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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

Emissions from Trucks and Buses Powered by Cummins L-10 Natural Gas Engines

Both field research and certification data show that the lean burn natural gas powered spark ignition engines offer particulate matter (PM) reduction with respect to equivalent diesel power plants. Concerns over PM inventory make these engines attractive despite the loss of fuel economy associated with throttled operation. Early versions of the Cummins L-10 natural gas engines employed a mixer to establish air/fuel ratio. Emissions measurements by the West Virginia University Transportable Heavy Duty Emissions Testing Laboratories on Cummins L-10 powered transit buses revealed the potential to offer low emissions of PM and oxides of nitrogen, (NOx) but variations in the mixture could cause emissions of NOx, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons to rise. This was readily corrected through mixer repair or readjustment. Newer versions of the L-10 engine employ a more sophisticated fueling scheme with feedback control from a wide range oxygen sensor.
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 Long Term Field Emissions Study of Natural Gas Fueled Refuse Haulers in New York City

New York City Department of Sanitation has operated natural gas fueled refuse haulers in a pilot study: a major goal of this study was to compare the emissions from these natural gas vehicles with their diesel counterparts. The vehicles were tandem axle trucks with GVW (gross vehicle weight) rating of 69,897 pounds. The primary use of these vehicles was for street collection and transporting the collected refuse to a landfill. West Virginia University Transportable Heavy Duty Emissions Testing Laboratories have been engaged in monitoring the tailpipe emissions from these trucks for seven-years. In the later years of testing the hydrocarbons were speciated for non-methane and methane components. Six of these vehicles employed the older technology (mechanical mixer) Cummins L-10 lean burn natural gas engines.
Technical Paper

Continuously Varying Exhaust Outlet Diameter to Improve Efficiency and Emissions of a Small SI Natural Gas Two-Stroke Engine by Internal EGR

With continuously increasing concern for the emissions from two-stroke engines including regulated hydrocarbon (HC) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions, non-road engines are implementing proven technologies from the on-road market. For example, four stroke diesel generators now include additional internal exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) via an intake/exhaust valve passage. EGR can offer benefits of reduced HC, NOx, and may even improve combustion stability and fuel efficiency. In addition, there is particular interest in use of natural gas as fuel for home power generation. This paper examines exhaust throttling applied to the Helmholtz resonator of a two-stroke, port injected, natural gas engine. The 34 cc engine was air cooled and operated at wide-open throttle (WOT) conditions at an engine speed of 5400 RPM with fueling adjusted to achieve maximum brake torque. Exhaust throttling served as a method to decrease the effective diameter of the outlet of the convergent cone.
Technical Paper

Laser Spark Plug Development

To meet the ignition system needs of large bore high pressure lean burn natural gas engines a laser diode side pumped passively Q-switched laser igniter was designed and tested. The laser was designed to produce the optical intensities needed to initiate ignition in a lean burn high brake mean effective pressure (BMEP) engine. The experimentation explored a variety of optical and electrical input parameters that when combined produced a robust spark in air. The results show peak power levels exceeding 2 MW and peak focal intensities above 400 GW/cm2. Future research avenues and current progress with the initial prototype are presented and discussed.
Technical Paper

An Emission and Performance Comparison of the Natural Gas Cummins Westport Inc. C-Gas Plus Versus Diesel in Heavy-Duty Trucks

Cummins Westport Inc. (CWI) released for production the latest version of its C8.3G natural gas engine, the C Gas Plus, in July 2001. This engine has increased ratings for horsepower and torque, a full-authority engine controller, wide tolerance to natural gas fuel (the minimum methane number is 65), and improved diagnostics capability. The C Gas Plus also meets the California Air Resources Board optional low-NOx (2.0 g/bhp-h) emission standard for automotive and urban buses. Two pre-production C Gas Plus engines were operated in a Viking Freight fleet for 12 months as part of the U.S. Department of Energy's Fuels Utilization Program. In-use exhaust emissions, fuel economy, and fuel cost were collected and compared with similar 1997 Cummins C8.3 diesel tractors. CWI and the West Virginia University developed an ad-hoc test cycle to simulate the Viking Freight fleet duty cycle from in-service data collected with data loggers.
Technical Paper

Development of Continuous Dilution Factor for CVS Emissions Sampling and Calculation

During the last three decades, the emissions measurement system for heavy duty vehicle testing has employed a Constant Volume Sampler (CVS) system to continuously measure the pollutant concentrations in the dilution tunnel. Subsequent gaseous emissions calculation methods were based on Code of Federal Regulations, Title 40 (CFR-40) in which a formula for calculating dilution factor (DF) was specified to account for background pollutants. However, it is recognized that due to the mechanism of the CVS system, the dilution factor varies from a constant during a test cycle. The DF calculation technique can introduce error in the emissions data, but the magnitude of potential error is small relative to the current emissions standards. However, as the engine technologies improve and cleaner burning fuels are adopted in the near future, the pollutant concentrations from engines will approach those in ambient air.
Technical Paper

Hydrogen Blended Natural Gas Operation of a Heavy Duty Turbocharged Lean Burn Spark Ignition Engine

A turbocharged lean burn natural gas engine was upgraded to operate on a blend of hydrogen and natural gas (HCNG). Tests were carried out to determine the most suitable H2/NG blend for H2 fractions between 20 and 32 vol%. A 20 vol% H2 content was found to provide the desired benefits when taking into consideration the engine and vehicle performance attributes. A full engine map was developed for the chosen mixture, and was verified over the steady-state AVL8 cycle. In general, the HCNG calibration included operation at higher air-fuel ratios and retarded spark timings. The results indicated that the NOx and NMHC emissions were reduced by 50% and 58% respectively, while the CO and CH4 emissions were slightly reduced. The HCNG engine torque, power and fuel consumption were maintained the same as for the natural gas fuel. The chassis dynamometer transient testing confirmed large NOx reduction of about 56% for HCNG operation.
Technical Paper

Misfire, Knock and NOx Mapping of a Laser Spark Ignited Single Cylinder Lean Burn Natural Gas Engine

Evermore demanding market and legislative pressures require stationary lean burn natural gas engines to operate at higher efficiencies and reduced levels of emissions. Higher in-cylinder pressures and leaner air/fuel ratios are required in order to meet these demands. The performance and durability of spark plug ignition systems suffer as a result of the increase in spark energy required to maintain suitable engine operation under these conditions. Advancing the state of the art of ignition systems for these engines is critical to meeting increased performance requirements. Laser-spark ignition has shown potential to improve engine performance and ignition system durability to levels required meet or exceed projected requirements. This paper discusses testing which extends previous efforts [1] to include constant fueling knock, misfire, thermal efficiency, and NOx emissions mapping of a single cylinder lean burn natural gas engine.
Technical Paper

Quantification of Energy Pathways and Gas Exchange of a Small Port Injection SI Two-Stroke Natural Gas Engine Operating on Different Exhaust Configurations

This paper examines the energy pathways of a 29cc air-cooled two-stroke engine operating on natural gas with different exhaust geometries. The engine was operated at wide-open-throttle at a constant speed of 5400 RPM with ignition adjusted to yield maximum brake torque while the fueling was adjusted to examine both rich and lean combustion. The exhaust configurations examined included an off-the-shelf (OTS) model and two other custom models designed on Helmholtz resonance theory. The custom designs included both single and multi-cone features. Out of the three exhaust systems tested, the model with maximum trapping efficiency showed a higher overall efficiency due to lower fuel short-circuiting and heat transfer. The heat transfer rate was shown to be 10% lower on the new designs relative to OTS model.
Journal Article

Development of an Ammonia Reduction Aftertreatment Systems for Stoichiometric Natural Gas Engines

Three-way catalyst equipped stoichiometric natural gas vehicles have proven to be an effective alternative fuel strategy that has shown superior low NOx benefits in comparison to diesels equipped with SCR. However, recent studies have shown the TWC activity to contribute to high levels of tailpipe ammonia emissions. Although a non-regulated pollutant, ammonia is a potent pre-cursor to ambient secondary PM formation. Ammonia (NH3) is an inevitable catalytic byproduct of TWCduring that results also corresponds to lowest NOx emissions. The main objective of the study is to develop a passive SCR based NH3 reduction strategy that results in an overall reduction of NH3 as well as NOx emissions from a stoichiometric spark ignited natural gas engine. The study investigated the characteristics of Fe-based and Cu-based zeolite SCR catalysts in storage, and desorption of ammonia at high exhaust temperature conditions, that are typical of stoichiometric natural gas engines.