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Natural Gas Engines and Vehicles, 2013

The 9 papers in this technical collection cover fuel injection, combustion, controls, performance and emissions of SI engines fueled with methane based fuels such as natural gas, producer gas, coke oven gas or hydrogen-natural gas blends.

Characterization and Potential of Dual Fuel Combustion in a Modern Diesel Engine

Diesel Dual Fuel, DDF, is a concept which promises the possibility to utilize CNG/biogas in a compression ignition engine maintaining a high compression ratio, made possible by the high knock resistance of methane, and the resulting benefits in thermal efficiency associated with Diesel combustion. Presenter Fredrik K�nigsson, AVL Sweden

Natural Gas for School Buses: A Case for Using the Only Domestically Produced Alternative Fuel

A review of the processes that lead to the conclusion that CNG was the best solution for the fleet, including the efforts to gain public support for alternative fuels for school buses. MISD is now home for 42 CNG powered school buses (of 200). The presentation will include training and design tips for safety and smooth operations along with maintenance considerations for using CNG. Alternative fuels, the dilemma of which comes first - refueling station or operational buses ? has an impact on grant approval and funding, bearing discussion of the option of a public/private model. Unlike other alternative fuels, CNG has a national security impact Presenter Charles Stone, Mansfield Indep School Dist

Propane Autogas: The Clear Choice

The presentation by Tucker Perkins, President of CleanFUEL USA, provides important information to those wanting to learn about alternative fuels, specifically propane autogas. CleanFUEL USA provides liquid propane injection engine system for the 6L engine in the GM G4500 cutaway chassis used in many Type A busses. They are also developing an 8L engine in partnership with Freightliner/ThomasBuilt Bus for the Type C bus. This presentation discussed many of the advantages of propane autogas use, such as better economics, lower emissions, and inexpensive infrastructure for the fueling network. Presenter Tucker Perkins, CleanFUEL USA

Powertrain Innovation Requires Infrastructure Innovation!

Who are the people who know the most about the buses in your fleet? They are most likely the operators and the servicing technicians. They are also the key people whose knowledge, level of training and attitude can determine the success or failure of new powertrain technologies. Training and recruitment of both need to be held to a higher standard than we have seen in the past. I will argue that even the culture of those involved in fleet operations needs to be changed. The bar for technical competence and product knowledge needs to be raised for operators and technicians. In return managers should find ways to include them as stakeholders, investing them with both additional responsibility and accountability. This will require greater access to training and recognition of achievement. Where are the busses stored and serviced? Most likely in an all-purpose state/county/municipal service facility servicing a variety of equipment.

Blue Bird Propane Powered Vision School Bus

Propane autogas, the world?s third most-used engine fuel, powers vehicles, transit buses, and now school buses. Blue Bird has recently launched the Next Generation Vision type C school bus, powered by a ROUSH CleanTech liquid propane autogas fuel system and a Ford 6.8L V10 engine. The bus reduces operating costs by up to 40%, greenhouse gas emissions by up to 24%, and maintains the factory horsepower, torque, and towing capacity ratings. Learn about how school districts are saving over $.30 / mile using this clean, domestically-produced fuel. Presenter Brian Carney, Roush CleanTech.
Technical Paper


The term “natural gasoline” has been accepted generally by the petroleum industry as applying to the gasoline product extracted by any process from natural gas. Two processes are in use. The older one is the compression process applied to casinghead gas, which is produced from the oil-bearing sands of oil wells and carries vapors from the oil with which it has been in contact. This process of subjecting the relatively rich gas to a high pressure and then cooling it to or below atmospheric pressure, results in the direct condensation of gasoline which is weathered later to remove the “wild” unusable vapors. The later method is the absorption process in which the gas is brought into contact with a heavy oil, originally of no gasoline-content, which absorbs the gasoline. The enriched oil is then heated to distill off the gasoline, and these two operations of absorption and distillation are repeated continuously within a closed system.
Technical Paper


As the automobile, a chemical factory on wheels, converts gasoline and air into energy for propelling itself and its load, its prinicpal problems of operation center on the properties and impurities of the raw materials, the utilization and disposition of the by-products and the proper maintenance of the plant equipment. After discussing the nature of gasoline, the author enumerates the five sources from which motor fuel is derived. The major part of the gasoline is said to be obtained directly by distillation from petroleum; about one-quarter of American gasoline, to be secured by the cracking of heavier petroleum oils; about one-tenth, to be gasoline that is separated from natural gas; from 1 to 2 per cent, to consist of benzol and similar material; and fuel used in some sugar-producing localities, to comprise alcohol made from molasses.
Technical Paper


The application of the bunsen burner method of measuring flame velocities of gases is extended to liquid fuels by the use of a suitable vaporizer. The bunsen burner nozzle is enclosed and provision made for operation at elevated temperature, reduced pressure or both. The control apparatus which supplies a gaseous or liquid fuel as well as air for combustion is described in detail. The cone angle is obtained by measuring a “schlieren” image of the flame front which has been projected on a screen. Curves showing flame velocities as a function of air-fuel ratio for natural gas, gasoline, and acetylene are presented. Data were taken for temperature up to 900°F and for pressures down to 3.9″ Hg absolute.
Technical Paper

Advantages of Propane as a Transit Vehicle Fuel

USERS of internal-combustion engines have long recognized the need for a fuel which possesses high-octane rating, resistance to detonation, and ideal combustion characteristics; a fuel which would minimize engine maintenance costs, and which would be plentiful enough to assure long-range price stability. This paper cites propane, a common liquefied petroleum gas, as possessing all these and many more advantages. The author points out the safety factors in the sealed fuel system, the lessening of noise resulting from smooth performance, and the elimination of exhaust smoke and odors from a fuel which burns carbon-free and smokeless. Comparative charts are provided covering fuel costs, storage costs, and fleet operating expenses.
Technical Paper

Engines to Digest the Vitamin-Enriched Fuel-Elpeegee

TO use LPG efficiently as fuel for trucks, buses, or industrial engines, the compression ratio must be raised to take advantage of the fuel octane number. This point is explained in this paper, together with other pertinent facts relative to converting to LPG or using an engine already set up for the purpose. The author also details the many safety factors which have been considered in the handling of LPG. Developments to date provide that, with reasonable care and attention, LPG is as safe as, if not safer than, other types of fuel in common use. He touches on the economic advantages which can be realized now that LPG is in excess supply.
Technical Paper

Liquefied Petroleum Gas as Fuel for Automotive Vehicles

ALTHOUGH the use of liquefied petroleum gas in automotive vehicles dates back to the early Thirties, it is only in recent years that there has been considerable interest in this application of LPG. The author lists the factors contributing to this increasing interest as follows: 1. Rising operating costs in the bus industry. 2. The increased supply of LPG. 3. The availability of engines of higher compression ratio. The author discusses both the fuel and the vehicles in which it can be used, placing particular emphasis on cost considerations.
Technical Paper

Fleets, but not private cars, Are Likely Customers for LPG

THIS article is based on a panel discussion held Sept. 7 by SAE Detroit Section as part of its Summer Meeting at White Sulphur Springs, W. Va. Max Roensch of the Ethyl Corp. was panel moderator. Panel speakers were: J. M. Campbell CM Research Laboratories Division S. D. Forsythe Chicago Transit Authority Leonard Raymond Socony-Vacuum Laboratories