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Technical Paper

A Controller for a Spark Ignition Engine with Bi-Fuel Capability

A bi-fuel engine with the ability to run optimally on both compressed natural gas (CNG) and gasoline is being developed. Such bi-fuel automotive engines are necessary to bridge the gap between gasoline and natural gas as an alternative fuel while natural gas fueling stations are not yet common enough to make a dedicated natural gas vehicle practical. As an example of modern progressive engine design, a Saturn 1.9 liter 4-cylinder dual overhead cam (DOHC) engine has been selected as a base powerplant for this development. Many previous natural gas conversions have made compromises in engine control strategies, including mapped open-loop methods, or resorting to translating the signals to or from the original controller. The engine control system described here, however, employs adaptive closed-loop control, optimizing fuel delivery and spark timing for both fuels.
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

An Evaluation of Natural Gas versus Diesel in Medium-Duty Buses

Significant numbers of transit buses now operate on natural gas. With support of the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory has evaluated the cost, performance, and emissions of alternative fuel buses around the country. In this study, three natural gas and three closely matched diesel buses were compared. The buses, built by World Trans, were 26′5″long and used 1997 Cummins B-series engines. Particulate matter and oxides of nitrogen emissions from the natural gas buses were significantly lower than those from the diesel buses. However, the diesel buses had lower operating costs and higher fuel efficiency than the natural gas buses.
Technical Paper

Application of the New City-Suburban Heavy Vehicle Route (CSHVR) to Truck Emissions Characterization

Speed-time and video data were logged for tractor-trailers performing local deliveries in Akron, OH. and Richmond, VA. in order to develop an emissions test schedule that represented real truck use. The data bank developed using these logging techniques was used to create a Yard cycle, a Freeway cycle and a City-Suburban cycle by the concatenation of microtrips. The City-Suburban driving cycle was converted to a driving route, in which the truck under test would perform at maximum acceleration during certain portions of the test schedule. This new route was used to characterize the emissions of a 1982 Ford tractor with a Cummins 14 liter, 350 hp engine and a 1998 International tractor with a Cummins 14 liter, 435 hp engine. Emissions levels were found to be repeatable with one driver and the driver-to-driver variation of NOx was under 4%, although the driver-to-driver variations of CO and PM were higher.
Technical Paper

Chassis Test Cycles for Assessing Emissions from Heavy Duty Trucks

Recent interest in the effect of engine life on vehicle emissions, particularly those from alternately fueled engines, has led to a need to test heavy duty trucks in the field over their lifetime. West Virginia University has constructed two transportable laboratories capable of measuring emissions as a vehicle is driven through a transient test schedule. Although the central business district (CBD) cycle is well accepted for bus testing, no time-based schedule suited to the testing of class 8 trucks with unsynchronized transmissions is available. The Federal Test Procedure for certifying heavy duty engines can be translated with some difficulty into a flat road chassis cycle although original data clearly incorporated unpredictable braking and inclines. Two methods were attempted for this purpose, but only an energy conservation method proved practical.
Technical Paper

Comparative Emissions from Natural Gas and Diesel Buses

Data has been gathered using the West Virginia University Heavy Duty Transportable Emissions Laboratories from buses operating on diesel and a variety of alternate fuels in the field. Typically, the transportable chassis dynamo meter is set up at a local transit agency and the selected buses are tested using the fuel in the vehicle at the time of the test. The dynamometer may be set up to operate indoors or outdoors depending on the space available at the site. Samples of the fuels being used at the site are collected and sent to the laboratory for analysis and this information is then sent together with emissions data to the Alternate Fuels Data Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Emissions data are acquired from buses using the Central Business District cycle reported in SAE Standard J1376; this cycle has 14 ramps with 20 mph (32.2 km/h) peaks, separated by idle periods.
Technical Paper

Determination of Heavy-Duty Vehicle Energy Consumption by a Chassis Dynamometer

The federal emission standards for heavy duty vehicle engines require the exhaust emissions to be measured and calculated in unit form as grams per break horse-power-hour (g/bhp-hr). Correct emission results not only depend on the precise emission measurement but also rely on the correct determination of vehicle energy consumption. A Transportable Heavy-Duty Vehicle Emission Testing Laboratory (THDVETL) designed and constructed at West Virginia University provides accurate vehicle emissions measurements in grams over a test cycle. This paper contributes a method for measuring the energy consumption (bhp-hr) over the test cycle by a chassis dynamometer. Comparisons of analytical and experimental results show that an acceptable agreement is reached and that the THDVETL provides accurate responses as the vehicle is operated under transient loads and speeds. This testing laboratory will have particular value in comparing the behavior of vehicles operating on alternative fuels.
Technical Paper

Diesel and CNG Transit Bus Emissions Characterization by Two Chassis Dynamometer Laboratories: Results and Issues

Emissions of six 32 passenger transit buses were characterized using one of the West Virginia University (WVU) Transportable Heavy Duty Emissions Testing Laboratories, and the fixed base chassis dynamometer at the Colorado Institute for Fuels and High Altitude Engine Research (CIFER). Three of the buses were powered with 1997 ISB 5.9 liter Cummins diesel engines, and three were powered with the 1997 5.9 liter Cummins natural gas (NG) counterpart. The NG engines were LEV certified. Objectives were to contrast the emissions performance of the diesel and NG units, and to compare results from the two laboratories. Both laboratories found that oxides of nitrogen and particulate matter (PM) emissions were substantially lower for the natural gas buses than for the diesel buses. It was observed that by varying the rapidity of pedal movement during accelerations in the Central Business District cycle (CBD), CO and PM emissions from the diesel buses could be varied by a factor of three or more.
Technical Paper

Effect of Fuel Composition on the Operation of a Lean Burn Natural Gas Engine

With the implementation of a closed loop fuel control system, operation of lean-burn natural gas engines can be optimized in terms of reducing emissions while maximizing efficiency. Such a system would compensate for variations in fuel composition, but also would correct for variations in volumetric efficiency due to immediate engine history and long-term engine component wear. Present day engine controllers perform well when they are operated with the same gas composition for which they were calibrated, but because fuel composition varies geographically as well as seasonally, some method of compensation is required. A closed loop control system on a medium-duty lean-burn engine will enhance performance by maintaining the desired air-fuel ratio to eliminate any unwanted rich or lean excursions (relative to the desired air-fuel ratio) that produce excess engine-out emissions. Such a system can also guard against internal engine damage due to overheating and/or engine knock.
Technical Paper

Emissions Testing of a Hybrid Fuel Cell Bus

The fuel cell bus program at Georgetown University (GU) has directed the operational development and testing of three hybrid fuel cell powered buses for transit operation. These are the world's first liquid-fueled, fuel cell powered road vehicles. This paper describes the emissions testing of one of these buses on a heavy duty chassis dynamometer at West Virginia University (WVU). The tested bus was driven by a 120 kW DC motor and utilized a 50 kW phosphoric acid fuel cell (PAFC) as an energy source with a 100 kW battery for supplemental power. A methanol/water fuel mixture was converted by a steam reformer to a hydrogen rich gas mixture for use in a fuel cell stack. Emissions from the reformer, fuel cell stack and startup burner were monitored for both transient and steady-state operation.
Technical Paper

Emissions from Buses with DDC 6V92 Engines Using Synthetic Diesel Fuel

Synthetic diesel fuel can be made from a variety of feedstocks, including coal, natural gas and biomass. Synthetic diesel fuels can have very low sulfur and aromatic content, and excellent autoignition characteristics. Moreover, synthetic diesel fuels may also be economically competitive with California diesel fuel if produced in large volumes. Previous engine laboratory and field tests using a heavy-duty chassis dynamometer indicate that synthetic diesel fuel made using the Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) catalytic conversion process is a promising alternative fuel because it can be used in unmodified diesel engines, and can reduce exhaust emissions substantially. The objective of this study was a preliminary assessment of the emissions from older model transit operated on Mossgas synthetic diesel fuel. The study compared emissions from transit buses operating on Federal no. 2 Diesel fuel, Mossgas synthetic diesel (MGSD), and a 50/50 blend of the two fuels.
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

Emissions from Trucks using Fischer-Tropsch Diesel Fuel

The Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) catalytic conversion process can be used to synthesize diesel fuels from a variety of feedstocks, including coal, natural gas and biomass. Synthetic diesel fuels can have very low sulfur and aromatic content, and excellent autoignition characteristics. Moreover, Fischer-Tropsch diesel fuels may also be economically competitive with California diesel fuel if produced in large volumes. An overview of Fischer-Tropsch diesel fuel production and engine emissions testing is presented. Previous engine laboratory tests indicate that F-T diesel is a promising alternative fuel because it can be used in unmodified diesel engines, and substantial exhaust emissions reductions can be realized. The authors have performed preliminary tests to assess the real-world performance of F-T diesel fuels in heavy-duty trucks. Seven White-GMC Class 8 trucks equipped with Caterpillar 10.3 liter engines were tested using F-T diesel fuel.
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

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

Hydrocarbon Speciation of a Lean Burn Spark Ignited Engine

A research program at West Virginia University sought to identify and quantify the individual hydrocarbon species present in alternative fuel exhaust. Compressed natural gas (CNG) has been one of the most widely researched fuels proposed to replace liquid petroleum fuels. Regulated CNG non-methane hydrocarbon emissions are often lower than hydrocarbon emissions from conventional liquid fuels because of the absence of heavier hydrocarbons in the fuel. Reducing NOx and non-methane organic gas (NMOG) emission levels reduces the ozone forming potential (OFP) of the exhaust gases. A Hercules GTA 3.7 liter medium duty CNG engine was operated at seven load and speed set points using local supply CNG gas. The engine was operated at several rated, intermediate and idle speed set points. The engine was operated while the air/fuel ratio value was varied.
Technical Paper

Impact of Vehicle Weight on Truck Behavior and Emissions, using On-Board Measurement

On-board emissions measurement for heavy-duty vehicles has taken on greater significance because new standards now address in-use emissions levels in the USA. Emissions compliance must be shown in a “Not-to-exceed” (NTE) zone that excludes engine operation at low power. An over-the-road 1996 Peterbilt tractor was instrumented with the West Virginia University Mobile Emissions Measurement System (MEMS). The researchers determined how often the truck entered the NTE, and the emissions from the vehicle, as it was driven over different routes and at different test weights (20,740 lb, 34,640 lb, 61,520 lb, and 79,700 lb) The MEMS interfaced with the truck ECU, while also measuring exhaust flowrate, and concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) in the exhaust. The four test routes that were employed included varying terrain types in order to simulate a wide range of on-road driving conditions. One route (called the Bruceton route) included a sustained hill climb.
Technical Paper

Low-Heat Rejection Engines — A Concept Review

A comprehensive review of low-heat rejection engine concepts is presented. Areas examined include the materials being considered for these engines; fuels including coal; the effects of high temperature upon emissions; tribology with ceramics; exhaust heat utilization systems; and applications of these engines. Inconsistencies in the literature arc discussed.
Technical Paper

NOX Decomposition in Natural Gas, Diesel and Gasoline Engines for Selective NOX Recirculation

Selective NOX Recirculation (SNR) involves three main steps in NOX reduction. The first step adsorbs NOX from the exhaust stream, followed by periodic desorption from the aftertreatment medium. The final step passes the desorbed NOX gas into the intake air stream and feeds into the engine. A percentage of the NOX is expected to be decomposed during the combustion process. The motivation for this research was to clarify the reduction of NOX from large stationary engines. The objective of this paper is to report the NOX decomposition phenomenon during the combustion process from three test engines. The results will be used to develop an optimal system for the conversion of NOX with a NOX adsorbtion system. A 1993 Cummins L10G natural gas engine, a 1992 Detroit Diesel series 60 engine and a 13hp Honda gasoline engine were used in the experiments. Commercially available nitric oxide (NO) was injected into the engine intake to mimic the NOX stream from the desorption process.