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Title: Hydrogen, nitrogen and syngas enriched diesel combustion
Author: Christodoulou, Fanos
ISNI:       0000 0004 5358 5866
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2014
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On-board hydrogen and syngas production is considered as a transition solution from fossil fuel to hydrogen powered vehicles until problems associated with hydrogen infrastructure, distribution and storage are resolved. A hydrogen- or syngas-rich stream, which substitutes part of the main hydrocarbon fuel, can be produced by supplying diesel fuel in a fuel-reforming reactor, integrated within the exhaust pipe of a diesel engine. The primary aim of this project was to investigate the effects of intake air enrichment with product gas on the performance, combustion and emissions of a diesel engine. The novelty of this study was the utilisation of the dilution effect of the reformate, combined with replacement of part of the hydrocarbon fuel in the engine cylinder by either hydrogen or syngas. The experiments were performed using a fully instrumented, prototype 2.0 litre Ford HSDI diesel engine. The engine was tested in four different operating conditions, representative for light- and medium-duty diesel engines. The product gas was simulated by bottled gases, the composition of which resembled that of typical diesel reformer product gas. In each operating condition, the percentage of the bottled gases and the start of diesel injection were varied in order to find the optimum operating points. The results showed that when the intake air was enriched with hydrogen, smoke and CO emissions decreased at the expense of NOx. Supply of nitrogen-rich combustion air into the engine resulted in a reduction in NOx emissions; nevertheless, this technique had a detrimental effect on smoke and CO emissions. Under low-speed low-load operation, enrichment of the intake air with a mixture of hydrogen and nitrogen led to simultaneous reductions in NOx, smoke and CO emissions. Introduction of a mixture of syngas and nitrogen into the engine resulted in simultaneous reductions in NOx and smoke emissions over a wide range of the engine operating window. Admission of bottled gases into the engine had a negative impact on brake thermal efficiency. Although there are many papers in the literature dealing with the effects of intake air enrichment with separate hydrogen, syngas and nitrogen, no studies were found examining how a mixture composed of hydrogen and nitrogen or syngas and nitrogen would affect a diesel engine. Apart from making a significant contribution to existing knowledge, it is 3 believed that this research work will benefit the development of an engine-reformer system since the product gas is mainly composed of either a mixture of hydrogen and nitrogen or a mixture of syngas and nitrogen.
Supervisor: Megaritis, T. Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Science Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Compression ignition engine ; Dual-fuel engine ; Reformer gas mixture ; Diesel reforming ; Hydrogen