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Energy Conversion and Management 50 (2009) 2699–2708

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Energy Conversion and Management


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

NOx emission control in SI engine by adding argon inert gas to intake mixture
Hany A. Moneib a,b, Mohsen Abdelaal c, Mohamed Y.E. Selim d,*, Osama A. Abdallah e
a
Industrial Education College, Helwan University, Cairo, Egypt
b
Mech. Power Engg., Mattaria College of Eng., Cairo, Egypt
c
Mechanical Eng., Faculty of Engineering, Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt
d
Mech. Eng. Dept., College of Eng. UAE University, P.O. Box 17555, Al-Jimi, Al-Ain, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
e
Sharjah Institute of Technology, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: The Argon inert gas is used to dilute the intake air of a spark ignition engine to decrease nitrogen oxides
Received 21 March 2008 and improve the performance of the engine. A research engine Ricardo E6 with variable compression was
Received in revised form 27 October 2008 used in the present work. A special test rig has been designed and built to admit the gas to the intake air
Accepted 30 May 2009
of the engine for up to 15% of the intake air. The system could admit the inert gas, oxygen and nitrogen
Available online 26 July 2009
gases at preset amounts. The variables studied included the engine speed, Argon to inlet air ratio, and air
to fuel ratio. The results presented here included the combustion pressure, temperature, burned mass
Keywords:
fraction, heat release rate, brake power, thermal efficiency, volumetric efficiency, exhaust temperature,
Petrol engines
Inert gas
brake specific fuel consumption and emissions of CO, CO2, NO and O2.
Argon-exhaust emissions It was found that the addition of Argon gas to the intake air of the gasoline engine causes the nitrogen
Artificial air oxide to reduce effectively and also it caused the brake power and thermal efficiency of the engine to
increase. Mathematical program has been used to obtain the mixture properties and the heat release
when the Argon gas is used.
Ó 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction use of noble material and other gases or liquids. They also require
oxygen to be available in the exhaust gases i.e. to run the engine
Due to increasing mobility especially in large cities, environ- always lean.
mental protection has advanced to become a topic of central con- Using EGR in spark ignition engines always required the addi-
cern. Emission control regulations have been introduced in all tion of piping and valve systems to recirculate some of the exhaust
industrialized countries in order to reduce the emissions of vehi- gases back into the intake air. The power output and/or thermal
cles powered by internal combustion engines. efficiency have to be sacrificed. Similar scarify has to be given for
There have been a number of methods to reduce the exhaust water addition into the combustion chamber.
emissions from spark ignition engines as well as diesel engines. The promising approach for reducing the NOx gases is to add
Some of these methods deal with the exhaust gases directly and small amount of an inert gas. There have been many references
try to reduce the concentrations of the dangerous gases. These in the use of intake air dilution of diesel engine to reduce the
are called after treatment devices e.g. catalytic converters. Some NOx emission e.g. using enriched oxygen [1] and carbon dioxide
of the methods used are cutting down the level of those gases from [2].
forming in the first place. These methods include the use of ex- To compensate for the smaller specific heat ratio value of CO2,
haust gas recycle (EGR), the use of water in combustion chamber an inert gas with higher specific heat ratio can be added to the in-
or admitting inert gases inside the combustion chamber of the take gas, and argon which has a specific heat ratio value of 1.667 at
engine. room temperature can be used [3,4].
For spark ignition engines, the most dangerous pollutants emit- The compression temperature for the case of oxygen–argon–he-
ted are the nitrogen oxides NOx which cause fatal diseases. For lium mixture has been found to be 300 K higher than that of the
these gases (NO and NO2), the following converters are being case when air is used [5–7]. Also the gas temperature during com-
developed and improved: three way catalyst system, NOx storage bustion period is 300–400 K higher for the case of oxygen–argon–
catalysts, selective catalytic reduction systems. They require the helium mixture.
Argon has been also used in a diesel engine to dilute the intake
mixture and has been varied up to 10% [8,9]. At the argon concen-
* Corresponding author. On leave from Helwan University, Egypt. Tel.: +971
504494723; fax: +971 37623158.
tration 0f 10% the mixed gas takes a specific heat ratio value of
E-mail address: mohamed.selim@uaeu.ac.ae (M.Y.E. Selim). 1.405 which is the same as that of air. As specific heat ratio

0196-8904/$ - see front matter Ó 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.enconman.2009.05.032
2700 H.A. Moneib et al. / Energy Conversion and Management 50 (2009) 2699–2708

increased, the peak cylinder pressure increased and it occurred at Air Filter

earlier crank angle. Diluents are found to be effective way in reduc- Atmospheric Ar + O2 (0-15)%
ing NOx emissions. Air
2 AR
Although dilution of intake air especially with argon gas has

Meter
Viscous Flow
been used before, it appears that it was used only in diesel engine. 21% O2
Mixer
The objective was always to decrease the exhaust emission of NOx
and slightly improve the engine power and thermal efficiency.
However, it has not been used before for dilution in spark ignition
Rotameter Rotameter
engines to reduce the exhaust emission of NOx. The effects of add-
ing argon gas to the intake air of spark ignition engines perfor- Pressure Pressure
regulating Valveregulating Valve
mance are also lacking.
Therefore, it is the main objective of the present work to inves-
tigate in details the effects of diluting the intake air with argon gas
as an inert gas on the performance and emissions of a single cylin-
der spark ignition engine.
The present study was carried out on a Ricardo E6 variable com- Carburetor
pression spark ignition (SI) engine. The scope of the present work
included the investigation of the thermodynamics properties of

Ar
the intake gas mixture when argon is added, the effects of adding Mixture
argon on the performance of the engine and the exhaust emissions,
Ricardo
and finally the heat release rate analyses.

O2
E6 Engine

2. Experimental set-up

Fig. 1. Schematic drawing for argon, oxygen and air mixture.


The intake of the engine has been modified to allow the admis-
sion of controlled amount of the argon, oxygen and nitrogen gases.
This section will present the experimental apparatus and the ignition timing constant at 20° BTDC, carburetor position at full
experimental procedure. throttle opening, fuel used is gasoline with octane number 90
and compression ratio is 8 (constant).
2.1. Engine experimental apparatus A Piezotronics engine combustion sensor has been used to mea-
sure the combustion pressure inside the engine cylinder. A dual
The present study has been conducted on a Ricardo E6 research mode charge amplifier was used to amplify the signal from the en-
engine at Al-Azhar University, Egypt. The technical specifications gine combustion sensor. The degree marker shaper amplifier mea-
of the 507 cc engine are given in Table 1. sured and displayed angular crank shaft location.
Fig. 1 shows a schematic diagram of the argon and air admis- A Tectonics American two channels high-speed digital storage
sions system. Argon has been selected as mentioned above due oscilloscope has been used to measure, store and analyze the pres-
to its chemical and physical properties. It has been decided to di- sure and crank angle signals.
lute the intake air with the following percentages: from 0% up to The output signals from the pressure sensor and degree marker
15% by volume. were fed into the amplifier then the output signals have been fed
Since the atmospheric air comprises 79% nitrogen and 21% oxy- into the oscilloscope. The oscilloscope was provided with a high-
gen by volume, both the nitrogen and oxygen concentration will be speed analog to digital (Analogue/Digital) converter for each chan-
reduced by adding more argon to the intake air. However, the oxy- nel to allow the measurement, storing and analysis of high-speed
gen concentration will be kept constant throughout the experi- phenomena. The input signal could be stored at the rate of up to
mental program at 21%. The added argon will replace the 1000 MHz. Up to two sets of the stored waveform could be saved.
nitrogen gas concentration i.e. if the intake air contains 2% argon, The saved waveform was retained then transferred to a PC for fur-
then the intake mixture will be 21% oxygen, 2% argon, 77% nitrogen ther computation.
and carbon dioxide. Oxygen and argon have been admitted An infrared gas analyzers were used for measuring NOx, CO2,
through the intake mixer shown in the figure to allow good mixing and CO and O2 paramagnetic analyzer was also used for the ex-
between the two gases. haust gas analyses.
The air flow rate is measured through an Alcock viscous flow The temperatures of inlet cooling water, outlet cooling water,
meter, while the fuel flow rate is measured by using a calibrated air inlet, exhaust and oil sump were measured using Type K
rotameter. A variable area rotameter has been used to measure thermocouples.
the volume flow rate of the argon gas admitted to the engine.
The following parameters have been kept fixed during the work: 2.2. Experimental program and test procedures

The present work aims at studying the effect of diluting inlet air
Table 1
with argon gas in gasoline engine. For this purpose, the experimen-
Research engine Ricardo E6 technical details.
tal program was designed and may be divided into two categories.
Number of cylinders 1
Bore, mm 76.2
(a) Experiments on gasoline engine running on diluted intake
Stroke, mm 111.125
Capacity, cc 507 air with argon at constant engine speed.
Maximum speed, rpm 3000 (b) Experiments on gasoline engine running on diluted intake
Max. cylinder pressure, bar 150 air with argon At different engine speeds.
Compression ratio 8
Ignition timing, deg. BTDC 20
In the first set of tests, the engine has been running on mixture
Throttle opening WOT
of oxygen, argon and nitrogen on preset ratios. These ratios have
H.A. Moneib et al. / Energy Conversion and Management 50 (2009) 2699–2708 2701

been selected to be from 0% to 15% argon to mixture with oxygen 1.4


always at 21%. The engine speed has been kept constant at 35 rev/s Gamma (γ)
and at constant engine conditions (throttle valve/ignition timing
and compression ratio). The argon amount is then increased at
2% step. The performance and exhaust emissions have been mea-
1.39
sured and recorded.

Specific heat ratio (γ)


In the second set of tests, the engine runs at the same conditions
above but tests are repeated at different engine speeds and the
same performance and exhaust emissions measurements are car-
ried out. The engine speeds selected are 24, 30, 35 and 39 rev/s. 1.38
The engine performance and emissions variables included the
volumetric efficiency of the engine, motoring and firing cylinder
pressures, brake mean effective pressure, brake power, specific fuel
consumption, thermal efficiency and emission of nitrogen oxide, 1.37
oxygen, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and molecular nitrogen.

2.3. Experimental error analysis

1.36
The maximum error in the flow rate of air measured by the rota- 0 2 4 6 8 10
meter was 1.58  10 4 m3/s and a relative error of 1% while the Argon(%)
maximum error of measuring the fuel flow rate was 1 cm3 and
10 ms in measuring the time of flow and this gives a relative error Fig. 2. Calculated mixture specific heat ratio (c) variation with argon percentages at
of about 0.7% in the mass flow rate. The relative error in measuring and of compression.
the argon gas flow rate was 5% .
The maximum error in measuring the engine speed was 0.1 rev/
s which gives a relative error of about 0.4% in the speed measure-
ment. The engine torque was measured with an error of 0.1 Nm 1.26
that gives a relative error of 4% in the brake power and 3% in the
Mixture density (kg/m 3)at T intake=300 K

brake specific fuel consumption. The maximum error in exhaust Mixture density at 300 K
gas temperature measurement was 0.1 °C which gives 0.1% relative 1.24
error. The exhaust gas concentration was measured with an abso-
lute error of 1 ppm for NO and N2 and 0.1 for CO, CO2 and O2.

1.22
3. Results and discussions

An experimental study has been performed in the present work 1.2


on a single cylinder constant compression ratio spark ignition en-
gine (Ricardo E6) fuelled with gasoline.
A preliminary study is presented first for the thermodynamic
1.18
effects of adding the argon to the intake air of the engine. The
amount of oxygen gas has been kept constant at 21% by volume.
The engine parameters have been kept at the values mentioned
above. 1.16
The experimental results shown next are specific heats and 0 4 8 12
their ratio, mole fraction of nitrogen, oxygen, mixture density, Argon (%)
gas constant and air to fuel ratio as a function of the argon percent-
age added to the engine intake. Following these thermodynamic Fig. 3. Mixture density variation at intake temperature = 300 K with argon
percentages.
effects, other engine effects of the volumetric efficiency, combus-
tion pressures and temperatures, heat release rate, burnt mass
fraction, brake mean effective pressure; bmep, brake power, spe-
cific fuel consumption, exhaust gas temperature and emissions of Fig. 2 shows the specific heat ratio increases with increasing ar-
NO, CO and CO2 are presented. The effects of varying the engine gon dilution percentages to reverse the trend for normal air mix-
speed on the performance and exhaust emission are then ture in which its specific heat ratio decreases.
presented. Fig. 3 shows the mixture density as calculated at room temper-
ature of 300 K as a function of the argon added percentage. It can
3.1. Effect of argon concentration on the thermodynamic properties be seen from the figure that adding more argon gas to intake air
is increasing the mixture density as it has a density of 1.783 kg/
Argon gas has a lower than air specific heat capacity of 0.528 kJ/ m3. This is higher than that for air and it causes the mixture density
kg K (at constant pressure) but a higher specific heat ratio of 1.667 to increase.
and has been chosen for this purpose to replace some intake air Another reason for the mixture density to increase is the gas
volume. The mixture properties have been calculated by a FOR- constant which decreases as the argon addition is increased;
TRAN program prepared at different ratios of argon gas. The mix- Fig. 4. Adding more argon gas reduces the gas constant as shown
ture properties at the end of the compression stroke has been as it has higher molecular weight than air (40 compared to
obtained using thermodynamic relations and ideal gas equations 29 kg/kmol for air). This increases the density of the mixture if it
and may be seen in Figs. 2–4. is assumed to be an ideal gas. This increase in the density of
2702 H.A. Moneib et al. / Energy Conversion and Management 50 (2009) 2699–2708

0.288 1600
Mororing pressure (kPa)
2 % Ar
Gas constant (KJ/Kg.K) 4 % Ar
6 % Ar
8 % Ar

Motoring pressure (kPa)


0.284 1200 10 % Ar
Gas constanr (kJ/kg.K)

12 % Ar
14 % Ar

0.28 800

0.276 400

0.272 0
0 4 8 12 100 200 300 400 500
Argon (%) Crank angle (Degrees)

Fig. 4. Mixture gas constant variation of intake air at intake temperature = 300 K Fig. 6. Motoring pressure variation with crank angle for different argon
with argon percentages. percentages.

mixture increases the mass flow rate of the intake air and hence Fig. 6 as a function of the crank angle. It may be seen from this fig-
the air/fuel ratio increases. ure that increasing the argon addition has increased the motoring
pressures at all crank angles and particularly at near the end of the
3.2. Effect of argon concentration on the engine performance compression stroke. The increase in the pressure is a result of the
increase in the specific heat ratio of the mixture. It has been shown
3.2.1. Volumetric efficiency above that the specific heat ratio increases with adding more argon
The increase in the mixture density and mass flow rate caused to the intake, and this will increase the pressures during the com-
by the argon density and molecular weight increases the volumet- pression stroke. It may be seen that the maximum motoring pres-
ric efficiency as may be shown in Fig. 5. The volumetric efficiency sure increased from about 1180 kPa at 0% argon to about 1450 kPa
has increased from approximately 81% at 0% argon, to about 90% at at 14% argon.
argon ratio of 16%. The engine appears to be supercharged by about
12.5% which may reflect later on the power output and specific fuel 3.2.3. Firing pressure
consumption. Fig. 7 shows the combustion pressure–crank angle variation for
different ratios of argon gas added to the intake air of the engine. It
3.2.2. Motoring pressure can be seen from this figure that the combustion pressure in-
The motoring pressure of the engine (cylinder pressure without creased with adding more argon. For argon addition ratio of 2%
combustion) at different ratios of argon gas added may be seen in

92 4000
Firing pressure (kPa)
2 % Ar
90 Volumetric effeciency 4 % Ar
Volumetric effeciency ηv (%)

6 % Ar
3000 8 % Ar
Motoring pressure (kPa)

10 % Ar
12 % Ar
88 14 % Ar

86 2000

84
1000
82

80 0
0 4 8 12 16 100 200 300 400 500
Argon (%) Crank angle (Degrees)

Fig. 5. Volumetric efficiency (gv) variation with argon percentages O2 = 21%, Fig. 7. Combustion pressure variation with crank angle for different argon
N = 35 rps. percentages.
H.A. Moneib et al. / Energy Conversion and Management 50 (2009) 2699–2708 2703

the maximum combustion pressure was about 2000 kPa, while it 40


increased to about 3800 kPa at argon of 14%. It may be also seen
Total heat release (J/C.A)
that as the argon ratio increased the maximum pressure occurs 2 % Ar
earlier in the cycle. For argon of 2% the maximum pressure oc- 4 % Ar
30

Total heat release rate (J/C.a)


6 % Ar
curred at about 380° ATDC while it occurred at about 365° ATDC 8 % Ar
for argon of 14%. The increase in the maximum combustion pres- 10 % Ar
12 % Ar
sure is due to the fact that the motoring pressure increased as a re-
14 % Ar
sult of increasing the specific heat ratio mentioned above. The 20
maximum combustion pressure at higher values of argon ratio oc-
curs earlier in the cycle due to the reduction in the ignition delay.
The ignition delay appears to have reduced as a result of the addi-
10
tion of more argon. This has been also shown by [5] for similar con-
ditions of a diesel engine. The reduction in the ignition delay is due
to increase in the pre-combustion temperature and pressure asso-
ciated with the use of argon gas. This increase in the pressure and 0
temperature is due to the increase in the specific heat ratio of the
argon–oxygen–nitrogen mixture [5].
The reduction of the delay period causes the combustion to oc-
-10
cur earlier and earlier in the cycle, however, the maximum pres- 320 360 400 440
sure occurs after the top dead centre i.e. at beginning of Crank angle (Degrees)
expansion stroke which may reflect later with slight increase in
the net work produced by the engine cycle. Fig. 9. Rate of heat release variation with crank angle for different argon
percentages.
3.2.4. Combustion temperature
Fig. 8 depicts the variation of the combustion temperature with
crank angle for different ratios of argon gas. It can be seen from this increases with increasing the argon as well as its slope of increase
figure that increasing the amount of argon gas has resulted in an with crank angle i.e. the maximum HRR occurs earlier with adding
increase in the combustion temperature. The combustion temper- more argon. It may be also seen that the heat release reduces faster
ature has been calculated from thermodynamic relations from with adding more argon gas. The maximum HRR was about 20 J/CA
other properties e.g. the measured pressure. The combustion tem- at 2% argon, while it is about 35 J/CA for 14% argon. The maximum
perature was about 1400 K for 2% argon while it increased to HRR occurred at 380°ATDC for 2% argon while it moved earlier to
1950 K at 14% argon. The increase in the combustion temperature about 352° ATDC for 14% argon.
is due to increase in the combustion pressure mentioned above The heat release rate increase with adding more argon may
which produces higher temperatures. It may be also worthy to have occurred as a result of the thermodynamic properties change
mention that using more argon reduces the specific heats (both e.g. pressure and temperature. The increase in the motoring pres-
at constant pressure and volume) of the intake mixture. The reduc- sure, combustion pressure and temperature may have increased
tion in the specific heats may have caused the temperature to in- the rate of heat release as shown in the figure. The maximum
crease for the same amount of heat added per cycle. HRR also occurs earlier with adding more argon as a result of the
thermodynamic properties improvement mentioned above.
3.2.5. Rate of heat release
Fig. 9 shows the heat release rate (HRR) at different ratios of the
3.2.6. Burnt mass fraction
argon addition. It may be seen that the heat release rate generally
Fig. 10 illustrates the variation of the burnt mass fraction (bmf)
as a function of the crank angle for different ratios of the argon to
2000 intake air. It may be seen from this figure that increasing the argon
gas has resulted in a faster combustion as the bmf reaches unity at
Combustion Temperature °( K)
2 % Ar
14% argon faster than for 2% argon. This implies the increase in the
4 % Ar combustion speed as shown above with the HRR data. For example,
Combustion Temperature(°K)

1600 6 % Ar
at 2% the bmf reached unity at about 400° ATDC while for 14% ar-
8 % Ar
10 % Ar gon it was about 365° ATDC.
12 % Ar
14 % Ar
1200 3.2.7. Brake mean effective pressure
It has been shown before that combustion pressure increases
with adding more argon with some advance in the maximum pres-
800 sure occurrence. It has been found that the bmep increases slightly
with adding more argon. It increased from 7.7 bar at 2% argon to
8.2 bar at 14% argon. The increase in the bmep may have been pos-
tulated to the fact the maximum pressure increases and occurs ear-
400 lier with increasing the argon which increases the net work
produced by each cycle. This increases the bmep as the engine is
running at the same speed and friction losses.
The increase in the bmep with adding more argon increases the
0
100 200 300 400 500 brake power output of the engine as the engine speed was kept
Crank angle (Degrees) constant. Fig. 11 shows the slight increase of the brake power with
adding more argon. It increased from 6.8 kW to 7.2 kW (5% in-
Fig. 8. Temperature variation with crank angle for different argon percentages. crease) with increasing the argon gas from 2% to 14%, respectively.
2704 H.A. Moneib et al. / Energy Conversion and Management 50 (2009) 2699–2708

1 288

Burnt mass fraction

Brake specific fuel consumption (g/kW.h)


2% Ar
0.8 4 % Ar 284
6 % Ar bsfc (g/kW.h)
Burnt mas fraction

8 % Ar
10% Ar
0.6 12% Ar 280
14% Ar

0.4 276

0.2 272

0 268
320 360 400 440 480 520 0 4 8 12 16
Argon (%)
Crank angle (Degrees)
Fig. 12. Brake specific fuel consumption variation with argon percentages,
Fig. 10. Burnt mass fraction variation with crank angle for different argon
N = 35 rps.
percentages.

710
10
Exhaust temperature (°C)

9 700
Brake power (kW) T exh (° C)
Brake power(kW)

8
690

680

670
5 0 4 8 12 16
0 4 8 12 16 Argon (%)
Argon (%)
Fig. 13. Exhaust temperature variation with argon percentages, N = 35 rps.
Fig. 11. Brake power variation with argon percentages, N = 35 rps.

tulated to the drop in the temperatures by the end of the expansion


3.2.8. Brake specific fuel consumption stroke. This has been shown with the combustion temperature in
Fig. 12 gives the brake specific fuel consumption (bsfc) at differ- Fig. 8. The combustion temperature has been shown to increase
ent argon ratios. It can be seen from the figure that increasing the more when more argon is added; however, it also decreased faster
argon addition ratio from 0% to 15% has resulted in a drop in the in the expansion stroke. The combustion temperature reduced fas-
bsfc from 285 g/kWh to 268 g/kWh, respectively. This drop in the ter when more argon is added which leads to a reduction in the ex-
bsfc is a result of the slight increase in the power output produced haust gas temperature. This is considered as an advantage to the
by the engine as mentioned above. It may be worth telling here addition of argon to the intake of the engine.
that utilizing the argon as a diluent to reduce the dangerous ex-
haust gases will not harm the engine performance but actually it 3.3. Effect of argon concentration on the engine exhaust emissions
will keep it the same if not improved.
3.3.1. Nitrogen oxide emissions
3.2.9. Exhaust temperature The main objective of the work is to reduce the nitrogen oxides
The exhaust gas temperature variation with the argon addition from the spark ignition engines. The effect of adding argon gas dil-
ratio may be seen in Fig. 13. It may be seen that increasing the ar- uent to the intake air of the engine on the nitrogen oxide emission
gon ratio decreases the exhaust gas temperature. It decreased from index may be seen in Fig. 14. The argon was successfully selected
706 °C to about 670 °C when the argon increased from 0% to 15%, for this purpose as the emission index of NO is apparently decreas-
respectively. The drop in the exhaust gas temperature may be pos- ing with the increase of argon gas.
H.A. Moneib et al. / Energy Conversion and Management 50 (2009) 2699–2708 2705

7 0.2
Emission Index for Nitrogen Oxide EINO(g /kg f )

EINO(g/kgf )

Emission Index for Oxygen EIO 2(g/kg f)


Measured EIO2
Calculated Measured
Calculated
6 0.19

5 0.18

4 0.17

3 0.16
0 2 4 6 8 10 0 2 4 6 8 10
Argon (%) Argon (%)

Fig. 14. Emission index of nitrogen oxide variation with argon percentages, Fig. 15. Emission index of oxygen variation with argon percentages, N = 35 rps.
N = 35 rps.

92
Emission Index of Carbon Monoxide EICO(g /kg f)
Fig. 14 depicts both the measured nitrogen oxide and the calcu-
lated values as obtained from the FORTRAN equilibrium program. EICO
It can be seen from this figure that introducing argon gas in the in- Measured
90 Calculated
take has resulted in the drop of NO from 6.7 to 3 g/kg when argon
is increased from 0% to 10%, respectively (55% drop). It may be
mentioned here that the NO is generally formed and affected by
the following: (1) the existence of nitrogen and oxygen from the
atmospheric air, (2) the air/fuel ratio, (3) high temperature and 88
(4) the existence of a diluent. Here the addition of argon reduced
the molecular nitrogen in the intake air. The addition of argon re-
duced the N2 mole fraction by about 19% while the O2 has been
kept constant. Reducing the N2 mole fraction by 19% reduced the 86
emission of NO in the exhaust gases by 55% means there are other
factors that play an important role in the process. The other reason
for the reduction of NO in the exhaust gases is increasing the air/
fuel ratio as it plays important role in this reduction as has been
shown before [10]. The combustion temperature has been shown 84
0 2 4 6 8 10
above to increase with adding more argon as may be seen in Argon (%)
Fig. 8. Although the combustion temperature has increased but it
seems that it has been overwhelmed by the other factors. The Fig. 16. Calculated emission Index of carbon monoxide variation with argon
remaining factor that plays an important role in reducing the NO percentages, N = 35 rps.
in the exhaust is the existence of an inert gas which is the argon
here. The increase of inert argon in the combustion chamber leads
to the reduction of the NO as has been shown before for many 3.3.4. Exhaust carbon dioxide
other inert gases e.g. CO2, H2O and exhaust gases. Fig. 17 shows the variation of carbon dioxide (CO2) against the
argon added percentage. It may be seen that the CO2 slightly in-
3.3.2. Exhaust oxygen emissions creases from 0.177 to 0.195 g/kg up to 4% argon then it decreases
The measured and calculated oxygen concentration in the ex- to 0.16 g/kg with adding more argon up to 10%. Adding argon in
haust gases may be seen in Fig. 15. It may be seen from the figure the first range slightly increases the air–fuel ratio and this in-
that increasing the argon from 0% to 10% has resulted in the reduc- creases the CO2 as the fuel molecules can easily find the oxygen
tion of the emission index of O2 in the exhaust gases. It has been atoms. As the argon increases more the air/fuel increases and the
also mentioned above that the concentration of O2 in the intake exhaust oxygen reduces and CO increases then the CO2 decreases.
air was kept constant at 21% as the argon was increased.
3.3.5. Exhaust nitrogen molecule
3.3.3. Exhaust carbon monoxide The variation of the emission index of molecular nitrogen
The variation of the carbon monoxide (CO) against the argon against the argon added percentage may be shown in Fig. 18. It
added ratio may be seen in Fig. 16. It can be seen that the CO emis- may be seen that increasing the argon in the intake leads to the
sion index slightly increases as the argon increases. This increase reduction of the molecular nitrogen in the exhaust gases. This is
may be postulated to the fact that the available oxygen decreases in accordance with the reduction of the molecular nitrogen added
with adding more argon; Fig. 15. with the intake air. The added argon caused slight reduction in the
2706 Emission Index of Carbon dioxide EICO 2(g/kg f) H.A. Moneib et al. / Energy Conversion and Management 50 (2009) 2699–2708

0.21 100
Volumetric effeciency
EICO2 N=24 rps
Measured N=30 rps
Calculated N=35 rps

Volumetric effeciency ηv ( %)
0.2 90 N=39 rps

0.19 80

0.18 70

0.17 60

0.16 0 2 4 6 8 10 50
Argon (%) 0 2 4 6 8 10
Argon (%)
Fig. 17. Calculated emission index of carbon dioxide variation with argon
percentages, N = 35 rps. Fig. 19. Volumetric efficiency variation with argon percentages and engine speeds.

124
12
Emission Index of Nitrogen (EIN 2)(g/kg f)

120 Brake power (KW)


EIN 2 N=24 rps
10 N=30 rps
N=35 rps
116
N=39 rps
Brake power(kW)

8
112

6
108

104 4

100
0 2 4 6 8 10 2
Argon (%) 0 2 4 6 8 10
Argon (%)
Fig. 18. Calculated exhaust emission index of nitrogen molecule variation with
argon percentages, N = 35 rps. Fig. 20. Brake power variation with argon percentages and engine speed.

intake nitrogen which reduced the exhaust nitrogen. It has been ing the argon has been already explained above. It may be seen
shown above too the NO emission has also reduced as the argon from the figure that increasing the engine speed from 24 to
increased. 39 rps has resulted in the increase in the volumetric efficiency. This
is expected trend as the volumetric efficiency is low at low engine
3.4. Effect of engine speed speed due to the charge heating and backflow possibilities [10].
Increasing the engine speed would then improve this trend and re-
The effects of increasing the engine speed from 24 to 39 rev/s duce the charge heating and backflow as the engine cycle occurs in
will be presented in the following sub-sections. The effects of a less time. If the engine speed has been increased more than
speed on the volumetric efficiency, brake mean effective pressure, 39 rps, the volumetric efficiency may have been reduced. If the vol-
brake power, brake specific fuel consumption, brake thermal effi- umetric efficiency increases, the mass flow rate of the intake air
ciency and exhaust temperature will be shown next. will increase and more power can be produced from the engine.

3.4.1. Volumetric efficiency 3.4.2. Brake power


The effects of the engine speed and argon added ratio on the Fig. 20 depicts the variation of the brake power against the en-
volumetric efficiency may be seen in Fig. 19. The effect of the add- gine speed. It may be seen from these figures that increasing the
H.A. Moneib et al. / Energy Conversion and Management 50 (2009) 2699–2708 2707

it seems that the increase in the fuel overwhelms the increase in


brake specific fuel consumption (bsfc) (g/kW.h)
320
Specific fuel consumption engine power which caused this deterioration in the performance.
N=24 rps
N=30 rps
N=35 rps 3.4.4. Exhaust temperature
300 N=39 rps
The exhaust gas temperature against the engine speed and ar-
gon added ratio may be seen in Fig. 22. The effect of the argon
added ratio on the exhaust gas temperature has already been ex-
280 plained above. The engine speed increase led to the increase in
the exhaust gas temperature as seen in the figure. The increase
in the engine speed increases the fuel flow rate and heat released
from the fuel which could increases the combustion temperature
260
and hence the exhaust gas temperature.

240 4. Conclusions

From this study, the following conclusions may be drawn:

220
0 2 4 6 8 10 4.1. Effect of argon concentration on the thermodynamic properties
Argon (%)
Adding argon with different concentrations to the intake air had
Fig. 21. Brake specific fuel consumption variation with argon percentages and the following effects:
engine speeds.

(1) The specific heat ratio of the intake air increases, and the
specific heat capacities (at constant pressure and constant
760 volume) decrease.
Exhaust temperature (°C) (2) The intake air gas constant decreases and hence the intake
N=24 rps air density and the air/fuel ratio increase.
N=30 rps
N=35 rps
Exhaust temperature(°C)

720 N=39 rps


4.2. Effect of argon concentration on the engine performance

(1) Adding more argon increased the engine volumetric


efficiency.
680
(2) The peak value of motoring pressure increases as the dilu-
tion percentage of argon increases.
(3) The peak value of firing pressure increases as the dilution
percentage of argon increases and occurs at earlier crank
640 angles.
(4) The peak value of combustion temperature increases as the
dilution percentage of argon increases and occurs at earlier
crank angles.
600 (5) The heat release rate generally increases with increasing the
0 2 4 6 8 10 argon as well as its slope of increase with crank angle i.e. the
Argon (%) maximum value occurs earlier with adding more argon.
(6) Increasing the argon gas has resulted in a faster combustion.
Fig. 22. Exhaust temperature variation with argon percentages and engine speed. (7) The brake mean effective pressure and brake power slightly
increase as the argon dilution percentage increases.
(8) Adding more argon decreased the brake specific fuel con-
engine speed led to the increase of the engine torque and brake sumption and increased the brake thermal efficiency.
power. This increase in the brake torque and power may be postu- (9) The exhaust temperature decreases as the argon dilution
lated to the increase in the volumetric efficiency and mass flow percentage increases.
rate of the intake air. The engine could use more fuel when the (10) Increasing the argon concentration resulted in the decrease
air is increased then the power output should increase. of the emission index of nitrogen oxide (NO), oxygen (O2),
nitrogen (N2) and carbon dioxide (CO2).
3.4.3. Brake specific fuel consumption and thermal efficiency (11) The emission index of carbon monoxide (CO) increases as
The variation of the brake specific fuel consumption (bsfc) the argon dilution percentage increases.
against the engine speed and argon added ratio may be seen in
Fig. 21. It may be seen from this figure that increasing the engine
speed led to the increase in the bsfc or drop in the thermal effi- 4.3. Effect of engine speed
ciency. Although the increase in the engine speed leads to the in-
crease in the engine output power, it is apparently increasing the (1) For the same amount of argon concentration, increasing the
fuel flow rate greatly. The increase in the engine speed already engine speed decreased the air/fuel ratio, increased the vol-
leads to the increase in the volumetric efficiency or mass flow rate umetric efficiency, increased the brake specific fuel con-
of air; hence the mass flow rate of fuel should also increase. As the sumption, increased the brake mean effective pressure and
bsfc is the mass flow rate of fuel divided by the power output, then the brake power.
2708 H.A. Moneib et al. / Energy Conversion and Management 50 (2009) 2699–2708

(2) For the same amount of argon concentration, increasing the [5] No SH, Kobori S, Kamimoto T, Enomoto Y. High temperature diesel combustion
in a rapid compression–expansion machine. SAE paper no. 911845; 1991.
engine speed decreased the brake thermal efficiency and
[6] Volponi Joanne V, Branch Melvyn C. Flame structure of C2H2–O2–argon and
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combustion. The Combustion Institute; 1992. p. 823–31.
[7] Ohigashi S, kuroda H, Hayashi Y, Sugihara K. Heat capacity changes predict
nitrogen oxides reduction by exhaust gas recirculation. SAE paper no. 710010;
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