Performance, Efficiency, and Emissions Characterization of Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines Fueled with Hydrogen/Natural Gas Blends

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Hydrogen is an attractive fuel source not only because it is abundant and renewable but also because it produces almost zero regulated emissions. Internal combustion engines fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG) are operated throughout a variety of industries in a number of mobile and stationary applications. While CNG engines offer many advantages over conventional gasoline and diesel combustion engines, CNG engine performance can be substantially improved in the lean operating region. Lean operation has a number of benefits, the most notable of which is reduced emissions. However, the extremely low flame propagation velocities of CNG greatly restrict the lean ... continued below

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Chapman, Kirby S. & Patil, Amar June 30, 2007.

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This report is part of the collection entitled: Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports and was provided by UNT Libraries Government Documents Department to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 28 times . More information about this report can be viewed below.

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Hydrogen is an attractive fuel source not only because it is abundant and renewable but also because it produces almost zero regulated emissions. Internal combustion engines fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG) are operated throughout a variety of industries in a number of mobile and stationary applications. While CNG engines offer many advantages over conventional gasoline and diesel combustion engines, CNG engine performance can be substantially improved in the lean operating region. Lean operation has a number of benefits, the most notable of which is reduced emissions. However, the extremely low flame propagation velocities of CNG greatly restrict the lean operating limits of CNG engines. Hydrogen, however, has a high flame speed and a wide operating limit that extends into the lean region. The addition of hydrogen to a CNG engine makes it a viable and economical method to significantly extend the lean operating limit and thereby improve performance and reduce emissions. Drawbacks of hydrogen as a fuel source, however, include lower power density due to a lower heating value per unit volume as compared to CNG, and susceptibility to pre-ignition and engine knock due to wide flammability limits and low minimum ignition energy. Combining hydrogen with CNG, however, overcomes the drawbacks inherent in each fuel type. Objectives of the current study were to evaluate the feasibility of using blends of hydrogen and natural gas as a fuel for conventional natural gas engines. The experiment and data analysis included evaluation of engine performance, efficiency, and emissions along with detailed in-cylinder measurements of key physical parameters. This provided a detailed knowledge base of the impact of using hydrogen/natural gas blends. A four-stroke, 4.2 L, V-6 naturally aspirated natural gas engine coupled to an eddy current dynamometer was used to measure the impact of hydrogen/natural gas blends on performance, thermodynamic efficiency and exhaust gas emissions in a reciprocating four stroke cycle engine. The test matrix varied engine load and air-to-fuel ratio at throttle openings of 50% and 100% at equivalence ratios of 1.00 and 0.90 for hydrogen percentages of 10%, 20% and 30% by volume. In addition, tests were performed at 100% throttle opening, with an equivalence ratio of 0.98 and a hydrogen blend of 20% to further investigate CO emission variations. Data analysis indicated that the use of hydrogen/natural gas fuel blend penalizes the engine operation with a 1.5 to 2.0% decrease in torque, but provided up to a 36% reduction in CO, a 30% reduction in NOX, and a 5% increase in brake thermal efficiency. These results concur with previous results published in the open literature. Further reduction in emissions can be obtained by retarding the ignition timing.

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  • Report No.: None
  • Grant Number: FC26-04NT42234
  • DOI: 10.2172/927586 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 927586
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc893475

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • June 30, 2007

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Dec. 7, 2016, 6:41 p.m.

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Chapman, Kirby S. & Patil, Amar. Performance, Efficiency, and Emissions Characterization of Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines Fueled with Hydrogen/Natural Gas Blends, report, June 30, 2007; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc893475/: accessed December 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.