A New Approach to Ethanol Utilization: High Efficiency and Low NOx in an Engine Operating on Simulated Reformed Ethanol
The use of hydrogen as a fuel supplement for lean-burn engines at higher compression ratios has been studied extensively in recent years, with good promise of performance and efficiency gains. With the advances in reformer technology, the use of a gaseous fuel stock, comprising of substantially higher fractions of hydrogen and other flammable reformate species, could provide additional improvements. This paper presents the performance and emission characteristics of a gas mixture of equal volumes of hydrogen, CO, and methane. It has recently been reported that this gas mixture can be produced by reforming of ethanol at comparatively low temperature, around 300C. Experiments were performed on a 1.8-liter passenger-car Nissan engine modified for single-cylinder operation. Special pistons were made so that compression ratios ranging from CR= 9.5 to 17 could be used. The lean limit was extended beyond twice stoichiometric (up to lambda=2.2).