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Performance Comparison of LPG and Gasoline in an Engine Configured for EGR-Loop Catalytic Reforming
ISSN: 2641-9637, e-ISSN: 2641-9645
Published September 21, 2021 by SAE International in United States
Citation: Szybist, J., Pihl, J., Hawa, H., and Roychoudhury, S., "Performance Comparison of LPG and Gasoline in an Engine Configured for EGR-Loop Catalytic Reforming," SAE Int. J. Adv. & Curr. Prac. in Mobility 4(2):610-625, 2022, https://doi.org/10.4271/2021-01-1158.
In prior work, the EGR loop catalytic reforming strategy developed by ORNL has been shown to provide a relative brake engine efficiency increase of more than 6% by minimizing the thermodynamic expense of the reforming processes, and in some cases achieving thermochemical recuperation (TCR), a form of waste heat recovery where waste heat is converted to usable chemical energy. In doing so, the EGR dilution limit was extended beyond 35% under stoichiometric conditions. In this investigation, a Microlith®-based metal-supported reforming catalyst (developed by Precision Combustion, Inc. (PCI)) was used to reform the parent fuel in a thermodynamically efficient manner into products rich in H2 and CO. We were able to expand the speed and load ranges relative to previous investigations: from 1,500 to 2,500 rpm, and from 2 to 14 bar break mean effective pressure (BMEP). Experiments were conducted to determine the effects of the H/C ratio of the fuel on H2 production and on the engine efficiency in order to compare E10 gasoline (H/C = 1.95) and liquified petroleum gas (LPG), comprised primarily of propane (H/C = 2.67). Additionally, the compression ratio of the engine was increased to ascertain whether further efficiency improvements could be realized based on a reduced knock propensity of the dilute EGR mixture with the reformed fuel. Both the gasoline and propane reforming strategies provided efficiency gains up to 1.85 percentage points and further efficiency improvements with the increased compression ratio were realized. The fuel specific effects of gasoline vs. LPG, the effect of engine operating condition on reforming, and knock limits of the reformed mixture are discussed in detail.