Alternative fuel vehicles are gaining importance as a means of reducing petroleum dependence. One attractive option is biodiesel, a renewable diesel fuel produced from plant or animal fats, since it significantly reduces carbon monoxide, unburned hydrocarbon, and particulate matter emissions as well as carbon dioxide when considered on a full life cycle basis. However, biodiesel combustion also typically results in increased fuel consumption and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions relative to petroleum diesel. In order to determine the cause of and develop mitigation strategies for increased biodiesel fuel consumption and NOx emissions, an accurate simulation model was developed and validated. Key fuel properties as well as ignition delay characteristics were implemented in a previously validated whole engine model to reflect soy-biodiesel fuel. The model predictions were within 5% of experimental results for most values at the three operating points. Using this biodiesel model, the “biodiesel NOx effect” was linked to the near stoichiometric equivalence ratios for biodiesel.

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