Large reductions in low-load NOx emissions can be obtained by replacing conventional Diesel or spark ignited combustion by HCCI combustion in reciprocating engines. Currently, HCCI combustion is limited to operating conditions with lean air/fuel ratios or large amounts of EGR. However, a numerical model shows that, even if high equivalence ratio HCCI operation were satisfactorily attained, the NOx reduction potential vs. DI-Diesel combustion would be much smaller. Thus, high-load HCCI operation may best be obtained through highly boosted fuel-lean operation. Alternatively, HCCI combustion may be suited well for “dual mode” engine applications, in which spark ignition or conventional Diesel combustion is used to obtain full load. Avoiding wall impingement with heavy fuels is critical for achieving good emissions and fuel consumption, and it appears that a large degree of mixture inhomogeneity can be tolerated from a NOx benefit standpoint.