Browse Publications Technical Papers 2019-01-0053
2019-01-15

Particle Emission Measurements in a SI CNG Engine Using Oils with Controlled Ash Content 2019-01-0053

Clean combustion is one of the inherent benefits of using a high methane content fuel, natural gas or biogas. A single carbon atom in the fuel molecule results, to a large extent, in particle-free combustion. This is due to the high energy required for binding multiple carbon atoms together during the combustion process, required to form soot particles. When scaling up this process and applying it in the internal combustion engine, the resulting emissions from the engine have not been observed to be as particle free as the theory on methane combustion indicates. These particles stem from the combustion of engine oil and its ash content. One common practice has been to lower the ash content to regulate the particulate emissions, as was done for diesel engines. For a gas engine, this approach has been difficult to apply, as the piston and valvetrain lubrication becomes insufficient.
However, the low particle emissions from the combustion of CNG does allow for an investigation of particle contribution from engine oil ash content with only a minor particle contribution from the fuel itself.
The hypothesis for this study is that there is a relationship between the engine oil ash content and the particulate emissions from a CNG engine. The investigation was conducted for several operating points with varying engine speeds and load on a single cylinder engine. The single cylinder approach was chosen to reduce sources of engine oil intrusion in the combustion chamber. The obtained results were not in line with the hypothesis, the particle emissions from the lower ash content oil did not decrease in number but the size of the particles did. The results also showed a spiking behavior in the particulate emissions, originating from the lubrication oil consumption past the piston rings. Mass flow through the engine proved to affect the particle size distribution as well as the total number of particles for all levels of oil ash content.

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