Abstract

Biogas, which is a renewable alternative fuel, has high anti-knocking properties with the potential to substitute fossil fuels in internal combustion engines. In the present study, performance characteristics of a spark-ignition engine operated under methane (baseline case) and biogas are compared at the compression ratio (CR) of 8.5:1. Subsequently, the effect of CR on operational limits, performance, combustion and emission characteristics of the engine fueled with biogas is evaluated. A variable compression ratio, spark-ignition engine was operated at various CRs of 8.5:1, 10:1, 11:1, 13:1 and 15:1 over a wide range of operating loads at 1500 rpm. Results showed that the operating range of the engine at 8.5:1 CR reduced when biogas was utilized in the engine instead of methane. However, the operating range of the engine for biogas extended with an increase in CR - an increase from 9.6 N-m-16.5 N-m to 2.8 N-m-15.1 N-m was observed when CR was increased from 8.5:1 to 15:1. The brake thermal efficiency improved from 13.7% to 16.3% and the coefficient of variation of indicated mean effective pressure reduced from 12.7% to 1.52% when CR was increased from 8.5:1 to 15:1 at 8 N-m load. The emission level of carbon dioxide was decreased with an increase in CR due to an improvement in the thermal efficiency and the combustion process.

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