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Technical Paper

Exhaust Gas Recirculation in a Lean-Burn Natural Gas Engine

Lean-burn natural gas engines offer attractively low particulate matter emissions and enjoy higher efficiencies than their stoichiometric counterparts. However, even though oxides of nitrogen emissions can be reduced through operation at lambda ratios of greater than 1.3, catalysts cannot reduce the oxides of nitrogen emissions in the oxidizing exhaust environment. Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) offers the potential to reduce engine out oxides of nitrogen emissions by reducing the flame temperature and oxygen partial pressure that encourages their formation during the combustion process. A comparative study involving a change in the nature of primary diluent (air replaced by EGR) in the intake of a Hercules, 3.7 liter, lean-burn natural gas engine has been undertaken in this research. The Hercules engine was equipped with a General Motors electronically controlled EGR valve for low EGR rates, and a slide valve, constructed in house, for high EGR rates.
Technical Paper

Numerical Prediction of Knock in a Bi-Fuel Engine

Dedicated natural gas engines suffer the disadvantages of limited vehicle range and relatively few refueling stations. A vehicle capable of operating on either gasoline or natural gas allows alternative fuel usage without sacrificing vehicle range and mobility. However, the bi-fuel engine must be made to provide equal performance on both fuels. Although bi-fuel conversions have existed for a number of years, historically natural gas performance is degraded relative to gasoline due to reduced volumetric efficiency and lower power density of CNG. Much of the performance losses associated with CNG can be overcome by increasing the compression ratio. However, in a bi-fuel application, high compression ratios can result in severe engine knock during gasoline operation. Variable intake valve timing, increased exhaust gas recirculation and retarded ignition timing were explored as a means of controlling knock during gasoline operation of a bi-fuel engine.
Technical Paper

A Parametric Study of Knock Control Strategies for a Bi-Fuel Engine

Until a proper fueling infrastructure is established, vehicles powered by natural gas must have bi-fuel capability in order to avoid a limited vehicle range. Although bi-fuel conversions of existing gasoline engines have existed for a number of years, these engines do not fully exploit the combustion and knock properties of both fuels. Much of the power loss resulting from operation of an existing gasoline engine on compressed natural gas (CNG) can be recovered by increasing the compression ratio, thereby exploiting the high knock resistance of natural gas. However, gasoline operation at elevated compression ratios results in severe engine knock. The use of variable intake valve timing in conjunction with ignition timing modulation and electronically controlled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) was investigated as a means of controlling knock when operating a bi-fuel engine on gasoline at elevated compression ratios.
Technical Paper

Exhaust Emissions and Combustion Stability in a Bi-Fuel Spark Ignition Engine

A Saturn 1.9 liter engine has been converted for operation on either compressed natural gas or gasoline. A bi-fuel controller (BFC) that uses closed-loop control methods for both fuel delivery and spark advance has been developed. The performance and emissions during operation on each fuel have been investigated with the BFC, as well as the performance and emissions with the stock original equipment manufacturer (OEM) controller using gasoline. In-cylinder pressure was measured at a rate of 1024 points per revolution with piezoelectric pressure transducers flush-mounted in the cylinder head. The in-cylinder pressure was used in real time for ignition timing control purposes, and was stored by a data acquisition system for the investigation of engine stability and differences in the combustion properties of the fuels.