A Study of Natural Gas in an Air-Cooled Spark Ignition Engine 978488

An experimental study was conducted to determine potential of natural gas in lowering exhaust emissions from small spark ignition engines. A single cylinder, four-stroke, air-cooled spark ignition engine was used in the study. The investigation showed that increasing engine compression ratio from 8:1 to 10:1 reduced penalty in power normally associated with natural gas engine. The engine was able to run very stable at equivalence ratio as lean as 0.65 while the same engine could not be run at equivalence ratio below 0.85 on gasoline. Best thermal efficiency and reduced emissions of hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen were realized around equivalence ratio 0.75. Reducing equivalence ratio further lowered emissions of oxides of nitrogen significantly while increase in hydrocarbons was small. Most of the hydrocarbons in exhaust were of the methane type which have low ozone forming reactivity.


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