Technical Briefs

Low Temperature Combustion Using Nitrogen Enrichment to Mitigate NOx From Large Bore Natural Gas Fueled Engines

[+] Author and Article Information
Munidhar S. Biruduganti, Sreenath B. Gupta, Raj Sekar

 Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL 60439

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 132(1), 014502 (Oct 02, 2009) (4 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3125301 History: Received September 22, 2008; Revised September 30, 2008; Published October 02, 2009

Low temperature combustion is identified as one of the pathways to meet the mandatory ultra low NOx emissions levels set by the regulatory agencies. Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) is a well known technique to realize low NOx emissions. However, EGR has many built-in adverse ramifications that negate its advantages in the long term. This paper discusses nitrogen enrichment of intake air using air separation membranes as a better alternative to the mature EGR technique. This investigation was undertaken to determine the maximum acceptable level of nitrogen enrichment of air for a single-cylinder spark-ignited natural gas engine. NOx reduction as high as 70% was realized with a modest 2% nitrogen enrichment while maintaining power density and simultaneously improving fuel conversion efficiency (FCE). Any enrichment beyond this level degraded engine performance in terms of power density, FCE, and unburned hydrocarbon emissions. The effect of ignition timing was also studied with and without N2 enrichment. Finally, lean burn versus stoichiometric operation utilizing nitrogen enrichment was compared. Analysis showed that lean burn operation along with nitrogen enrichment is one of the effective pathways for realizing better FCE and lower NOx emissions.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Schematic of experimental setup

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Figure 2

Spec. NOx as function of NEA (12 bar BMEP, 1800 rpm, and IT: 20 deg BTDC)

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Figure 3

Spec. NOx and ψ as a function of FCE (12 bar BMEP, 1800 rpm, and IT: 20 deg BTDC)

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Figure 4

Combustion pressure analysis as a function of NEA (12 bar BMEP, 1800 rpm, and IT: 20 deg BTDC)

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Figure 5

Spec. NOx and FCE as function of ignition timing (12 bar BMEP and 1800 rpm)

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Figure 6

Spec. NOx and FCE as a function of ψ at MBT ignition timing




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