Improving the Fuel Economy of Stoichiometrically Fuelled S.I. Engines by Means of EGR and Enhanced Ignition - A Comparison of Gasoline, Methanol and Natural Gas 952376

This paper describes an experimental study in which the potential for fuel economy improvements with EGR was investigated using an automotive V6 engine. Steady state engine dynamometer tests were run at 2000 rpm and 200 kPa Brake Mean Effective Pressure (BMEP). The engine was fuelled with gasoline, methanol or natural gas. Plasma jet ignition was evaluated as a means of improving EGR tolerance.
EGR tolerance with methanol was found to be better than with gasoline, while natural gas showed the poorest EGR tolerance. Plasma jet ignition extended EGR limits for all three fuels. Fuel economy benefits were realized with natural gas and gasoline at low EGR rates and without EGR but plasma jet ignition provided no improvements with methanol until over 10% EGR was used.
Plasma jet ignition made stable operation possible with methanol at 40% EGR, where fuel economy improvements were ultimately limited by the slow burning associated with the high EGR rate. Both slow burning and high cyclic variation affected gasoline at high EGR rates, while stability limits to spark advance with natural gas caused fuel economy to degrade at relatively low EGR rates.


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