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INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HYDROGEN ENERGY 33 (2008) 1769– 1775

JOURNAL OF HYDROGEN ENERGY 33 (2008) 1769– 1775 Available at www.sciencedirect.com journal homepage:
JOURNAL OF HYDROGEN ENERGY 33 (2008) 1769– 1775 Available at www.sciencedirect.com journal homepage:

Available at www.sciencedirect.com

Available at www.sciencedirect.com journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/ijhydene

journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/ijhydene

journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/ijhydene An experimental investigation of hydrogen-enriched air
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/ijhydene An experimental investigation of hydrogen-enriched air

An experimental investigation of hydrogen-enriched air induction in a diesel engine system

N. Saravanan , G. Nagarajan

Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, Guindy, Anna University, Chennai 600 025, India

article info

Article history:

Received 20 June 2006

Received in revised form

18 December 2007

Accepted 24 December 2007

Available online 20 February 2008

Keywords:

Hydrogen

Enrichment

Performance

Emissions

Combustion

abstract

Diesel engines are the most trusted power sources in the transportation industry. They

intake air and emit, among others, the pollutants NO X and particulate matter. Continuous

efforts and tests have tried to reduce fuel consumption and exhaust emissions of internal

combustion engines. Alternative fuels are key to meeting upcoming stringent emission

norms. We study hydrogen as an air-enrichment medium with diesel as an ignition source

in a stationary diesel engine system to improve engine performance and reduce emissions.

Stationary engines can be operated with less fuel than neat diesel operations, resulting in

lower smoke levels and particulate emissions. Hydrogen ð H 2 Þ -enriched air systems in diesel

engines enable the realization of higher brake thermal efficiency, resulting in lower specific

energy consumption (SEC). NO X emissions are reduced from 2762 to 515 ppm with 90%

hydrogen enrichment at 70% engine load. At full load, NO X emission marginally increases

compared to diesel operation, while both smoke and particulate matter are reduced by

about 50%. The brake thermal efficiency increases from 22.78% to 27.9% with 30% hydrogen

enrichment. Thus, using hydrogen-enriched air in a diesel engine produces less pollution

and better performance.

& 2008 International Association for Hydrogen Energy. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights

reserved.

1.

Introduction

During the last decade, the use of alternative fuel in diesel

engines has received renewed attention. The uncertainty of petroleum-based fuel availability has created a need for alternative fuels [1]. In recent years, an emphasis on reducing pollutant emissions from petroleum-based engines has motivated the development and testing of several alternative fuels. The main pollutants from diesel engines are NO X (NOnitric oxide and NO 2 nitrogen dioxide), particu- late matter and smoke (visible product of combustion) [2]. Alternative fuels are one option for reducing these harmful pollutants; they should also not emit other pollutants like aldehydes, ketones and sulphur oxides

ð SO X Þ .

Various fuels have been considered as substitutes for hydrocarbon-based fuel. Alternative fuels that aspire to replace petroleum-based fuels include alcohols, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), compressed natural gas (CNG), hydro- gen, vegetable oils, bio gas, producer gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG). Of these, hydrogen is a long-term renewable and less-polluting fuel. In addition, hydrogen is non-toxic, odor- less and results in complete combustion [3]. When hydrogen burns, it produces only water, as shown in Eq. (1), except for the formation of NO X .

2H 2 þ O 2 ! 2H 2 O.

(1)

Due to these characteristics, researchers are focusing their attention on hydrogen as an alternative fuel in internal combustion engines (ICEs) and in the development of fuel cell

Corresponding author. Tel.: +91 44 22203267; fax: +91 44 22203255. E-mail addresses: sarav_n@annauniv.edu, sarav_2003@yahoo.co.in (N. Saravanan) . 0360-3199/$ - see front matter & 2008 International Association for Hydrogen Energy. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2007.12.065

by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2007.12.065 Downloaded from http://www.elearnica.ir

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INTERNAT IONAL JOURNAL OF HYDROGEN ENERGY 33 (2008) 1769– 1775

powered vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs). Hydro- gen can be used as a sole fuel in spark ignition (SI) engine, either by carburation or by direct injection [4]. In a compres- sion ignition (CI) engine, however, H 2 cannot be directly used due to its higher self-ignition temperature, but it can be used in the dual fuel mode. H 2 is only one of many possible alternative fuels that can be derived from natural resources such as coal, oil shale and uranium or from renewable resources based on solar energy. H 2 can be commercially produced from electrolysis of water and by coal gasification; it can also be produced by several other methods such as the thermo-chemical decomposition of water and solar photo-electrolysis, although these are currently still in the laboratory stage. H 2 fueled ICE vehicles built with current technology are not competitive with synthetic gasoline or methanol vehicles on the basis of coal consumption or fuel cost [5]. However, the development of practical and highly efficient end-use converters of H 2 , such as fuel cells, should lead to a dramatic reduction in cost and improvement in efficiency of H 2 production, in addition to providing safe and convenient onboard storage. The concept of using hydrogen as an alternative fuel for diesel engines is recent. The self-ignition temperature of hydrogen is 858 K, so hydrogen cannot be used directly in a CI engine without a spark plug or glow plug. This makes hydrogen unsuitable as a sole fuel for diesel engines [6]. One alternative method is to use hydrogen in enrichment or induction, in which diesel is used as a pilot fuel for ignition. As hydrogen is a gas, it mixes well with air, resulting in complete combustion. Hydrogen-enriched engines produce approximately the same brake power and higher thermal efficiency than diesel engines over the entire range of operation [7,8]. This work involves the enrichment of air with various percentages of hydrogen in a diesel engine using diesel as an ignition source. With a lesser pilot quantity of diesel, hydrogen-enriched engines give higher brake thermal efficiency with smoother combustion than a diesel engine. Increasing hydrogen beyond a certain quantity results in knocking; at the highest diesel flow rate, thermal efficiency is found to be the same as that of diesel engines. Hence, the overall behavior of the engine is similar to that of a diesel engine. Yi et al. [9] stated that thermal efficiency of intake port injection is clearly higher than in-cylinder injection at all equivalence ratios. Shudo et al. [10] stated that hydrogen combustion exhibits higher cooling loss to the combustion chamber wall than does hydrocarbon combus- tion because of its higher burning velocity and shorter quenching distance [10].

2. Experimental setup

The engine used for the investigation is a four-stroke, water- cooled, single cylinder stationary diesel engine developing power of 3.78 kW at the rated speed of 1500 rpm. The technical specifications of the engine are given in Table 1, and the schematic of the experimental setup is shown in Fig. 1 with a photograph of the setup in Fig. 2. Hydrogen was supplied from a high-pressure cylinder (150 bar) reduced to a pressure of 1.5 bar using a pressure

Table 1 – Specifications of the test engine

S.No

Parameters

Specifications

1

General

Single cylinder, four stroke, Compression ignition, Constant speed, vertical, water cooled, direct injection

details

2

Bore

80mm

3

Stroke

110mm

4

Swept

553 cc

volume

5

Clearance

36.87 cc

volume

6

Compression

16.5:1

ratio

7

Rated output

3.7 kW at 1500 rpm

8

Rated speed

1500 rpm

9

Injection

240 bar

pressure

regulator. Hydrogen was passed through a fine control valve to adjust the flow rate and then through a gas flow meter that metered the flow of hydrogen in liters. The hydrogen was passed through a non-return valve (NRV), preventing reverse flow of hydrogen into the system (reverse flow sometimes occurs in a hydrogen-injected engine, particularly in the latter part of injection). The hydrogen was then passed through a flame arrestor, in order to prevent explosions inside the hydrogen-containing system [11]. The flame arrestors quench the flame if sufficient heat can be removed from the gas by the arrestor, which also acts as an NRV. Next, the hydrogen was allowed to pass through a flame trap, used to suppress flash-back into the intake manifold. A polythene diaphragm was fitted onto the wall of the flame trap as a safety measure. In the event of any severe flash-back, this diaphragm would burst, preventing any pressure rise leading to explosion of the cylinder. The flame trap is made of cast iron that contains a sleeve to suppress the flame and water to put out the flame. The hydrogen from the flame trap was allowed inside the inlet manifold with the help of a gas carburetor, which was used to mix air and hydrogen. The process of mixing air and fuel is called enrichment. By varying the percentage of diesel (10%, 30%, 50%, 70%, 80% and 90%) by volume (l/min), we studied the performance and emission characteristics of the hydrogen-enriched engine. The pilot quantity of diesel was set and the pump rack locked and hydrogen flow varied simultaneously to maintain a constant speed. The engine was started with diesel fuel; later the diesel was reduced and hydrogen was supplied to the intake manifold. Diesel flow was reduced up to 10% of the baseline value and hydrogen flow increased until the engine reached the rated speed of 1500 rpm. After allowing the engine to reach steady state conditions for about 15min, we measured:

Fuel consumption. NO X , HC, CO, CO 2 , O 2 . Smoke intensity. Exhaust gas temperature. Particulate emissions.

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INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HYDROGEN ENERGY 33 (2008) 1769– 1775

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5 4 14 2 3 8 6 7 9 1 10 11 12 13
5
4
14
2
3
8
6
7
9
1
10
11
12 13

Fig. 1 – Schematic diagram of experimental set-up. 1. Hydrogen cylinder; 2. pressure regulator; 3. hydrogen surge tank; 4. filter; 5. mass flow controller; 6. control unit for flow controller; 7. flame trap; 8. flame arrestor; 9. hydrogen carburetor; 10. IR sensor; 11. data acquisition system; 12. engine; 13. dynamometer; 14. diesel tank.

system; 12. engine; 13. dynamometer; 14. diesel tank. Fig. 2 – Photographic view of the experimental

Fig. 2 – Photographic view of the experimental setup.

The above procedure was repeated for different loads and diesel fuel quantities.

3. Instrumentation

The power output of the test engine was measured by an electrical dynamometer with a rated power of 10 kW. The constituents of exhaust gas, such as HC, CO, CO 2 , and NO X , were measured by a Qrotech make exhaust gas analyzer using NDIR principle. The cylinder pressure was measured using a Kistler Pressure Transducer and Kistler Charge Amplifier. The flow of hydrogen was measured and controlled by a mass flow controller. A portable single gas monitor was used to detect any hydrogen leakage. The smoke number was measured with a BOSCH type smoke meter. A photograph of the safety device is shown in Fig. 3.

4. Estimation of uncertainty

Any experimental measurements, irrespective of the type of instrument used, possess some uncertainty. The uncertainty

instrument used, possess some uncertainty. The uncertainty Fig. 3 – Photographic view of the safety devices.

Fig. 3 – Photographic view of the safety devices.

Table 2 – Average uncertainties of some measured and calculated parameters

S.No

Parameters

Uncertainty (%)

1 Speed

1.5

2 Temperature

0.6

3 Mass flow rate of air

1.9

4 Mass flow rate of diesel

2.1

5 Mass flow rate of hydrogen

1.8

6 Oxides of nitrogen

2.7

7 Hydrocarbon

3.2

8 Smoke

3.2

9 Particulate matter

4.1

of any measurement may be due to fixed or random errors. As fixed errors are repeatable, they can be easily accounted for to get the true value of the measurement. However, random errors must be estimated analytically. Table 2 provides the details of estimated average uncertainties of some measured and calculated parameters at typical operating conditions; uncertainties range from 0.6% to 4.1%.

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35 knock limit 30 25 20 100%diesel 100%hydrogen 15 20%hydrogen 30%hydrogen 10 50%hydrogen 70%hydrogen 5
35
knock limit
30
25
20
100%diesel
100%hydrogen
15
20%hydrogen
30%hydrogen
10
50%hydrogen
70%hydrogen
5
90%hydrogen
0
BRAKE THERMAL EFFICIENCY, (%)

0

20

40

60

80

BRAKE LOAD, (%)

100

Fig. 4 – Variation of brake thermal efficiency with load.

40 100%diesel 10%hydrogen 35 20%hydrogen 30%hydrogen 30 50%hydrogen 70%hydrogen 25 90%hydrogen 20 15 10
40
100%diesel
10%hydrogen
35
20%hydrogen
30%hydrogen
30
50%hydrogen
70%hydrogen
25
90%hydrogen
20
15
10
knock limit
5
0
SEC, (MJ/kWh)

0

10

20

30

40

BRAKE LOAD, (%)

50

60

70

80

90

100

Fig. 5 – Variation of SEC with load.

5. Results and discussion

We investigated the performance and emission characteris- tics of a DI diesel engine enriched with hydrogen by varying the percentage of hydrogen (10%, 20%, 30%, 50%, 70%, and 90%) and compared our results with base fuel operation. Fig. 4 shows the variation in brake thermal efficiency with brake power for different values of hydrogen enrichment. Thirty percent hydrogen enrichment gives the highest brake thermal efficiency (27.9%) compared to diesel (22.8%) without knocking at full load. The brake thermal efficiency increases with higher hydrogen enrichment, but is limited due to the problem of knocking. The increase in brake thermal efficiency is due to hydrogen’s better mixing with air in addition to its faster burning characteristics. Lee et al. [12] studied the characteristics of a solenoid-driven intake port injection type hydrogen injection valve. In this study, an intake port injection system was used with a solenoid valve for injection

purpose to study the combustion characteristics of the fuel. It was observed that the hydrogen operated engine showed improved performance by 9% compared to normal operation. Fig. 5 depicts the variation of specific energy consumption with brake power for different levels of hydrogen enrichment. SEC decreases with an increase in hydrogen; the reduction is more prominent at higher loads. The lowest SEC of 12.7 MJ/kWh is obtained for 90% hydrogen enrichment at 65% load compared to diesel of 16.7 MJ/kWh. This is due to the premixing of hydrogen fuel with air due to its high diffusivity and uniform mixing with air resulting in improved combustion. For 30% hydrogen enrichment at full load, SEC is 12.9 MJ/kWh compared to diesel of 14.5 MJ/kWh. Fig. 6 shows the variation of nitrogen oxides with load. NO X forms at peak combustion temperature and higher oxygen concentrations [13,14]. NO X formation is higher with 10% and 20% hydrogen enrichment, but decreases above 30% hydrogen enrichment due to lean burn operation (equivalence ratio decreases). As the hydrogen percentage increases, the lean

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PARTICULATE EMISSION, (g/kWh)

4000 3500 3000 2500 100%diesel 2000 10%hydrogen 20%hydrogen 1500 30%hydrogen 1000 50%hydrogen knock limit
4000
3500
3000
2500
100%diesel
2000
10%hydrogen
20%hydrogen
1500
30%hydrogen
1000
50%hydrogen
knock limit
70%hydrogen
500
90%hydrogen
0
NO X , (ppm)

0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

BRAKE LOAD, (%)

90

100

Fig. 6 – Variation of NO X with load.

5 4.5 4 3.5 3 100%diesel 2.5 10%hydrogen knock limit 2 20%hydrogen 30%hydrogen 1.5 50%hydrogen
5
4.5
4
3.5
3
100%diesel
2.5
10%hydrogen
knock limit
2
20%hydrogen
30%hydrogen
1.5
50%hydrogen
1
70%hydrogen
90%hydrogen
0.5
0
SMOKE, (BSN)

0

0.25

0.2

0.15

0.1

0.05

0

10

20

30

40

BRAKE LOAD, (%)

50

60

70

80

90

100

Fig. 7 – Variation of smoke with load.

100%diesel 10%hydrogen 20%hydrogen 30%hydrogen 50%hydrogen 70%hydrogen 90%hydrogen knock limit
100%diesel
10%hydrogen
20%hydrogen
30%hydrogen
50%hydrogen
70%hydrogen
90%hydrogen
knock limit

0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

BRAKE LOAD, (%)

80

90

100

Fig. 8 – Variation of particulate emissions with load.

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very low NO X and CO emissions were produced and engine thermal efficiency was substantially higher than normal operation. To obtain low NO X emissions with increased engine efficiency, the engine is operated under the ultra lean

100 100%diesel 90 10%hydrogen 80 20%hydrogen 30%hydrogen 70 50%hydrogen 60 70%hydrogen 50 90%hydrogen 40 30
100
100%diesel
90
10%hydrogen
80
20%hydrogen
30%hydrogen
70
50%hydrogen
60
70%hydrogen
50
90%hydrogen
40
30
20
knock limit
10
0
HC, (ppm)

0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

BRAKE LOAD, (%)

80

90

100

Fig. 9 – Variation of tailpipe HC vs load.

condition of equivalence ratio 0.4, which results in low NO X (575 ppm) at 90% hydrogen enrichment. The variation of smoke level with brake power with different proportions of hydrogen enrichment is shown in Fig. 7. Smoke is a visible product of combustion, formed due to poor combustion. Combustion of hydrogen produces only water, resulting in less smoke. The lowest smoke level occurs with 90% hydrogen addition. Diesel particulate consists of combustion-generated carbonaceous materials in which some organic compounds are absorbed. Most particulates result from incomplete combustion of hydrocarbon fuel with some from the lubricating oil. With hydrogen enrichment, particulate emissions are reduced due to the absence of carbon in hydrogen. Hence, particulates can be reduced by about 70% with 90% hydrogen enrichment (see Fig. 8 ). Breashes et al. [16] stated that fuel economy increases and emissions in particulate smoke decrease by injecting hydro- gen into internal combustion engines. By using hydrogen, there is a significant decrease in smoke, and particulate emissions.

80 C.R=16.5:1 70 Start of injection =23 ° BTDC (Diesel) Diesel Hydrogen + Diesel 60
80
C.R=16.5:1
70
Start of injection =23 ° BTDC
(Diesel)
Diesel
Hydrogen + Diesel
60
Injection Duration=30° (Diesel)
Speed=1500 rpm
50
40
30
20
10
0
240 290
340
390
440
Pressure, (bar)

Crank Angle, (degree)

Fig. 10 – Variation of cylinder pressure with crank angle at 30% hydrogen enrichment mixture at full load condition.

110 90 Full load condition 1) Diesel = 23 ° BITDC, 30° Injection duration Diesel
110
90
Full load condition
1) Diesel = 23 ° BITDC, 30°
Injection duration
Diesel
Hydrogen + Diesel
70
2) Hydrogen-Diesel = 30 %
hydrogen enrichment
50
30
10
240
290
340
390
440
-10
Crank angle, (degree)
-30
Heat Release Rate, (J / degree CA)

Fig. 11 – Variation of heat release with crank angle at 30% hydrogen enrichment mixture at full load condition.

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The variation of hydrocarbon with load is shown in Fig. 9. Unburned hydrocarbon decreases significantly because hy- drogen fuel does not contain carbon. The lowest value (56 ppm) was recorded against 127 ppm with 30% hydrogen enrichment under full load. With 90% hydrogen enrichment, HC decreases further to 31 ppm at 70% load. Compared to results obtained from earlier work done by Bell et al. [17], there is a net decrease in hydrocarbon emission of 15%. Fig. 10 shows the variation of cylinder pressure with crank angle. It can be observed that in the hydrogen fuelled dual fuel operation with 30% hydrogen enrichment, peak pressure occurred late by about 5 crank angle compared to diesel. This may be due to the late combustion of hydrogen after diesel fuel injection. With diesel, the peak pressure is 73 bar at full load; it is 76 bar for optimized hydrogen fuel operation. Fig. 11 depicts the variation of heat release for hydrogen- diesel combustion with 30% hydrogen enrichment at full load. It is evident that heat release for hydrogen is more rapid than for diesel. The ignition of hydrogen with 30% hydrogen enrichment operation takes place only after injection of diesel at 23 BITDC. Hence there is a gap of 4 CA between neat diesel fuel and 30% hydrogen enrichment. It can also be observed that the highest heat release rate is 95 J/degree CA for 30% hydrogen enrichment compared to neat diesel of 82 J =degree CA. This is due to the instantaneous combustion (constant volume) that takes place with hydrogen fuel.

6.

Conclusions

Based on our experiments conducted on a hydrogen-enriched air-inducted diesel engine system, we draw the following conclusions:

1. Brake thermal efficiency increases to 29.1% with 90% hydrogen enrichment, but results in knocking. Best results are obtained with 30% hydrogen: an efficiency of 27.9% is achieved without knocking over the entire load range.

2. Specific energy consumption decreases with increase in hydrogen percentage over the entire range of operation.

3. NO X concentration decreases with lean mixtures of hydrogen. A low NO X level of 579 ppm was noticed at 70% load with 90% enrichment.

4. Particulate matter decreases significantly from 4 to 1 g/kWh with 90% hydrogen enrichment.

5. A significant reduction in smoke intensity was observed with increase in hydrogen enrichment with the lowest smoke level of 2.6 BSN with 90% enrichment.

Operation of a diesel engine with 30% hydrogen enrichment gives the best results even at higher loads without knocking. Engine operation above 30% hydrogen enrichment at higher loads without eliminating the knock will prove detrimental. Backfire may occur, especially at high hydrogen flow, which can be avoided by injecting hydrogen into the intake manifold; this will also improve the volumetric efficiency of the engine. Optimizing the injection timings can also control the onset of knock during high hydrogen flow. When

compared to neat diesel fuel, hydrogen-enriched engines perform well and emit less pollution. Hence, hydrogen enrichment in a CI engine can be regarded as an eco-friendly alternative fuel to diesel. Further work can be done by injecting hydrogen in the intake port and manifold and optimizing the injection timings and hydrogen fuel flow rate to improve performance.

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