Fuel injector deposits in direct-injection spark-ignition engines

Hongming Xu, Chongming Wang, Xiao Ma, Asish K. Sarangi, Adam Weall, Jens Krueger-Venus

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119 Citations (Scopus)
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Controlling fuel injector deposits is recognized as a challenge for advanced direct-injection spark-ignition (DISI) engines. This paper gives a comprehensive overview of the research on formation, measurement, effect, and mitigation of injector deposits in DISI engines. Methodologies for the injector deposit studies include visual and compositional analysis. It is shown that injector deposits will reduce injector fuel flow rates, and lead to changes in spray characteristics. Consequently, spray angle and envelope are likely to be affected, and spray penetration distance as well as droplet diameter can be increased. Injector deposits are revealed to be primarily fuel-derived and created by two distinct free radical pathways, i.e., low temperature auto-oxidation and high temperature pyrolysis. Fuel compositions (olefins, aromatics, and sulphur), as well as T90 parameter, are significant factors in injector deposit formation. The worst consequences of injector fouling are pre-ignition, and engine misfiring and malfunction. Emissions, especially particulates, dramatically increase as the fuel injector becomes fouled. It appears that fuel detergent is the most effective method in controlling injector deposit formation if its chemistry and dosage rate are optimized. Outward opening piezo-driven injector configuration with a good surface finish, a sharp nozzle inlet, and a counter bore design, is useful in preventing injector deposit formation. Reducing injector nozzle temperature by methods such as designing special injector cooling passages, and improving engine design are also proven to be helpful in reducing injector fouling. Anti-deposit coatings only delay the onset of injector deposit formation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-80
Number of pages18
JournalProgress in Energy and Combustion Science
Early online date28 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015


  • Combustion
  • Emissions
  • GDI
  • Injector deposit
  • Spray


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