With increasingly restrictive NOx and particulate matter emissions standards, the recent discovery of new natural gas reserves, and the possibility of producing propane efficiently from biomass sources, dual fueling strategies have become more attractive. This paper presents experimental results from dual fuel operation of a four-cylinder turbocharged direct injection (DI) diesel engine with propane or methane (a natural gas surrogate) as the primary fuel and diesel as the ignition source. Experiments were performed with the stock engine control unit at a constant speed of 1800 rpm, and a wide range of brake mean effective pressures (BMEPs) (2.7–11.6 bars) and percent energy substitutions (PESs) of C3H8 and CH4. Brake thermal efficiencies (BTEs) and emissions (NOx, smoke, total hydrocarbons (THCs), CO, and CO2) were measured. Maximum PES levels of about 80–95% with CH4 and 40–92% with C3H8 were achieved. Maximum PES was limited by poor combustion efficiencies and engine misfire at low loads for both C3H8 and CH4, and the onset of knock above 9 bar BMEP for C3H8. While dual fuel BTEs were lower than straight diesel BTEs at low loads, they approached diesel BTE values at high loads. For dual fuel operation, NOx and smoke reductions (from diesel values) were as high as 66–68% and 97%, respectively, but CO and THC emissions were significantly higher with increasing PES at all engine loads.

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