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Technical Paper

Challenges for Spark Ignition Engines in Heavy Duty Application: a Review

Spark Ignition (SI) engines operating on stoichiometric mixtures can employ a simple three-way catalyst as after-treatment to achieve low tailpipe emissions unlike diesel engines. This makes heavy duty (HD) SI engines an attractive proposition for low capital cost and potentially low noise engines, if the power density and efficiency requirement could be met. Specific torque at low speeds is limited in SI engines due to knock. In HD engines, the higher flame travel distances associated with higher bore diameters exacerbates knock due to increased residence time of the end gas. This report reviews the challenges in developing HD SI engines to meet current diesel power density. It also focuses on methods to mitigate them in order to achieve high thermal efficiency while running on stoichiometric condition. High octane renewable fuels are seen as a key enabler to achieve the performance level required in such applications.
Technical Paper

Optimizing the Natural Gas Engine for CO2 reduction

With alternative fuels having moved more into market in light of their reduction of emissions of CO2 and other air pollutants, the spark ignited internal combustion engine design has only been affected to small extent. The development of combustion engines running on natural gas or Biogas have been focused to maintain driveability on gasoline, creating a multi fuel platform which does not fully utilise the alternative fuels’ potential. However, optimising these concepts on a fundamental level for gas operation shows a great potential to increase the level of utilisation and effectiveness of the engine and thereby meeting the emissions legislation. The project described in this paper has focused on optimising a combustion concept for CNG combustion on a single cylinder research engine. The ICE’s efficiency at full load and the fuels characteristics, including its knock resistance, is of primary interest - together with part load performance and overall fuel consumption.
Technical Paper

Particle Emission Measurements in a SI CNG Engine Using Oils with Controlled Ash Content

Clean combustion is one of the inherent benefits of using a high methane content fuel, natural gas or biogas. A single carbon atom in the fuel molecule results, to a large extent, in particle-free combustion. This is due to the high energy required for binding multiple carbon atoms together during the combustion process, required to form soot particles. When scaling up this process and applying it in the internal combustion engine, the resulting emissions from the engine have not been observed to be as particle free as the theory on methane combustion indicates. These particles stem from the combustion of engine oil and its ash content. One common practice has been to lower the ash content to regulate the particulate emissions, as was done for diesel engines. For a gas engine, this approach has been difficult to apply, as the piston and valvetrain lubrication becomes insufficient.
Technical Paper

Variation in Squish Length and Swirl to Reach Higher Levels of EGR in a CNG Engine

Gaseous methane fuel for internal combustion engines have proved to be a competitive source of propulsion energy for heavy duty truck engines. Using biogas can even reduce the carbon footprint of the truck to near-zero levels, creating fully environmentally friendly transport. Gas engines have already been on the market and proved to be a popular alternative for buses and waste transport. However, for long haulage these gas engines have not been on par with the equivalent diesel engines. To improve the power and efficiency of EURO VI gas engines running stoichiometrically, a direct way forward is adding more boost pressure and spark advance in combination with more EGR to mitigate knock. Using in-cylinder turbulence to achieve higher mixing rate, the fuel can still be combusted efficiently despite the increased fraction of inert gases.