Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name



Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Naeim Henein


Diesel engine has become a popular choice for trucks, trains, boats, and most other heavy-duty applications. The inherent benefits of diesel engine are high thermal efficiency and specific power output, but there is a concern about high levels of engine-out NOx and particulate matter emissions, which is a major contributor in environment pollution. Moreover, concern about the crisis of crude oil reserves, increasing gas price, trade deficit, and homeland security enhances the interests in alternative fuels.

Unlike conventional diesel fuel, alternative fuels have wide range of properties, such as volatility, cetane number, density, viscosity and lower heating value, which influence the behavior of fuel and formation of products. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the effect of these fuel properties on autoignition, combustion, performance, and emissions under compression ignition conditions to evaluate the operational capability of diesel engines fueled with alternative fuels.

This dissertation covers a detailed investigation of the autoignition, combustion, and emission characteristics of alternative fuels and their surrogates in a constant volume vessel of Ignition Quality Tester (IQT), optically accessible rapid compression machine (RCM), and Partnership for Next Generation of Vehicle (PNGV) single cylinder diesel engine. Experimental data and simulation results indicate that the fuel properties, such as cetane number and volatility, influence the autoignition and combustion processes in diesel engine environment.