Nitric oxide emissions were estimated for a homogeneous-charge, spark-ignited automotive engine using a cycle simulation which employed three zones for the combustion process: (1) unburned gas, (2) adiabatic core region, and (3) boundary-layer gas. The use of the adiabatic core region has been shown to be especially necessary to capture the production of nitric oxides which are highly temperature dependent. The effects of major engine parameters such as equivalence ratio, spark timing, inlet manifold pressure, and engine speed on nitric oxide emissions are examined. In particular, the detail reasons for the effects of these engine parameters on the nitric oxide emissions are presented. Comparisons are completed between the computed values and a set of published measurements for the nitric oxide concentrations. Although not all engine parameters were known, reasonable agreement is demonstrated for most cases. In particular, the variations of nitric oxide concentrations as engine speed increased were duplicated. As an example, four operating conditions are examined in detail to help explain the measured results. Nitric oxide emissions are shown to be mainly the net result of gas temperatures, oxygen concentrations, and residence times.

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