Effects of Inlet Pressure and Temperature, and Fuel-Air Equivalence Ratio on Natural Gas Combustion Utilizing the GRI Mech 3.0 Chemical Kinetics Mechanism
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Honors Theses; 2012
With petroleum in ever diminishing reserves and increasing demand, alternative energy sources will be of growing importance in the coming decades. Natural gas has risen as a particularly promising alternative, due to its potential to burn cleaner than petroleum and its availability as a mineable resource in the form of shale. According to the Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center in the Department of Energy, there are already 13 million natural gas vehicles in operation worldwide, with about 112,000 in the United States alone. Understanding how these vehicles can be made to operate in ways that minimize emissions is of great importance. Many narrow case studies have been done to characterize the performance of natural gas combustion, but none have specifically focused on relating inlet conditions to emissions via chemical kinetic simulation. A literature review was completed in order to survey past results involving natural gas combustion in automotive applications. For this project, a methane model of natural gas combustion was simulated by utilizing CHEMKIN software and the GRI-Mech 3.0 reaction mechanism. Once the model was operational, trials were run with a varying inlet temperature, pressure, and equivalence ratio and the emissive results were observed. NOx, CO, and CO2 emissions were minimized at low equivalence ratio, low temperature, high pressure conditions. NOx is defined as the sum of NO and NO2 mol fractions.