Worldwide, reciprocating engines play a major role in power generation. Many of the reciprocating engines are diesel engines used as stand-by generators, but increasingly, natural gas engines are providing distributed base load generation and finding service in combined heat and power applications. The economics of power generation continues to place a premium on engine efficiency while environmental regulators continue to legislate lower and lower exhaust emission levels, specifically NOx emissions. NOx emissions and efficiency tend to be proportional, so while not mutually exclusive, low NOx and high efficiency are difficult to obtain simultaneously. In spite of the NOx-efficiency relationship, natural gas engines are more efficient with lower emissions today than in the past and the trend toward higher efficiency will continue in the future. This paper surveys current natural gas engine performance and emissions and projects future engine performance. This paper also introduces the ARES and ARICE programs for developing revolutionary technology for high efficiency and low emissions.

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