The use of either hydrogen or isooctane for a spark-ignition engine was examined using a thermodynamic cycle simulation including the second law of thermodynamics. The engine studied was a 5.7 liter, automotive engine operating from idle to wide open throttle. The hydrogen or isooctane was assumed premixed with the air. Two features of hydrogen combustion that were included in the study were the higher flame speeds (shorter burn durations) and the wider lean flammability limits (lean equivalence ratios). Three cases were considered for the use of hydrogen: (1) standard burn duration and an equivalence ratio of 1.0, (2) a shorter burn duration and an equivalence ratio of 1.0, and (3) a shorter burn duration and variable, lean equivalence ratios. The results included thermal efficiencies, other performance metrics, second law parameters, and nitric oxide emissions. In general, for the cases with an equivalence of 1.0, the brake thermal efficiency was slightly lower for the hydrogen cases due to the higher temperatures and higher heat losses. For the variable, lean equivalence ratio cases, the thermal efficiency was higher for the hydrogen case relative to the isooctane case. Due to the higher temperatures, the hydrogen cases had over 50% higher nitric oxide emissions compared to the isooctane case at the base conditions. In addition, the second law analyses indicated that the destruction of availability during the combustion process was lower for the base hydrogen case (11.2%) relative to the isooctane case (21.1%).

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