There is a growing interest in alternative transport fuels. There are two underlying reasons for this interest; the desire to decrease the environmental impact of transports and the need to compensate for the declining availability of petroleum. In the light of both these factors the Diesel Dual Fuel, DDF, engine is an attractive concept. The primary fuel of the DDF engine is methane, which can be derived both from renewables and from fossil sources. Methane from organic waste; commonly referred to as biomethane, can provide a reduction in greenhouse gases unmatched by any other fuel. The DDF engine is from a combustion point of view a hybrid between the diesel and the otto engine and it shares characteristics with both.
This work identifies the main challenges of DDF operation and suggests methods to overcome them. Injector tip temperature and pre-ignitions have been found to limit performance in addition to the restrictions known from literature such as knock and emissions of NOx and HC. HC emissions are especially challenging at light load where throttling is required to promote flame propagation. For this reason it is desired to increase the lean limit in the light load range in order to reduce pumping losses and increase efficiency. It is shown that the best results in this area are achieved by using early diesel injection to achieve HCCI/RCCI combustion where combustion phasing is controlled by the ratio between diesel and methane. However, even without committing to HCCI/RCCI combustion and the difficult control issues associated with it, substantial gains are accomplished by splitting the diesel injection into two and allocating most of the diesel fuel to the early injection. HCCI/RCCI and PPCI combustion can be used with great effect to reduce the emissions of unburned hydrocarbons at light load.
At high load, the challenges that need to be overcome are mostly related to heat. Injector tip temperatures need to be observed since the cooling effect of diesel flow through the nozzle is largely removed. Through investigation and modeling it is shown that the cooling effect of the diesel fuel occurs as the fuel resides injector between injections and not during the actual injection event. For this reason; fuel residing close to the tip absorbs more heat and as a result the dependence of tip temperature on diesel substitution rate is highly non-linear. The problem can be reduced greatly by improved cooling around the diesel injector. Knock and preignitions are limiting the performance of the engine and the behavior of each and how they are affected by gas quality needs to be determined. Based on experiences from this project where pure methane has been used as fuel; preignitions impose a stricter limit on engine operation than knock.