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Technical Paper

Modeling NOx Emissions from Lean-Burn Natural Gas Engines

A zero-dimensional cycle simulation model coupled with a chemical equilibrium model and a two-zone combustion model has been extended to predict nitric oxide formation and emissions from spark-ignited, lean-burn natural gas engines. It is demonstrated that using the extended Zeldovich mechanism alone, the NOx emissions from an 8.1-liter, 6-cylinder, natural gas engine were significantly under predicted. However, by combining the predicted NOx formation from both the extended Zeldovich thermal NO and the Fenimore prompt NO mechanisms, the NOx emissions were predicted with fair accuracy over a range of engine powers and lean-burn equivalence ratios. The effect of injection timing on NOx emissions was under predicted. Humidity effects on NOx formation were slightly under predicted in another engine, a 6.8-liter, 6-cylinder, natural gas engine. Engine power was well predicted in both engines, which is a prerequisite to accurate NOx predictions.
Technical Paper

Humidity Effects and Compensation in a Lean Burn Natural Gas Engine

The effect of humidity on the lean misfire limit and emissions from a lean burn, natural gas engine is described in this paper, along with a description of a practical humidity compensation method for incorporation into an electronic control system. Experiments to determine the effects of humidity on the lean limit and emissions are described. Humidity increases were shown to decrease the rate of combustion, reduce NOx emissions, and increase the levels of unburned hydrocarbon (HC) and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions. Data and calculations are also presented which demonstrate that increases in humidity will cause enleanment in a typical closed loop control system utilizing a universal exhaust gas oxygen (UEGO) sensor. A prototype system for humidity sensing and subsequent compensation based on these findings was implemented, and the system was found, through additional testing, to compensate for humidity very effectively.
Technical Paper

Development of an Electronically-Controlled Natural Gas-Fueled John Deere PowerTech 8.1 L Engine

Development of a state of the art, electronically controlled natural gas-fueled engine is detailed in this paper. The engine is a lean burn, turbochargedaftercooled engine controlled by a full authority electronic control system. This system controls fuel metering, spark timing, boost pressure, throttle position, and governing. The control system features closed-loop/adaptive-learn fuel control with feedback provided by a universal exhaust gas oxygen sensor. The development of the engine included development of the control system and other engine components, as well as a substantial amount of steady-state and transient control system calibration work. This effort led to a final engine calibration which provides good efficiency and transient response while meeting CARB ULEV emissions levels.