An Experimental Investigation of S.I. Engine Operation on Gaseous Fuels Lean Mixtures 2005-01-3765
The operation of S.I. engines on lean or diluents containing gaseous fuel-air mixtures is attractive in principle since it can provide improved fuel economy, reduced tendency to knock and low NOx emissions combined with a possible improvement to the operational life of the engine. However, the overall flame propagation rates then tend to drop sharply as the operational mixture is excessively leaned or diluted with CO2 or N2.
The paper presents experimental data obtained in a single cylinder, variable compression ratio, S.I., CFR engine when operated on a number of gaseous fuels and some of their mixtures. A gradual leaning of the operating mixture can affect adversely in turn, emissions of CO and unburned fuel and cyclic variation. The extent of deterioration in these operating parameters is shown to correlate well with the corresponding values of the combustion period, a key combustion indicator. Similar effects were observed when adding diluents to stoichiometric CH4-air mixtures.
The addition of H2 to CH4 tends to accelerate the flame propagation and improve combustion stability but enhances the formation of NOx, especially for lean mixtures operation. A discussion of the possible reasons for the trends observed is presented together with outlining some possible measures to obtain low NOx emissions while keeping satisfactory rates of flame propagation.