Lean Burn Versus Stoichiometric Operation with EGR and 3-Way Catalyst of an Engine Fueled with Natural Gas and Hydrogen Enriched Natural Gas
Engine tests have been performed on a 9.6 liter spark-ignited engine fueled by natural gas and a mixture of 25/75 hydrogen/natural gas by volume. The scope of the work was to test two strategies for low emissions of harmful gases; lean burn operation and stoichiometric operation with EGR and a three-way catalyst. Most gas engines today, used in city buses, utilize the lean burn approach to achieve low NOx formation and high thermal efficiency. However, the lean burn approach may not be sufficient for future emissions legislation. One way to improve the lean burn strategy is to add hydrogen to the fuel to increase the lean limit and thus reduce the NOx formation without increasing the emissions of HC. Even so, the best commercially available technology for low emissions of NOx, HC and CO today is stoichiometric operation with a three-way catalyst as used in passenger cars.