The Design of a Bi-Fuel Engine Which Avoids the Penalties Associated with Natural Gas Operation
An alternative fuel that has demonstrated considerable potential in reducing emissions and crude oil dependence is compressed natural gas (CNG). A dedicated CNG vehicle suffers from the lack of an adequate number of fueling stations and the poor range limited by CNG storage technology. A vehicle capable of operating on either gasoline or natural gas allows alternative fuel usage without sacrificing vehicle range and mobility. Although many such bi-fuel vehicles are in existence, historically they have employed older engine designs and made compromises in engine control parameters that can degrade performance relative to gasoline and increase emissions. A modern production engine, a 1992 Saturn 1.9 liter 16 valve powerplant, is being optimized for operation on each fuel to realize the full potential of CNG in a bi-fuel system. CNG operation in an engine designed for gasoline typically suffers from reduced power, due in part to displacement of air by gaseous fuel.