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Experimental study of the performance and emissions characteristics of a small diesel genset operating in dual- fuel mode with three different primary fuels

By J. Patterson, A. Clarke and R. Chen


A dual fuel engine is an internal combustion engine where the primary gaseous fuel source is pre-mixed with air as it enters the combustion chamber. This homogenous air fuel mixture is ignited by a small quantity of diesel known as the ‘pilot’ that is injected towards the end of the compression stroke. The diesel fuel ignites in the same way as in compression ignition (CI) engines, and the gaseous fuel is consumed by flame propagation in a similar manner to spark ignited engines. The motivation to dual-fuel a CI engine is partly economic due to the lower cost of the primary fuel, and partly environmental as some emissions characteristics are improved.\ud In the present study, a direct injection four cylinder CI engine, typically used in genset applications, was fuelled with three different gaseous fuels; methane, propane and butane. The performance and emissions (NOx and smoke) characteristics of various gaseous concentrations were recorded at 1500rpm (synchronous speed) and at 1⁄4, 1⁄2, and 3⁄4 load. In order to investigate the combustion performance under these different conditions, a three zone heat release rate analysis is proposed an applied to the data. The resulting mass burned rate, ignition delay and combustion duration are used to explain the emissions and performance characteristics of the engine. It will be shown that the highest gas substitution levels were achieved when using methane under all test conditions, but emissions of NOx and smoke were lower when using propane. Butane proved to be the most unsatisfactory of the three primary fuels, with the highest emissions of NOx and smoke

Topics: H330 Automotive Engineering, H311 Thermodynamics
Publisher: Society of Automotive Engineers
Year: 2006
DOI identifier: 10.4271/2006-01-0050
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