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Title: Selective NOx Recirculation for Stationary Lean-Burn Natural Gas Engines

Abstract

Selective NOx Recirculation (SNR) involves cooling the engine exhaust gas and then adsorbing the oxides of nitrogen (NOx) from the exhaust stream, followed by the periodic desorption of NOx. By returning the desorbed, concentrated NOx into the engine intake and through the combustion chamber, a percentage of the NOx is decomposed during the combustion process. An initial study of NOx decomposition during lean-burn combustion was concluded in 2004 using a 1993 Cummins L10G 240hp natural gas engine. It was observed that the air/fuel ratio, injected NO (nitric oxide) quantity and engine operating points affected NOx decomposition rates of the engine. Chemical kinetic modeling results were also used to determine optimum NOx decomposition operating points and were published in the 2004 annual report. A NOx decomposition rate of 27% was measured from this engine under lean-burn conditions while the software model predicted between 35-42% NOx decomposition for similar conditions. A later technology 1998 Cummins L10G 280hp natural gas engine was procured with the assistance of Cummins Inc. to replace the previous engine used for 2005 experimental research. The new engine was equipped with an electronic fuel management system with closed-loop control that provided a more stable air/fuel ratio control and improvedmore » the repeatability of the tests. The engine was instrumented with an in-cylinder pressure measurement system and electronic controls, and was adapted to operate over a range of air/fuel ratios. The engine was connected to a newly commissioned 300hp alternating current (AC) motoring dynamometer. The second experimental campaign was performed to acquire both stoichiometric and slightly rich (0.97 lambda ratio) burn NOx decomposition rates. Effects of engine load and speed on decomposition were quantified, but Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) was not varied independently. Decomposition rates of up to 92% were demonstrated. Following recommendations at the 2004 ARES peer review meeting at Argonne National Laboratories, in-cylinder pressure was measured to calculate engine indicated mean effective pressure (IMEP) changes due to NOx injections and EGR variations, and to observe conditions in the cylinder. The third experimental campaign gathered NOx decomposition data at 800, 1200 and 1800 rpm. EGR was added via an external loop, with EGR ranging from zero to the point of misfire. The air/fuel ratio was set at both stoichiometric and slightly rich conditions, and NOx decomposition rates were calculated for each set of runs. Modifications were made to the engine exhaust manifold to record individual exhaust temperatures. The three experimental campaigns have provided the data needed for a comprehensive model of NOx decomposition during the combustion process, and data have confirmed that there was no significant impact of injected NO on in-cylinder pressure. The NOx adsorption system provided by Sorbent Technologies Corp. (Twinsburg, OH), comprised a NOx adsorber, heat exchanger and a demister. These components were connected to the engine, and data were gathered to show both the adsorption of NOx from the engine, and desorption of NOx from the carbon-based sorbent material back into the engine intake, using a heated air stream. In order to quantify the NOx adsorption/desorption characteristics of the sorbent material, a bench top adsorption system was constructed and instrumented with thermocouples and the system output was fed into a NOx analyzer. The temperature of this apparatus was controlled while gathering data on the characteristics of the sorbent material. These data were required for development of a system model. Preliminary data were gathered in 2005, and will continue in early 2006. To assess the economic benefits of the proposed SNR technology the WVU research team has been joined in the last quarter by Dr Richard Turton (WVU-Chemical Engineering), who is modeling, sizing and costing the major components. The tasks will address modeling and preliminary design of the heat exchanger, demister and NOx sorbent chamber suitable for a given engine. A simplified linear driving force model was developed to predict NOx adsorption into the sorbent material as cooled exhaust passes over fresh sorbent material. This aspect of the research will continue into 2006, and the benefits and challenges of SNR will be compared with those of competing systems, such as Selective Catalytic Reduction. Chemical kinetic modeling using the CHEMKIN software package was extended in 2005 to the case of slightly rich burn with EGR. Simulations were performed at 10%, 20%, 30% and 40% of the intake air replaced with EGR. NOx decomposition efficiency was calculated at the point in time where 98% of fuel was consumed, which is believed to be a conservative approach. The modeling data show that reductions of over 70% are possible using the ''98% fuel burned'' assumption.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
West Virginia University
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
876072
DOE Contract Number:
FC26-02NT41608
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
03 NATURAL GAS; ADSORPTION; ALTERNATING CURRENT; CLOSED-LOOP CONTROL; COMBUSTION; COMBUSTION CHAMBERS; DESORPTION; ECONOMICS; ENGINES; FUEL MANAGEMENT; HEAT EXCHANGERS; KINETICS; MODIFICATIONS; NATURAL GAS; NITROGEN; OXIDES; PRESSURE MEASUREMENT; SELECTIVE CATALYTIC REDUCTION; SIZE; THERMOCOUPLES; VELOCITY

Citation Formats

Nigel Clark, Gregory Thompson, Richard Atkinson, Richard Turton, Chamila Tissera, Emre Tatli, and Andy Zimmerman. Selective NOx Recirculation for Stationary Lean-Burn Natural Gas Engines. United States: N. p., 2005. Web. doi:10.2172/876072.
Nigel Clark, Gregory Thompson, Richard Atkinson, Richard Turton, Chamila Tissera, Emre Tatli, & Andy Zimmerman. Selective NOx Recirculation for Stationary Lean-Burn Natural Gas Engines. United States. doi:10.2172/876072.
Nigel Clark, Gregory Thompson, Richard Atkinson, Richard Turton, Chamila Tissera, Emre Tatli, and Andy Zimmerman. Wed . "Selective NOx Recirculation for Stationary Lean-Burn Natural Gas Engines". United States. doi:10.2172/876072. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/876072.
@article{osti_876072,
title = {Selective NOx Recirculation for Stationary Lean-Burn Natural Gas Engines},
author = {Nigel Clark and Gregory Thompson and Richard Atkinson and Richard Turton and Chamila Tissera and Emre Tatli and Andy Zimmerman},
abstractNote = {Selective NOx Recirculation (SNR) involves cooling the engine exhaust gas and then adsorbing the oxides of nitrogen (NOx) from the exhaust stream, followed by the periodic desorption of NOx. By returning the desorbed, concentrated NOx into the engine intake and through the combustion chamber, a percentage of the NOx is decomposed during the combustion process. An initial study of NOx decomposition during lean-burn combustion was concluded in 2004 using a 1993 Cummins L10G 240hp natural gas engine. It was observed that the air/fuel ratio, injected NO (nitric oxide) quantity and engine operating points affected NOx decomposition rates of the engine. Chemical kinetic modeling results were also used to determine optimum NOx decomposition operating points and were published in the 2004 annual report. A NOx decomposition rate of 27% was measured from this engine under lean-burn conditions while the software model predicted between 35-42% NOx decomposition for similar conditions. A later technology 1998 Cummins L10G 280hp natural gas engine was procured with the assistance of Cummins Inc. to replace the previous engine used for 2005 experimental research. The new engine was equipped with an electronic fuel management system with closed-loop control that provided a more stable air/fuel ratio control and improved the repeatability of the tests. The engine was instrumented with an in-cylinder pressure measurement system and electronic controls, and was adapted to operate over a range of air/fuel ratios. The engine was connected to a newly commissioned 300hp alternating current (AC) motoring dynamometer. The second experimental campaign was performed to acquire both stoichiometric and slightly rich (0.97 lambda ratio) burn NOx decomposition rates. Effects of engine load and speed on decomposition were quantified, but Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) was not varied independently. Decomposition rates of up to 92% were demonstrated. Following recommendations at the 2004 ARES peer review meeting at Argonne National Laboratories, in-cylinder pressure was measured to calculate engine indicated mean effective pressure (IMEP) changes due to NOx injections and EGR variations, and to observe conditions in the cylinder. The third experimental campaign gathered NOx decomposition data at 800, 1200 and 1800 rpm. EGR was added via an external loop, with EGR ranging from zero to the point of misfire. The air/fuel ratio was set at both stoichiometric and slightly rich conditions, and NOx decomposition rates were calculated for each set of runs. Modifications were made to the engine exhaust manifold to record individual exhaust temperatures. The three experimental campaigns have provided the data needed for a comprehensive model of NOx decomposition during the combustion process, and data have confirmed that there was no significant impact of injected NO on in-cylinder pressure. The NOx adsorption system provided by Sorbent Technologies Corp. (Twinsburg, OH), comprised a NOx adsorber, heat exchanger and a demister. These components were connected to the engine, and data were gathered to show both the adsorption of NOx from the engine, and desorption of NOx from the carbon-based sorbent material back into the engine intake, using a heated air stream. In order to quantify the NOx adsorption/desorption characteristics of the sorbent material, a bench top adsorption system was constructed and instrumented with thermocouples and the system output was fed into a NOx analyzer. The temperature of this apparatus was controlled while gathering data on the characteristics of the sorbent material. These data were required for development of a system model. Preliminary data were gathered in 2005, and will continue in early 2006. To assess the economic benefits of the proposed SNR technology the WVU research team has been joined in the last quarter by Dr Richard Turton (WVU-Chemical Engineering), who is modeling, sizing and costing the major components. The tasks will address modeling and preliminary design of the heat exchanger, demister and NOx sorbent chamber suitable for a given engine. A simplified linear driving force model was developed to predict NOx adsorption into the sorbent material as cooled exhaust passes over fresh sorbent material. This aspect of the research will continue into 2006, and the benefits and challenges of SNR will be compared with those of competing systems, such as Selective Catalytic Reduction. Chemical kinetic modeling using the CHEMKIN software package was extended in 2005 to the case of slightly rich burn with EGR. Simulations were performed at 10%, 20%, 30% and 40% of the intake air replaced with EGR. NOx decomposition efficiency was calculated at the point in time where 98% of fuel was consumed, which is believed to be a conservative approach. The modeling data show that reductions of over 70% are possible using the ''98% fuel burned'' assumption.},
doi = {10.2172/876072},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Dec 28 00:00:00 EST 2005},
month = {Wed Dec 28 00:00:00 EST 2005}
}

Technical Report:

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  • The research program conducted at the West Virginia University Engine and Emissions Research Laboratory (EERL) is working towards the verification and optimization of an approach to remove nitric oxides from the exhaust gas of lean burn natural gas engines. This project was sponsored by the US Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) under contract number: DE-FC26-02NT41608. Selective NOx Recirculation (SNR) involves three main steps. First, NOx is adsorbed from the exhaust stream, followed by periodic desorption from the aftertreatment medium. Finally the desorbed NOx is passed back into the intake air stream and fed into the engine, wheremore » a percentage of the NOx is decomposed. This reporting period focuses on the NOx decomposition capability in the combustion process. Although researchers have demonstrated NOx reduction with SNR in other contexts, the proposed program is needed to further understand the process as it applies to lean burn natural gas engines. SNR is in support of the Department of Energy goal of enabling future use of environmentally acceptable reciprocating natural gas engines through NOx reduction under 0.1 g/bhp-hr. The study of decomposition of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) during combustion in the cylinder was conducted on a 1993 Cummins L10G 240 hp lean burn natural gas engine. The engine was operated at different air/fuel ratios, and at a speed of 800 rpm to mimic a larger bore engine. A full scale dilution tunnel and analyzers capable of measuring NOx, CO{sub 2}, CO, HC concentrations were used to characterize the exhaust gas. Commercially available nitric oxide (NO) was used to mimic the NOx stream from the desorption process through a mass flow controller and an injection nozzle. The same quantity of NOx was injected into the intake and exhaust line of the engine for 20 seconds at various steady state engine operating points. NOx decomposition rates were obtained by averaging the peak values at each set point minus the baseline and finding the ratio between the injected NO amounts. It was observed that the air/fuel ratio, injected NO quantity and engine operating points affected the NOx decomposition rates of the natural gas engine. A highest NOx decomposition rate of 27% was measured from this engine. A separate exploratory tests conducted with a gasoline engine with a low air/fuel ratio yielded results that suggested, that high NOx decomposition rates may be possible if a normally lean burn engine were operated at conditions closer to stoichiometric, with high exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) for a brief period of time during the NOx decomposition phase and with a wider range of air/fuel ratios. Chemical kinetic model predictions using CHEMKIN were performed to relate the experimental data with the established rate and equilibrium models. NOx decomposition rates from 35% to 42% were estimated using the CHEMKIN software. This provided insight on how to maximize NOx decomposition rates for a large bore engine. In the future, the modeling will be used to examine the effect of higher NO{sub 2}/NO ratios that are associated with lower speed and larger bore lean burn operation.« less
  • Nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) generated by internal combustion (IC) engines are implicated in adverse environmental and health effects. Even though lean-burn natural gas engines have traditionally emitted lower oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions compared to their diesel counterparts, natural gas engines are being further challenged to reduce NOx emissions to 0.1 g/bhp-hr. The Selective NOx Recirculation (SNR) approach for NOx reduction involves cooling the engine exhaust gas and then adsorbing the NOx from the exhaust stream, followed by the periodic desorption of NOx. By sending the desorbed NOx back into the intake and through the engine, amore » percentage of the NOx can be decomposed during the combustion process. SNR technology has the support of the Department of Energy (DOE), under the Advanced Reciprocating Engine Systems (ARES) program to reduce NOx emissions to under 0.1 g/bhp-hr from stationary natural gas engines by 2010. The NO decomposition phenomenon was studied using two Cummins L10G natural gas fueled spark-ignited (SI) engines in three experimental campaigns. It was observed that the air/fuel ratio ({lambda}), injected NO quantity, added exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) percentage, and engine operating points affected NOx decomposition rates within the engine. Chemical kinetic model predictions using the software package CHEMKIN were performed to relate the experimental data with established rate and equilibrium models. The model was used to predict NO decomposition during lean-burn, stoichiometric burn, and slightly rich-burn cases with added EGR. NOx decomposition rates were estimated from the model to be from 35 to 42% for the lean-burn cases and from 50 to 70% for the rich-burn cases. The modeling results provided an insight as to how to maximize NOx decomposition rates for the experimental engine. Results from this experiment along with chemical kinetic modeling solutions prompted the investigation of rich-burn operating conditions, with added EGR to prevent preignition. It was observed that the relative air/fuel ratio, injected NO quantity, added EGR fraction, and engine operating points affected the NO decomposition rates. While operating under these modified conditions, the highest NO decomposition rate of 92% was observed. In-cylinder pressure data gathered during the experiments showed minimum deviation from peak pressure as a result of NO injections into the engine. A NOx adsorption system, from Sorbent Technologies, Inc., was integrated with the Cummins engine, comprised a NOx adsorbent chamber, heat exchanger, demister, and a hot air blower. Data were gathered to show the possibility of NOx adsorption from the engine exhaust, and desorption of NOx from the sorbent material. In order to quantify the NOx adsorption/desorption characteristics of the sorbent material, a benchtop adsorption system was constructed. The temperature of this apparatus was controlled while data were gathered on the characteristics of the sorbent material for development of a system model. A simplified linear driving force model was developed to predict NOx adsorption into the sorbent material as cooled exhaust passed over fresh sorbent material. A mass heat transfer analysis was conducted to analyze the possibility of using hot exhaust gas for the desorption process. It was found in the adsorption studies, and through literature review, that NO adsorption was poor when the carrier gas was nitrogen, but that NO in the presence of oxygen was adsorbed at levels exceeding 1% by mass of the sorbent. From the three experimental campaigns, chemical kinetic modeling analysis, and the scaled benchtop NOx adsorption system, an overall SNR system model was developed. An economic analysis was completed, and showed that the system was impractical in cost for small engines, but that economies of scale favored the technology.« less
  • Data on exhaust-gas recirculation obtained from Tenneco Gas Transportation Company were reviewed and analyzed, and a basic EGR system design and cost estimate were developed. EGR can provide practical NOx reductions of up to 50% in 2-cycle natural gas engines. The amount of NO reduction achievable is dependent on the initial baseline NOx emissions of the engine. On the basis of NOx reduction per unit of costs, EGR was found to be more cost effective than selective catalytic reduction. EGR is considered to provide a practical retrofit NOx control method in applications where the level of NOx control achievable withmore » EGR meet regulatory requirements. One specific application is emissions offset to enable installation of additional engine horsepower. Also, EGR could become the primary NOx control method for any regulation in which costs are a major consideration.« less
  • Field tests were performed on five natural gas reciprocating engines. Four engines were retrofitted with the following NOx control technologies: a nonselective catalytic reduction (NSCR) system retrofitted on a 4-cycle rich-burn engine; a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system retrofitted on a 4-cycle lean-burn engine; and combustion modifications (PreCombustion Chamber (PCC)) retrofitted on two lean-burn engines (one 2-cycle and one 4-cycle). These controls are candidate technologies to reduce NOx emissions from natural gas prime movers. The fifth engine, a 2-cycle lean-burn engine, was tested without NOx controls. The field test program quantified the effects of these NOx controls on pollutant emissions,more » and found that, in some cases, NOx reduction can result in increased carbon monoxide (CO), total unburned hydrocarbons (TUHC), nonmethane hydrocarbons (NMHC), and formaldehyde emissions. Benzene, toluene, and formaldehyde were the major air-toxic compounds found in the exhausts of all engines tested, at concentrations of less than 0.3 ppm, for benzene and toluene, and 20 ppm, for formaldehyde. In general, benzene and toluene emissions decreased with the addition of either combustion modification and exhaust gas treatment controls. Formaldehyde emissions decreased across the rich-burn catalysts. Volatile organic compound (VOC, measured as NMHC) emissions increased when lean-burn combustion modifications and the SCR control system were applied, but decreased when the NSCR control system was applied.« less
  • Large-bore natural gas engines are used for distributed energy and gas compression since natural gas fuel offers a convenient and reliable fuel source via the natural gas pipeline and distribution infrastructure. Lean engines enable better fuel efficiency and lower operating costs; however, NOx emissions from lean engines are difficult to control. Technologies that reduce NOx in lean exhaust are desired to enable broader use of efficient lean engines. Lean NOx trap catalysts have demonstrated greater than 90% NOx reduction in lean exhaust from engines operating with gasoline, diesel, and natural gas fuels. In addition to the clean nature of themore » technology, lean NOx traps reduce NOx with the fuel source of the engine thereby eliminating the requirement for storage and handling of secondary fuels or reducing agents. A study of lean NOx trap catalysts for lean natural gas engines is presented here. Testing was performed on a Cummins C8.3G (CG-280) engine on a motor dynamometer. Lean NOx trap catalysts were tested for NOx reduction performance under various engine operating conditions, and the utilization of natural gas as the reductant fuel source was characterized. Engine test results show that temperature greatly affects the catalytic processes involved, specifically methane oxidation and NOx storage on the lean NOx trap. Additional studies on a bench flow reactor demonstrate the effect of precious metal loading (a primary cost factor) on lean NOx trap performance at different temperatures. Results and issues related to the potential of the lean NOx trap technology for large-bore engine applications will be discussed.« less