Hydrocarbon Speciation in Blended Gasoline-Natural Gas Operation on a Spark-Ignition Engine 2016-01-2169
The high octane rating and more plentiful domestic supply of natural gas make it an excellent alternative to gasoline. Recent studies have shown that using natural gas in dual fuel engines provides one possible strategy for leveraging the advantages of both natural gas and gasoline. In particular, such engines been able to improve overall engine efficiencies and load capacity when they leverage direct injection of the natural gas fuel. While the benefits of these engine concepts are still being explored, differences in fuel composition, combustion process and in-cylinder mixing could lead to dramatically different emissions which can substantially impact the effectiveness of the engine’s exhaust aftertreatment system.
In order to explore this topic, this study examined the variations in speciated hydrocarbon emissions which occur for different fuel blends of E10 and compressed natural gas and for different fuel injection strategies on a spark-ignition engine. Results indicate that hydrocarbon emissions are clearly impacted by the base fuel structure and that differences in the underlying fuel chemistry can produce significant variations (over 300%) in the emissions of various hydrocarbon species. Injection strategy plays a role in the amount of mixing achieved and as such impacts emissions, but fuel structure is a much more significant factor. By using 50-75% percent compressed natural gas (CNG) at the lower load points, total methane and non-methane emissions could be reduced by up to 37% without any significant drop in engine efficiency. At the higher load points, usage of 100% CNG is more advantageous due to the knock constraints.