The fundamental effects of in-cylinder evaporation of liquefied natural gas fuels in engines

Liquefied natural gas is emerging as viable and potentially sustainable transportation fuel with intrinsic economic and environmental benefits. Liquefied natural gas possesses thermomechanical exergy amounting to ∼1 MJ kg⁻¹ which is currently wasted on liquefied natural gas vehicles, while it could be used to produce useful work. The present investigation proposes an indirect means of obtaining useful work from liquefied natural gas through charge cooling and also demonstrates additional benefits in terms of NOₓ emissions and power density. A thermodynamic engine model was used to quantify the performance benefits of such a strategy for a homogeneous-charge, spark-ignited, stoichiometric natural gas engine. Four fuelling strategies were compared in terms of fuel consumption, mean effective pressure and NOₓ emissions. Compared to the conventional port-injected natural gas engine (where gaseous fuel is injected), it was found that directly injecting the liquid phase fuel into the cylinder near the start of the compression stroke resulted in approximately -8.9% brake specific fuel consumption, +18.5% brake mean effective pressure and -51% brake specific NOₓ depending on the operating point. Port-injection of the fuel in the liquid phase carried similar benefits, while direct injection of the fuel in the gaseous phase resulted in minor efficiency penalties (∼+1.3% brake specific fuel consumption). This work highlights the future potential of liquefied natural gas vehicles to achieve high specific power, high efficiency and ultra-low emissions (such as NOx) by tailoring the fuel system to fully exploit the cryogenic properties of the fuel.


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  • Accession Number: 01760535
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 28 2020 3:05PM