Spark ignition timing effects on a converted diesel engine using natural gas: A numerical study


PROCEEDINGS OF THE INSTITUTION OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS PART D-JOURNAL OF AUTOMOBILE ENGINEERING, vol.236, no.9, pp.1949-1963, 2022 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 236 Issue: 9
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/09544070221081671
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus, Aerospace Database, Applied Science & Technology Source, Communication Abstracts, Compendex, INSPEC, Metadex, Pollution Abstracts, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.1949-1963
  • Keywords: Diesel engine, natural gas, spark ignition, high compression ratio, RANS, G-equation, LOW-TEMPERATURE COMBUSTION


Since it is not expected to switch to fully electric and/or fuel cell vehicles in the near future, the search for alternative fuels for systems using internal combustion engines has accelerated. At the forefront of these studies is the use of natural gas instead of diesel fuel in on-road, off-road vehicles, or stationary power generation plants. Diesel engines with their special combustion chamber (i.e. bowl in-piston) can be converted to run entirely on natural gas by installing a natural gas fuel injector on the intake manifold and a spark plug instead of a diesel fuel injector. In this study, in-cylinder combustion characteristics, performance, and emission values for different Spark Ignition Time (SIT) of natural gas usage at 2300 rpm and full load in a tractor engine with a compression ratio of 17.5:1 were investigated numerically using ANSYS Forte three-dimensional analysis program. G-equation combustion model, RANS k-epsilon turbulence model, and methane chemical kinetic mechanism representing natural gas consisting of 29 species and 171 equations (a reduced mechanism) were used. First SIT was accepted as a 719.5 Crank Angle Degree (CAD) which is diesel injection start time. As a result, due to the special shape of the combustion chamber of diesel engines (re-entrant bowl in-piston), it was seen that the flame was faster and thicker in the bowl, while it was slower and thinner in the squish zone. With the advanced of SIT, the in-cylinder pressure ratio increased. By taking SIT too advanced (i.e. 690, 695, and 700 CAD SIT), more than one peak formation was observed in the heat release graph depending on the combustion characteristic. With the effect of both natural gas use and SIT, it was observed that HC and CO formations were almost not seen, while NOX formation remains above a certain level.