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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

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.
Technical Paper

Fuel Composition Effects in a CI Engine Converted to SI Natural Gas Operation

Low-carbon fuels such as natural gas (NG) have the potential to lower the demand of petroleum-based fuels, reduce engine-out emissions, and increase IC engine thermal efficiency. One of the most rapid and efficient use of NG in the transportation sector would be as a direct replacement of the diesel fuel in compression ignition (CI) engines without any major engine modifications to the combustion chamber such as new pistons and/or engine head. An issue is the large variation in NG composition with the location and age of the gas well across U.S., which would affect engine operation, as well as the technology integration with emissions after treatment systems. This study used a conventional CI engine modified for spark ignition (SI) NG operation to investigate the effects of methane and a C1-C4 alkane blend on main combustion parameters like in-cylinder pressure, apparent heat release rate, IMEP, etc.
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

Numerical Investigation of Dual Fuel Diesel-CNG Combustion on Engine Performance and Emission

With the purpose of reducing emission level while maintaining the high torque character of diesel engine, various solutions have been proposed by researchers over the world. One of the most attractive methods is to use dual fuel technique with premixed gaseous fuel ignited by a relatively small amount of diesel. In this study, Methane (CH4), which is the main component of natural gas, was premixed with intake air and used as the main fuel, and diesel fuel was used as ignition source to initiate the combustion. By varying the proportion of diesel and CH4, the combustion and emissions characteristics of the dual fuel (diesel/CH4) combustion system were investigated. Different cases of CFD studies with various concentration of CH4 were carried out. A validated 3D quarter chamber model of a single cylinder engine (diesel fuel only) generated by using AVL Fire ESE was modified into dual fuel mode in this study.
Technical Paper

A Novel Wankel Engine Featuring Jet Ignition and Port or Direct Injection for Faster and More Complete Combustion Especially Designed for Gaseous Fuels

Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles using a traditional ICE that has been modified to use hydrogen fuel are an important mid-term technology on the path to the hydrogen economy. Hydrogen-powered ICEs that can run on pure hydrogen or a blend of hydrogen and compressed natural gas (CNG) are a way of addressing the widespread lack of hydrogen fuelling infrastructure in the near term. Hydrogen-powered ICEs have operating advantages as all weather conditions performances, no warm-up, no cold-start issues and being more fuel efficient than conventional spark-ignition engines. The Wankel engine is one of the best ICE to be converted to run hydrogen. The paper presents some details of an initial investigation of the CAD and CAE modeling of a novel design where two jet ignition devices per rotor are replacing the traditional two spark plugs for a faster and more complete combustion.
Technical Paper

The Influence of High Reactivity Fuel Properties on Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition Combustion

Reactivity controlled compression ignition (RCCI) is a form of dual-fuel combustion that exploits the reactivity difference between two fuels to control combustion phasing. This combustion approach limits the formation of oxides of nitrogen (NOX) and soot while retaining high thermal efficiency. The research presented herein was performed to determine the influences that high reactivity (diesel) fuel properties have on RCCI combustion characteristics, exhaust emissions, fuel efficiency, and the operable load range. A 4-cylinder, 1.9 liter, light-duty compression-ignition (CI) engine was converted to run on diesel fuel (high reactivity fuel) and compressed natural gas (CNG) (low reactivity fuel). The engine was operated at 2100 revolutions per minute (RPM), and at two different loads, 3.6 bar brake mean effective pressure (BMEP) and 6 bar BMEP.
Technical Paper

Weight Effect on Emissions and Fuel Consumption from Diesel and Lean-Burn Natural Gas Transit Buses

Transit agencies across the United States operate bus fleets primarily powered by diesel, natural gas, and hybrid drive systems. Passenger loading affects the power demanded from the engine, which in turn affects distance-specific emissions and fuel consumption. Analysis shows that the nature of bus activity, taking into account the idle time, tire rolling resistance, wind drag, and acceleration energy, influences the way in which passenger load impacts emissions. Emissions performance and fuel consumption from diesel and natural gas powered buses were characterized by the West Virginia University (WVU) Transportable Emissions Testing Laboratory. A comparison matrix for all three bus technologies included three common driving cycles (the Braunschweig Cycle, the OCTA Cycle, and the ADEME-RATP Paris Cycle). Each bus was tested at three different passenger loading conditions (empty weight, half weight, and full weight).
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

Chassis Dynamometer Emission Measurements from Refuse Trucks Using Dual-Fuel™ Natural Gas Engines

Emissions from 10 refuse trucks equipped with Caterpillar C-10 engines were measured on West Virginia University's (WVU) Transportable Emissions Laboratory in Riverside, California. The engines all used a commercially available Dual-Fuel™ natural gas (DFNG) system supplied by Clean Air Partners Inc. (CAP), and some were also equipped with catalyzed particulate filters (CPFs), also from CAP. The DFNG system introduces natural gas with the intake air and then ignites the gas with a small injection of diesel fuel directly into the cylinder to initiate combustion. Emissions were measured over a modified version of a test cycle (the William H. Martin cycle) previously developed by WVU. The cycle attempts to duplicate a typical curbside refuse collection truck and includes three modes: highway-to-landfill delivery, curbside collection, and compaction. Emissions were compared to similar trucks that used Caterpillar C-10 diesels equipped with Engelhard's DPX catalyzed particulate filters.
Technical Paper

Laser-Spark Ignition Testing in a Natural Gas-Fueled Single-Cylinder Engine

As the demand for higher engine efficiencies and lower emissions drive stationary, spark-ignited reciprocating engine combustion to leaner air/fuel operating conditions and higher in-cylinder pressures, increased spark energy is required for maintain stable combustion and low emissions. Unfortunately, increased spark energy negatively impacts spark plug durability and its effectiveness in transmitting adequate energy as an ignition source. Laser ignition offers the potential to improve ignition system durability, reduce maintenance, as well as to improve engine combustion performance. This paper discusses recent engine combustion testing with an open beam path laser ignition system in a single-cylinder engine fueled by natural gas. In particular, engine knock and misfire maps are developed for both conventional spark plug and laser spark ignition. The misfire limit is shown to be significantly extended for laser ignition while the knock limit remains virtually unaffected.
Technical Paper

Speciation of Organic Compounds from the Exhaust of Trucks and Buses: Effect of Fuel and After-Treatment on Vehicle Emission Profiles

A study was performed in the spring of 2001 to chemically characterize exhaust emissions from trucks and buses fueled by various test fuels and operated with and without diesel particle filters. This study was part of a multi-year technology validation program designed to evaluate the emissions impact of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuels and passive diesel particle filters (DPF) in several different heavy-duty vehicle fleets operating in Southern California. The overall study of exhaust chemical composition included organic compounds, inorganic ions, individual elements, and particulate matter in various size-cuts. Detailed descriptions of the overall technology validation program and chemical speciation methodology have been provided in previous SAE publications (2002-01-0432 and 2002-01-0433).
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.