1973-02-01

Hydrogen as a Fuel and the Feasibility of a Hydrogen-Oxygen Engine 730089

A preliminary investigation was made into the use of hydrogen-oxygen mixtures in spark ignition engines. This appeared to be attractive in view of the serious air pollution problem. Furthermore, hydrogen has been considered by others as a possible alternative fuel to replace depleting petroleum resources.
Following a literature survey regarding the combustion characteristics of hydrogen, a computer program based on a constant-volume combustion engine cycle was used to evaluate the overall performance of an engine. Another program, which considered chemical reaction kinetics, was used to predict the onset of autoignition in mixtures undergoing compression in an engine.
Results of the program indicated that an attractive and safe way to use hydrogen-oxygen mixtures in an engine involved the recycling of exhaust gases. Such a system would be fed with a stoichiometric mixture, while excess hydrogen would be circulated within to control combustion in the engine. Water vapor would be condensed from the exhaust gases and would be the only product leaving the system.

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