Development of a medium-duty stoichiometric diesel micro-pilot natural gas engine

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Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics


Fueling a compression-ignition engine with premixed natural gas offers the potential to combine a clean-burning, low-carbon fuel with a high compression ratio, high-efficiency engine. This work describes the development of a multi-cylinder 6.7 L diesel engine converted to run stoichiometric diesel micro-pilot/ natural gas premix combustion with a maximum diesel contribution target of 5% of the total fuel energy and a three-way catalyst aftertreatment system. Results are given by comparing the stoichiometric combustion to the diesel baseline operation, showing combustion characteristics differences, including the rapid two stage heat release. A high load output of 23 bar brake mean effective pressure was obtained with diesel-like brake thermal efficiency of 41%. This operating condition enabled a brake specific CO2 emissions reduction of up to 25% when compared to diesel. It was observed that the low load output is limited by combustion stability when operated at stoichiometric condition. The three-way catalyst is observed to run at peak efficiency with an equivalence ratio of 1.01. Injector fouling was observed through the inspection of the nozzle and its internal parts, indicating carbon build-up similar to that seen in injector coking mechanisms. A comparison of the developed engine to other engine technologies is given, showing that the diesel micro-pilot natural gas engine performance is in good standing among other diesel and gas engines in the market.

Publication Title

International Journal of Engine Research