Effect of Natural Gas/Hydrogen Blends on Spark Ignition Stoichiometric Engine Efficiency
Hydrogen (H₂) added to natural gas (NG), improves the combustion process of the air-fuel mixture. This gives the potentiality to develop engines with better performance and lower environmental impact. In any case how hydrogen is produced represents a crucial aspect. In general, if H₂ is produced utilizing fossil fuels and not renewable or nuclear sources, the environmental benefit of CO₂ reduction could be reduced. In this paper two engines, a light-duty (LD) and a heavy-duty (HD), were tested in stoichiometric conditions. The engines were fuelled with NG and with two blends of NG with a 20% and a 40% by volume of H₂, respectively named NG/H₂ 20% and NG/H₂ 40%. The light-duty engine was tested at different loads and speeds, with spark advance set by the electronic control unit (ECU). The ECU actuated a retarded ignition, especially at low load. With the heavy-duty engine, the tests were carried out only at high load.