaction (as it would be in spontaneously ignited homogeneous mixture), lean mixture is used and appropriate solutions, as Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR), are necessary. However, the admission of exhaust gas into the cylinder goes to detriment of engine maximum mean effective pressure. This paper concerns a preliminary study of an innovative concept to control HCCI combustion in Diesel-fuelled engines, apart from exhaust gas presence, the function of which is limited to NOx emission control. The main purpose of the research is the obtaining of Diesel HCCI combustion also with high mean effective pressures rendering the combustion behaviour more controllable as well. The concept consists in forming a pre-compressed homogenous charge outside the cylinder and in gradually admitting it into the cylinder during the combustion process. In this way, combustion can be controlled by the flow rate transfer and high pressure gradients, typical of common HCCI combustion, can be limited as well. A first analysis has been done, considering a cylinder filled with a perfectly stirred mixture of air and diesel fuel through a transfer duct, only to test the validity of the concept, regardless of which effective solution will be adopted. Both Two and Four Stroke operations have been considered to realize the concept. Results in terms of pressure, heat release rate, temperature and emission production have pointed out the validity of the concept. Especially the Two Stroke solution produces more soot than the conventional Diesel, pointing out that the air-fuel mixing is probably not optimized. Regarding NOx emissions, both the proposed solutions give better results than the conventional Diesel engine.

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