This report addresses the ongoing investigation and analysis of natural gas combustion using a modified two-cylinder V-twin engine. The experiment’s goal is to see if natural gas can be used as an alternative fuel in automobile and stationary power generation applications. Various loads and RPMs were applied to the engine during testing. The engine’s compression ratio (CR) was changed from 9.0:1 to 13.8:1 in the hopes of improving fuel combustion and pollution. The Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) and air-fuel ratio (AFR) were also tweaked to find the best settings for reducing emissions without sacrificing too much power (hp). To further understand the impact of higher AFR on combustion and emissions, a lean limit analysis was performed. The benefits of switching from low compression to high compression were proven in testing. Total Hydrocarbons (THC) reduced by 25%, Carbon Monoxide levels decreased by 48%, and Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) decreased by 20%. EGR has a low proportion. Between 3-6 percent, helped reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from over 830 ppm to less than 450 ppm, a nearly 50% improvement, with less than a 2% rise in THC and CO. With 3 percent EGR, power (hp) increased by around 1.5 percent. Increasing the AFR reduced emissions but at the expense of power, and the engine’s lean limit was discovered to be between 22 and 23 AFR. THC emissions dropped by 40%, CO emissions dropped by 90%, and NOx emissions dropped by approximately 50% at 22 AFR, yet power dropped by more than 35%.

Author (S) Details

Daniel John Piekarski
Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, USA.

James H. Lee
Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, USA.

Robert D. Garrick
Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, USA.

Andrew Smith
Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, USA.

Kenneth E. Krapf
Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, USA.

John Bulzacchelli
Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, USA.

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