Analysis of the nonlinear dynamics of inter-cycle combustion variations in an ethanol fumigation-diesel dual-fuel engine

  • Li-Ping YangEmail author
  • Timothy A. Bodisco
  • Ali Zare
  • Norbert Marwan
  • Thuy Chu-Van
  • Richard J. Brown
Original Paper


The nonlinear dynamics of a combustion system in a modern common-rail dual-fuel engine has been studied. Using nonlinear dynamic data analysis (phase space reconstruction, recurrence plots, recurrence qualification analysis and wavelet analysis), the effect of ethanol fumigation on the dynamic behaviour of a combustion system has been examined at an engine speed of 2000 rpm with engine load rates of 50%, 75% and 100% and ethanol substitutions up to 40% (by energy) in 10% increments for each engine load. The results show that the introduction of ethanol has a significant effect on inter-cycle combustion variation (ICV) and the dynamics of the combustion system for all of the studied engine loads. For pure diesel mode and lower ethanol substitutions, the ICV mainly exhibits multiscale dynamics: strongly periodic and/or intermittent fluctuations. As the ethanol substitution is increased, the combustion process gradually transfers to more persistent low-frequency variations. At different engine loads, we can observe the bands with the strongest spectral power density that persist over the entire 4000 engine cycles. Compared to high engine loads (75% and 100%), the dynamics of the combustion system at a medium engine load (50%) was more sensitive to the introduction of ethanol. At higher ethanol substitutions, the increased ICV and the complexity of the combustion system at the medium load are attributable to the enhanced cooling caused by the excessive ethanol evaporation, while the low-frequency large-scale combustion fluctuations for the higher engine loads are likely caused by cyclic excitation oscillation during the transition of the combustion mode.


Nonlinear dynamics Combustion Recurrence plots (RPs) Recurrence quantification analysis (RQA) Wavelet analysis 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51306041), Natural Science Foundation of Heilongjiang Province of China (QC2013C057) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (GK2030260164).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Power and Energy EngineeringHarbin Engineering UniversityHarbinChina
  2. 2.Biofuel Engine Research FacilityQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built EnvironmentDeakin UniversityGeelongAustralia
  4. 4.Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact ResearchPotsdamGermany

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